11 Super, speedy sushi recipes to take to work
Sushi - the stuff you'll find in your local Sainsburys or Tesco - is a far cry from the real, fresh stuff eaten in sushi restaurants or bars across the country. Many supermarket packs of sushi, whilst seemingly healthy, are in fact loaded with sugar and salt and a typical sushi roll can contain up to 350 calories (1). But there are health benefits to sushi too - fish sushi is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help promote a healthy brain, rice is a great source of energy, seaweed is loaded with iodine, vital for a healthy thryoid and wasabi is thought to help prevent tooth decay (2).
Avoiding pre-packed sushi at the supermarket and making your own rolls at home means you can control the salt, sugar and fat content - if you're cutting back on carbs, you can reduce the rice content, and if you don't eat fish, you can make vegetarian sushi. Sushi makes a great, portable lunch option that won't go soggy or spoil in the fridge, so you can make it up the night before and take it with you to work, the gym, or wherever! These 11 sushi recipes are designed to be healthy, speedy and easy to make - once you've mastered the art of rolling sushi (it isn't that difficult, trust us!)
Maki is the Japanese name for the traditional popular sushi rolls we all love! Brown rice packs more fibre than using sushi rice, whilst short grain rice contains a sticky starch called amylopetcin, which gives the rice its chewy texture. Tofu is an excellent source of vegan protein and absorbs the delicious flavour of the mirin, sugar and salt.
We're a little bit obsessed with this super-grain, which can be used in everything from salads to breakfast bakes, and now, sushi! Swapping out sushi rice for quinoa gives sushi an instant healthy boost - the suggested fillings contain tuna, plenty of veggies and and egg omelette filling. Why not make up a few of each type for a super-nutritious lunch to enjoy after your lunchtime workout?
A traditional sushi roll combo, salmon and avocado also makes for a healthy filling that's high in monounsaturated (good) fats from the avocado and omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon. The nori (seaweed) wrapper is loaded with iodine to protect the function of your thyroid - thyroid problems can cause issues with weight and depleted energy levels (3), so munching on a few of these rolls for lunch is a great choice!
Sushi without rice? Hell, yes! These rolls are ideal when you're pushed for time and have been working hard, as there's no need to cook rice or quinoa. Just layer the nori with lettuce leaves to hold the filling in and stop it going soggy. You can use the toppings of your choice - the recipe suggests a crunchy tuna sauerkraut slaw that we think is pretty addictive, or try sliced chicken breast with avocado and raw broccoli or a vegetarian omelette. Yum!
#5. Vegetable Sushi
Sushi doesn't have to contain fish, and if the thought of raw salmon or mackerel freaks you out, you can create delicious vegetarian sushi - it's also a great way to get your five-a-day! This recipe uses cucumber, avocado, tomato, onion and lettuce, as well as the traditional rice and nori. Sushi accompaniments such as wasabi and pickled ginger are great palate cleansers and add plenty of flavour. The best part? Vegetable sushi will also keep a little longer in the fridge than sushi containing raw fish, so you could make a larger batch and enjoy two days worth of snacks or lunches on the go!
#6. Nigiri Sushi
A lighter take on maki, nigiri sushi skips the seaweed and consists of an elongated ball of rice topped with thinly sliced fish. We love salmon nigiri, and a few, perhaps served with a side salad or some edamame, make a great light lunch! The hardest part of making nigiri sushi is forming the correct shape - but practise makes perfect, and you can even find sushi moulds and makers online designed to help you. Make sure the fish you choose is sashimi grade and extra-fresh - it's best to get it from a local specialist, market or fishmongers.
California rolls are a type or uramaki, where the rice is on the outside of the roll, with the seaweed inside. Slightly trickier to prepare, they're a delicious alternative to maki rolls, and using brown rice makes them extra-nutritious. This recipe uses loads of vegetables instead of fish, so it's great for vegetarians or anyone looking to save on their weekly shop! Avocado, cucumber, carrots and radishes are suggested, but you could use whatever vegetables you have to hand - we think red pepper works really well in sushi rolls.
Tuna, like salmon, is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and experts recommend that we should be eating one to two portions of oily fish a week for brain benefits. This delicious low-fat sushi recipe makes use of fresh avocado and tinned tuna, but you could use fresh sashimi-grade tuna steak if you're happy to eat raw fish. Simple to make and with just a few ingredients, this makes 18 pieces - enough for several lunches or to share with friends at work!
If you're looking for the ultimate healthy vegan sushi recipe, we might have just found it! Perfect for when you have a bit more time to spare (like at the weekend) this recipe uses quinoa instead of sushi rice, and the rolls are topped with paprika and soy-sauce marinated tofu steaks, with an 'omelette' slice that uses nutritional yeast for authentic eggy flavour. Wow!
Tamagoyaki, or Japanese egg omelette, is a great alternative to fish or vegetable sushi that's loaded with amino acids and protein from the eggs. It couldn't be simpler to make; all you need are eggs, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, salt and dashi stock (which can usually be found in major supermarkets or Asian grocery stores). It's up to you whether you serve the tamagoyaki as it is or on top of a mound of rice wrapped with a strip of nori, to make nigiri.
These rolls use finely processed cauliflower or parsnips to create the 'rice' and are loaded with fresh, raw ingredients - use whatever vegetables you like. We recommend a mix of cucumber, spring onions, red and green peppers, carrots, courgettes and avocado, but you can mix and match to make a variety of rolls! Simple yet so good for you, and delicious.
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