Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pregnancy-Friendly Sushi, also friendly to those who just don’t do raw fish


Sushi is something that a lot of pregnant women miss during those nine months, but also something that a lot of regular humans have a hard time with because of the raw fish element. In fact many kinds of sushi don’t have raw fish at all, and are therefore appropriate and delicious for everyone…except for that tiny, dogmatic portion of the population that for some inexplicable reason is under the erroneous impression that they “just don’t like sushi.” We all know that they “just haven’t had GOOD sushi.”

So here’s an easy primer for those who want to try some user-friendly, non-raw, nori-wrapped lusciousness that won’t weigh too heavily on the recommended fish intake for pregnant women (12 oz. per week), in the form of three rolls: salmon, shrimp and spicy crab.

Start first with the rice. I use short grain brown, but you can follow the rules and use Japanese sushi rice if you wish. This is 1 1/2 C rice cooked in about 3 1/2 C water with a little salt. After it’s cooked, stir in about 2 Tbl rice vinegar and set it aside to cool.


While the rice is cooking you can chop your veg: carrots, celery, cucumber, avocado. The more avocado the better. Many different kinds of veg would be tasty, this was just what I had on hand.


You can also use the time while the rice is cooking to make the spicy crab mix. Use 2/3 C shredded real or imitation crab meat (use real crab meat for the gluten-free version), 1/4 C diced celery, 2 Tbl minced green onion, all mixed together with a little mayo (canola mayo is dairy-free) and about 1 tsp Chinese hot sauce. This would also be a good time to toast some sesame seeds.


Once your rice is cool and all the fillings are ready, spread the rice thinly on 6 sheets of nori seaweed, leaving a 1-in seam at the top. It helps to dip your spreading tool (spatula, your hands, whatever works) in water periodically. I had just a small amount of rice left over based on the quantities that I gave above.


Next line up the sliced vegetables. There will be two rolls of each flavor—I didn’t put celery on the spicy crab, since there is diced celery in the mix.


Then add the fish and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Here is the salmon (the thinly sliced, lightly smoked kind)…


…the shrimp (cooked, peeled, deveined and de-tailed, of course)…


…and the spicy crab.


I don’t have a sushi rolling mat but find that it really isn’t a problem at all. I just put the nori on a dish towel and roll it carefully and tightly with my hands. When you get to the end rub a little water along the edge to seal it. Here are all six babies lined up, ready to be sliced.


While you’re staring at how gorgeous they look, have someone sharpen your best knife. Then have them sharpen it again.


I like to cut the rolls in half first, then work out toward each end. Each roll should make eight pieces. This is three rolls cut up—one of each flavor (crab on the left, salmon on top, shrimp on the right). The other three rolls are in the fridge and will be cut up for me to take to work tomorrow; finding those in my lunch box at about 1pm tomorrow will be about the best thing that will have happened to me all week.


A salmon roll poses effortlessly on my stylish sushi plate.


Chris dips deeply into the sauce (soy sauce plus a dab of wasabi--San J tamari and LaChoy soy sauce are both gluten-free).



  1. Sarah, these look *amazing*! I'm definitely going to make them sometime soon...I'll let you know how they turn out!

  2. Sarah, you rule!
    I think I will try the savory ribs and the quinoa peppers-they look fab!
    Thanks for doing this! On to the Mexican dish I have going for tonight :) Judy

  3. Sarah, actually that was Judy, not Glenn, posting the previous comment. But then you knew that.