Paleo off the Menu: Sushi

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If you have a thing for raw fish, then ordering Paleo off a sushi menu is going to be a breeze for you.

It’s so simple!

First, let’s get a few things straight. We need to differentiate between nigiri and sashimi. This distinction alone will help streamline your healthy decision making.

If you’re a seasoned sushi pro and this is old news, skip ahead. If you’re like me and you’ve eaten sushi a million times but you still get confused about the difference, I’ve got your back.

  • Nigiri = piece of raw fish over rice.
  • Sashimi = piece of raw fish.

So you’re saying, all I need to do is order sashimi? And, because ALL fish is Paleo-friendly, I can order any fish I want?? I’m in!

Yep. That’s exactly what I’m saying.

Watch my new Tastemade video for a 1-minute visual introduction:

Paleo off the Menu: Sushi

Paleo off the Menu Sushi | Fed and Fit_9

I’m having so much fun with these videos.

Okay. Let’s talk more about sides.

Paleo off the Menu Sushi | Fed and Fit-5

I know you’re used to the sticky vinegar sushi rice. I know you don’t think you can get through a meal where chopsticks and Sriracha are involved without a plate of grain goodness. I’m here to tell you that you CAN. Be strong.

Acceptable Paleo-friendly side dishes:

  • Sliced cucumbers

Every sushi restaurant has sliced cucumbers in excess. Ask for a bowl! They’re especially tasty with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

  • Seaweed salad

Okay you caught me, seaweed salad is one of those mystery dishes. You never know if they snuck in soy or sugar. I know. I also, don’t always, 100% care. NOW, if you have a known allergy to soy or gluten, ASK! However, if you’re working towards an 80/20 Paleo lifestyle plan, then order that big plate of seaweed. The seaweed is seriously good for you and the sugar is pretty negligible. Plus you get to chomp and chew while everyone else chases that last piece of rice across their plate with chopsticks. It should be an Olympic sport.

Paleo off the Menu Sushi | Fed and Fit-6

Bonus round!

Let’s talk cocktails. While the options are endless, I recommend you chose as simple of a cocktail as possible. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s in your drink.

Piranha Killer Sushi, where this video was filmed, has an incredible cocktail list. My heart skipped a beat when I saw that they had lychee martinis on their menu. I LOVE lychees.

Paleo off the Menu Sushi | Fed and Fit-8

The martini is really simple: vodka, lychee fruit juice, garnished with a couple lychee. Yum. If you haven’t had this fruit before, grab some from the Asian isle and start experimenting! They’re great in non-alcoholic mocktails made with sparkling water.

Paleo off the Menu Sushi | Fed and Fit-4

Order Recap:

  • Chirasi Bowl

Chirashi bowls are plates served with sashimi traditionally over a bed of sushi rice. Ask to substitute cucumber or seaweed salad for the sushi rice.

  • Lychee Martin

Vodka martini with fruit juice and fruit garnish.

Paleo off the Menu Sushi | Fed and Fit-3

In case you missed them, here are links to the other videos in the series!

Paleo off the Menu: BBQ

Paleo off the Menu: Tex-Mex

Paleo off the Menu: Contemporary Italian

Meet the Author
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Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy

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  1. Josh says

    Josh —  02/12/2014 At 01:38

    Your understanding or representation of what sushi is is a bit off. In no way is this “sushi vs. sashimi” as that makes no sense, its an illogical distinction.

    Sashimi is a _type_ of sushi, and so is temaki sushi (handrolls), oishi sushi (pressed/molded nigiri), and maki sushi (nigiri rolled with bamboo, traditionally). What you are calling “sushi” is wrong (well, more specifically its not accurate, since yes it is all sushi), you are actually talking about nigiri.

    Nigiri vs Sashimi is what this actually amounts to. They are both sushi.

    Nigiri is fish on top of the knob of rice, hand-formed (typically with a tiny smear of wasabi between the fish and rice). Both Sashimi and Nigiri are a type of sushi (think car vs nissan).

    Otherwise, glad to see people not cutting off sushi due to paleo misunderstandings. But let’s keep ignoring the vinegar used to make traditional sushi rice 😉

    • Cassandra says

      Cassandra —  02/19/2014 At 20:44

      Hi Josh! Thank you so much for your comment. I really, really appreciate it! I’m updating the written portion of this post now to reflect your points. Cheers!

  2. Fix Your Skin says

    Fix Your Skin —  01/16/2017 At 02:00

    Thank you for this fantastic info. The tips listed above are insightful and will help me a lot.