I LOVE cauliflower rice sushi… so I made them into one of my fave kinds – spicy tuna rolls! What I don’t love is the fact that many sushi restaurants use ingredients with nasty fillers, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Often times you can even find gluten lurking in naturally gluten-free ingredients. No, thanks! Fortunately, this paleo sushi recipe is gluten-free… and just as delicious as regular sushi.
When I first started eating a paleo diet, I thought I was done eating my coveted spicy tuna rolls. Of course, I’m not one to give up on my favorite foods, so this cauliflower sushi recipe was born. It meets all our sushi needs – no rice needed!
Sushi with cauliflower rice tastes just like regular sushi, only with much fewer carbs! I can’t wait to show you how to make cauliflower sushi without rice. The method is actually almost identical to making regular spicy tuna rolls, except these are grain-free.
What Are Spicy Tuna Rolls?
Spicy tuna rolls are typically made from tuna, rice, and vegetables wrapped in a sheet of nori.
With this paleo sushi recipe, we’ll skip the rice and use cauliflower rice instead. You might be thinking that rice is gluten-free and you’d be correct. However, making sushi with cauliflower rice keeps it both low carb and paleo friendly.
How To Make Sushi Rolls At Home
Don’t be intimidated by making paleo sushi rolls at home. It’s super simple!
The first step is to make the cauliflower rice. Preheat the oven and begin pulse pieces of cauliflower in your food processor until it looks like rice.
TIP: Cut up the pieces of cauliflower before putting them in the food processor, so it chops up easily and fast.
Spread the cauliflower rice on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. Sprinkle with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes. I usually try to stir it a couple of times, so it doesn’t burn.
Next, mince the tuna into small pieces and combine with mayonnaise, sriracha, and salt.
Thinly slice the cucumber into long thin strips. Slice up the avocado.
Now you’re ready to start assembling the cauliflower sushi. Lay a piece of nori out and cover with cauliflower rice, leaving a 1-inch gap furthest from you.
PRO TIP: I used a sushi roll mat because I like working with it. You could also use a towel if you don’t have a sushi mat on hand.
Lay down the nori, then spread a bit of rice over it and leave a 1 inch gap at the end farthest from you. Then, layer your toppings on the end closest to you like the picture below.
Finally, wet the end without rice with a bit of water and just use the mat or towel to roll it up.
TIP: The water step is important! It helps the nori sheet stick to itself when you roll it.
Now, you’re ready to slice into 6 or 8 pieces and dig in!
That wasn’t so hard, was it? Once you make cauliflower sushi a few times, you’ll be like an old pro… promise!
Is Cauliflower Sushi Healthy?
Yes, this recipe for cauliflower sushi is healthy. When you go to a restaurant and order sushi, you need to be careful because many of them have fillers, preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. This is why I prefer to make cauliflower rice sushi at home.
When I make homemade sushi with cauliflower rice, I know that there isn’t any gluten and the ingredients are paleo.
Do I Need To Use Fresh Or Frozen Tuna To Make Cauliflower Rice Sushi?
It’s important to use sushi grade tuna when making homemade cauliflower rice sushi. It should be frozen when you buy it and only thaw it once you’re just about to use it.
You might be thinking that sushi grade tuna shouldn’t be frozen. It’s supposed to be fresh right? Yes, but freezing the fish destroys parasites that may be in the meat. You want it to be frozen.
I want you to enjoy every bite of this paleo sushi recipe, not end up sick over it!
Sushi With Cauliflower Rice Variations
There’s all kind of variations you could do for this paleo sushi recipe. Here are some ideas:
- smoked salmon + cucumber + avocado
- buffalo chicken + celery + carrots
- shrimp + cucumber + asparagus
- fresh salmon + avocado
How Do You Store Spicy Tuna Rolls
Spicy tuna rolls can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Like most sushi recipes, paleo sushi tastes best fresh or at least within 24 hours, but from a safety standpoint it’s fine for a few days.
More Paleo Main Dish Ideas
If you can’t get enough of this cauliflower sushi recipe, you should also try these other ideas:
Paleo Cauliflower Rice Sushi Rolls Recipe (Spicy Tuna Rolls):
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Paleo Cauliflower Rice Sushi Rolls Recipe (Spicy Tuna Rolls)
Cauliflower rice sushi (that's sushi with cauliflower rice) is the low carb paleo sushi recipe you have been looking for! These easy spicy tuna rolls are the BEST paleo sushi alternative.
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- 1 head Cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- Sea salt (to taste)
- 4 ounces Tuna (sashimi grade)
- 2 tablespoons Avocado mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- Sea salt (to taste)
- 1 small Cucumber
- 1/2 medium Avocado
- 2 sheets Nori
- Pickled ginger
- Coconut aminos
More TIPS about this paleo recipe in the post above!
Directions for the cauliflower "rice"
- Preheat oven to 425°
- Chop cauliflower into pieces small enough to fit into your food processor. Pulse for 2 seconds at a time until the cauliflower resembles rice.
Spread onto a aluminum foil lined baking sheet and spray with olive oil. You can also toss with the olive oil then spread it out evenly.
Toast in oven for 30 minutes, stirring about twice for even cooking.
Directions for the sushi
- Mince the tuna and mix with mayonnaise, sriracha, and salt, to taste.
- Thinly slice cucumber into long strips.
- Slice avocado into slices.
- Place a piece of nori onto your mat or towel and cover with the "rice" leaving a 1 inch gap at the end farthest from you.
- Layer your toppings onto the end closest to you.
- Using the mat or towel start to roll the sushi away from you.
- Once rolled slice into 6 or 8 pieces and serve with coconut aminos, pickled ginger, and wasabi.
Serving Size: 1/2 recipe (6 to 8 pieces)
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols (though the latter are rarely seen on this site), because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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All I can say is wow! This really hit the spot as a sushi roll without the rice. My “rice” was absolutely fine as far as holding together within the roll. This is a godsend as a low glycemic index sushi meal. In my view the use of the sriracha sauce creates no carb burden in this amount. It is negligible. Thank you! You really nailed it. I am thinking I may try the “rice” to try to create a low carb bibimbap.
This has great flavor but I couldn’t get the rice to stay or the roll to not fall apart. Any tips?
Hi. The second ingredient in sriracha is sugar which would make this no -paleo. Are there paleo sriracha brands or do you make your own? Thank you!
Might I suggest mixing the mayo sauce with the cauliflower rice to hold it together and just add a very thin slice of tuna on top?
If you bake the cauliflower rice, how do you ensure it sticks together and does not make a mess of everything when rolling up the sushi?
I’d say keep an eye on the rice when roasting it — 30 minutes at 425 was way too long in my oven. After 10 minutes, it started burning, even after having mixed it a few times.
Sushi rice is sticky – how do you get the cauliflower rice to stay together without making the rice sticky?
Love this idea. I used frozen riced cauliflower and toasted. I have made sushi prior- minus rice or sub. This is a treat. I did have trouble slicing sushi roll. Seafood wrap fell off. 2nd roll went in fridge for later. Maybe that will slice better. Love this Maya. I used smoked salmon though.
Oh my gosh! I loved this recipe. I have a hard time with rice- I didn’t know that was a thing!
I was wondering if left overs could be frozen , or if I could make up a big batch and freeze?
This is truly incredible. I am on a strict diet and this is the perfect treat to quell those nagging sushi boat cravings. Where might one find sushi-grade fish? Is this something that Whole Foods might carry or is there a better place to go?
Hi Leelu! Whole Foods usually has sushi grade fish! I’ve also found sushi grade Ahi Tuna at Fresh Market.
Wow, never seen the cauliflower “rice” in sushi before and this was early 2015! Thank you for this, just saw it in a top 10 cauliflower post in cookeatpaleo.com
I tried this recipe tonight and it turned out GREAT, kinda, I failed epically at rolling the sushi so, it ended up being a sushi scramble? Other than that, the flavor is on point! I never missed the rice. I will definitely keep this in my “go to” meals especially when I crave sushi. Trying tiramisu granita tomorrow and CAN’T WAIT!
Your Spicy Tuna rolls with Cauliflower rice look so yummy!!!
Spicy Tuna Hand Rolls used to be my favorite .
I thought I might mention though, that most Nori sheets do have wheat flour in them :(((
I just recently found out myself.Plz read the ingredient list,I mean who would have thought!!!!
Thanks so much. I’m wheat and rice free – so this is amazing! My daughter loved our sushi dates and I’m keen to give this a go!
Hi Liz! Sushi dates at home are even more fun! I hope you’re daughter loves this recipe.
Looks delicious but on the nutrition label how is the carb count so high?
Hi Vada, These would be pretty low carb since they’re made with cauliflower rice.
They tint “wasabi” green because it is horseradish not real wasabi
This looks so good!!! I shared this in a Recipe Roundup on my blog, Plus Size to Downsized!!! Thanks so much for the great ideas!
Wow, what a brilliant recipe with the sub of cauliflower for rice! I think you have made sushi a ‘friendly’ food again. thanks!
Oh, my goodness! My wife just sent this link to me while I was at work and we’ve been texting back and forth about how we’re going to make this on Saturday. I just started eating low carb/high fat and this is just right up my alley because I love sushi but not all of the rice that comes with it. Some sushi restaurants try to rip you off by using thin slices of fish and huge amounts of rice. Love this recipe because it uses cauliflower as the rice substitute. If anyone hasn’t tried it, it’s super easy and great. Picks up the flavor of whatever you’re serving with it. Thanks again for sharing the recipe.
Hope you don’t mind me sharing my version of preparing the cauliflower rice. After I chop it up and put it into a blender to get it to the right size, I place the cauliflower in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the microwave. Depending on the amount, I’ll steam it from 5-10 minutes or until soft, like traditional rice, which is how I like my faux rice. If you give this method a try, let me know what you think.
Thanks Francis! I don’t mind at all! I’ve made cauliflower rice that way before but on the stove top to soften it since I don’t use a microwave. It turns out great but I love my rice a bit on the crunchy side. I hope you love the sushi rolls! There’s nothing better than knowing exactly what’s going into your food!
Be cautious about sauces and condiments. Shiracha is not gluten free. Crazy Good and Noho make a gluten free Shiracha type sauce.
You’re right Susan you do need to be cautious about sauces. However, most Sriracha is gluten free (some aren’t because of the type of vinegar they use) If you’re worried look for a certified gluten free label or shoot a quick email to the company.
Woah, this is amazing. The pictures are gorgeous, and my mouth is watering! Probably not great for a sunday night at 9:30pm, haha. oops!
Thanks so much Dana!
OMG this is the bomb. I wish I had several to eat for lunch today. I love any type of sushi!
I am a big maker of Sushi because I love it plus my husband is
Japanese. I would have never thought to use cauliflower to replace the rice. That’s amazing. I’ll have to try it sometime without telling the family.