The staggering number of sushi options can seem very intimidating. Sushi menus comprise so many different rolls and ordering choices including options like Nori, Fugu, Nigiri, Sashimi, Maki.
Here is a quick rundown of sushi options and items that may not be strictly sushi but are often labeled as such. Sushi itself is most definitely keto-friendly when the rice is minimal and Sashimi is 100% keto until something is added in the preparation that would change that, such as sweet sushi rolls.
Maki Sushi: A traditional sushi roll consisting of fish, veggies, and rice, rolled up in seaweed. Can be cooked as well as raw. Nigiri Sushi: Thin slices of raw fish served over a sushi rice base Sashimi: Sliced raw fish served without rice. Not strictly Sushi but VERY keto-friendly unless sweetened with marinade or sauce. Maki: Rice and seaweed rolls with fish/veg. Most maki have nori on the outside, but some sushi rolls, California Rolls/Rainbow Rolls, have the rice on the outside. Nori: Dried seaweed used in maki. Fugu: Puffer fish, a delicacy, though it contains poisonous toxins. In Japan only licensed fugu chefs are allowed to prepare fugu.
Sushi on a Keto Diet
Appetizers: You can opt for the miso soup, a clear broth with fermented soybean paste, a clear winner in Japanese cuisine. With small chunks of tofu and keto friendly veggies like cabbage, mushroom, onions, miso soup is a safe bet.
Another starter that is keto friendly is edamame. Edamame pods are soybeans, steamed and salted.
Main Course: Sadly, you can’t eat traditional sushi on keto. Sushi is literally the rice found in the most rolls and rice being carb-heavy could break your keto diet.
Although, nowadays people often use sushi to refer to the raw fish and seafood dishes at every sushi restaurant, without rice and most of these you CAN eat!
Sashimi is your first choice at any sushi restaurant. Sashimi is simply the fish without rice! Negimaki, thinly sliced grilled beef would be another good choice.
Sushi Foods to Avoid:
- Anything Battered
- Anything with Rice
- Sweet Sauces, especially Teriyaki
- Ask if seaweed dishes have been sweetened, and with what.
- Most imitation fish, eg crabsticks, have fillers and sweeteners added. Ask first!