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9 Healthier Sushi Options That Are Still Full of Flavor

Try these healthy sushi rolls if you’re watching your diet.

Sushi is loved and enjoyed by many. Sushi traces its origins back to native Japan but was quickly popularized over the centuries in other parts of the world, including America.

Traditional japanese dish sushi and rolls with fresh salmon tuna

However, like many other foreign delicacies, sushi received the American touch.   

Fish in pure form is a healthy meal packed with many essential nutrients, including proteins, roughage, and other vitamins and ions. However, tempura sushi, which roughly translates to fried sushi, packs a few extra calories than most people would be comfortable with.

Frying sushi is not the only way this healthy meal has become more toxic.   

Many sauces that accompany the salmon or tuna in the sushi have mineral content that may prove unhealthy to many people.

Your favorite eel sauce and spicy mayo sauce pack a significant number of calories that might derail your efforts should you look for a healthier lifestyle and watch your calories. 

That said, here are a few alternatives to sushi that are healthier and taste just as great.   

Healthy Sushi Options

Stick to healthier sushi options like those listed below to keep this meal a healthy one!


Salmon Avocado Roll  

A salmon and avocado roll is a sushi roll made of salmon and avocado.

Smoked salmon is delicious, healthy, and much more nutritious than other traditional sushi ingredients.

For this reason, the delightful marriage of sushi and salmon does not only make sense but is also a healthier choice.   

The salmon slices are laid onto nori sheets on a bamboo mat and garnished with avocado seasoned with lemon juice. Once complete, the flat sheet is folded into a roll for you to enjoy.   

Without any extra fatty sauces or deep fried ingredients, this classic sushi roll is a healthier choice.


Sashimi  

In its various forms, Sashimi is a delicacy much healthier than traditional sushi.

Sashimi, similar to sushi, is made of thinly sliced pieces of raw seafood (or, in some instances, meat) served with other accompaniments or enjoyed plainly with a fitting sauce.   

However, vinegared rice is the most significant difference between sushi and Sashimi.

Sushi is accompanied by vinegared rice, an ingredient notably absent in preparing Sashimi. 

There are many different types of fish to use for sashimi.


Mackerel Roll  

Saba, or simply mackerel, is a delicious alternative to sushi.

It has been used in sushi dishes for a long time and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as one of the best fish to consume.

Rich in omega-3 and essential fats, mackerel is a healthy sushi option with a mild but tangy and flavorful taste.   

Despite its health benefits and apparent great flavor, you should be careful about what type of mackerel you consume.

Atlantic mackerel is a healthier option than king mackerel as it has less heavy metal content, unlike the latter, with high mercury content.   


Tuna Roll  

Popularized in the United States, specifically in Los Angeles, tuna rolls are a common sushi choice.

The tuna roll can be made using spicy tuna and has a sauce known as sriracha. Tuna rolls are now an everyday serving in many restaurants, and since they are packed full of protein, they are perfect for nibbling. 

It is advisable to cut down on the spice as a healthy option, especially with an accompanying sauce.

To make delicious hosomaki tuna rolls, cut the tuna into thin sticks and roll them with rice and Nori on a bamboo mat.   


White Fish  

Whitefish is a strong contender for the title when looking for a healthy and delicious alternative to sushi.

Whitefish has plenty of nutrients, including proteins, Vitamin B12, and other micronutrients, with significant health benefits like selenium.

To mention a few, haddock, cod, halibut, and snapper are all examples of delicious white fish in the market today.  

Whether you are making Sashimi or sushi, white fish may be prepared in various ways. You may begin by separating the belly portion from the top loin, the main difference in texture and consistency.

To garnish the white fish, serve the thin slices with wasabi or a suitable equivalent.   


Rainbow Roll  

If you are feeling adventurous and looking for the opportunity to sample many types of fish at once, then the rainbow roll is an excellent and delicious choice of sushi.

It is an uramaki sushi named after the colorful assortment of fish added to the traditional tuna roll.  

The fish assortment usually consists of yellowtail, salmon, tuna, colorful shrimp, and imitation crab made of white fish in some variants. 

The same procedure as making a tuna roll is followed to make the rainbow roll sushi. First, the rice is spread onto the Nori on the bamboo mat.

This is followed by avocado slices, lemon garnish, and the tuna stick at the center. Once complete, the tuna roll is folded and brought to shape by the bamboo mat. 

Thin slices of yellowtail, salmon, imitation crab (or even real crab meat if you like) are cut to a width of about a fifth of an inch and laid in rows on the tuna roll, creating the iconic rainbow roll sushi.   


Naruto Rolls  

Naruto rolls are an excellent sushi choice for those on a low-carb diet.

Sometimes referred to as cucumber sushi rolls or cucumber sushi maki, Naruto rolls are devoid of the vinegared rice commonly associated with sushi.

Still, they pack the same flavor and nutrient content as other sushi rolls or Sashimi, if not more.   

Preparing Naruto sushi rolls is relatively easy, but the ingredients vary from place to place depending on what is at hand and preference.

The most common recipe consists of avocado and tuna at the center of the Naruto roll.   

Naruto sushi rolls acquire their iconic name from their close resemblance to swirl pools found between Awaji and Naruto.

To prepare them, sliced cucumber is placed on the bamboo mat instead of Nori and then filled with vegetables and fish, which in most cases is avocado with tuna.   


Substitute White Rice for Black or Brown   

Carbohydrates are a staple in many Japanese restaurants as a companion to their delicious cuisine.

It is undeniable that the healthier option, in any case, would be to reduce the amount of carb intake. Still, occasionally, it is impossible to ignore the flavor that comes with them.  

If you must have rice with your sushi or Sashimi, you should consider substituting white rice with brown or black rice. Whole grains are healthier, and when it comes to white and brown rice, brown rice is king.

Brown rice packs a lot more nutritional value as it has many nutrients and minerals that might be missing in white rice.   

Black rice, on the other hand, despite having the misleading name of forbidden rice, has a lot of antioxidant benefits in the body, aiding in reducing the number of reactive species in the body. 


Veggie Rolls  

Veggie rolls are a perfect sushi option for vegetarians looking for a bite of flavor from sushi.

Despite the veggie rolls being prepared for vegans, anyone with tingling taste buds is welcome to try them.

To make the veggie rolls lay the Nori on a bamboo mat, followed by a layer of rice spread over the Nori.   

For the veggie filling, anything goes. Whatever your craving may be, any vegetables are worthy of incorporation in the veggie roll.

This is followed by a generous amount of sriracha mayo sauce for extra flavor.   


Healthy Sushi Options

  1. Salmon Avocado Roll
  2. Sashimi
  3. Mackerel Roll
  4. Tuna Roll
  5. White Fish
  6. Rainbow Roll
  7. Naruto Rolls
  8. Substitute white rice for black or brown 
  9. Veggie rolls

Final Thoughts  

To wrap up, (pun intended) there are many healthy options for your next dining experience in a Japanese restaurant or when trying to recreate the Japanese ambiance in your kitchen.

You need not go home feeling guilty about indulging your sushi cravings by having one of the sushi alternatives mentioned above.   

It is possible to enjoy sushi in different ways in a healthier way without compromising your dietary requirements or preferences.  

Check out the best sushi restaurants in America where you can find these healthy rolls and more!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.