Paleo Maki Rolls + Asian Slaw

This is now, officially, post 15 of the 30-day-Whole30-blogapalooza. I have been busting butt trying new recipes, making my husband try recipes, measuring every iota with measuring spoons that never seem to stay together because the ring that attaches them annoys me too much.

I never cook that way usually. I throw dashes here, pinches there, glugs to the left, splashes to the right (spice of your liiiiiiife. shut up if you didn’t get that Spice Girls reference because you’re too young). So when I came up with this recipe for cauliflower sushi rice, I never measured. In fact, I didn’t measure yesterday either because it just wasn’t working. I wanted a little more vinegar here, a touch more sweetness there, maybe a hint more salt. And it worked. Because some recipes are non-recipes. Because some recipes are about technique. Because some are simply proof of concept. And this is one of them.


You’re going to need your mise en place. Mise all over that place, ok? Because it will get messy and you’ll end up with cauliflower in your hair. Not that I would know.


Get yourself a clean tea towel, a bamboo mat (or another tea towel, this works JUST fine), nori sheets slightly softened by running them over a flame quickly back and forth a few times, some fresh sliced salmon sashimi, a couple of servings of cauliflower rice sauteed with a drizzle of vinegar and honey (pseudo recipe follows), some julienned cucumbers, avocados and spring onions. Also have a bowl of water handy to dip your fingers in when they inevitably get covered in cauliflower.


Ignore my bony, veiny hand of doom.

Line your nori sheets with about three tablespoons of cauliflower rice, leaving a gap all around. The picture above had more rice than that. Do as I say, not as I did, because that one was not only huge but it tore and I was sad.

Lay literally a hint of wasabi in a line nearer to the edge closest to you and layer on your filling ingredients. Again, do as I say, lining your ingredients dead center will make it harder to roll.


Oh hai pinky birthmark.

Take your bamboo roller or clean tea towel and roll it in once on itself and push inwards and outwards along the roll to ensure a tight fit.


Now roll the maki away from you under the bamboo mat and again, secure by pushing down and outwards. Keep doing this until you have a secure, completely rolled…well…roll. It will look like the wheels of a tank. Just keep rolling. Securing and rolling.


Slice your rolls in half and make a sushi roll pyramid. Or just slice with a very sharp knife and arrange.


Serve with more wasabi, soy sauce if you aren’t fussy, and Asian slaw (proper recipe follows).

Paleo Maki Rolls

Makes 8 maki rolls, feeds 4

For  the cauliflower sushi rice

650g fresh cauliflower
2 tbs (about) white vinegar
1/2 tbs stevia or honey (optional)
1/4 tbs salt

For the filling

200g fresh sashimi-grade salmon or other fish, sliced thinly
1 avocado, sliced
1 cucumber, julienned
2 spring onions, julienned

8 sheets of nori

1. Rice your cauliflower in a food processor by pulsing several  times until it breaks down into small particles that look like rice. Alternatively, grate carefully and avoid cauliflower missiles.
2. Sautee your cauliflower on gentle heat with the vinegar, sweetener (if using), and salt. Adjust to your liking. Set aside to cool.
3. Grab all of your nori sheets and run them quickly over a gentle flame until fragrant and softened. This will only take a few swipes.
4. Lay your nori sheet over a bamboo mat with the shiny side facing down (because it’s prettier that way). If you don’t have a bamboo mat, a moistened tea towel works fine.
5. Arrange about 3 tablespoons of cauliflower rice over the nori, leaving a gap on all sides. Have a bowl of water handy to get the rice off your fingers.
6. Place literally a hint of wasabi down the length of the cauliflower rice, horizontally, closer to you than away.
7. Arrange a line of your filling over the wasabi. Salmon first, then cucumber, then avocado. Do not overfill. Unless you want super jahonkin rolls, in which case overfill away.
8. Start to roll your sushi by turning the bamboo mat or tea towel in on itself once, push down and outwards all along the length of the roll. Pulling the mat or towel straight across the roll like along the wheels of a tank, repeat the securing. Then rolling. Securing and rolling. Secure and roll.
9. Slice with a sharp knife and serve with sashimi and Asian slaw.

Asian Slaw

About 3 cups shredded red cabbage
About 1 cup shredded carrots
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, minced
1/4 tablespoons mint leaves, minced
2 tbs vinegar of choice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil

1. Mix all the ingredients together and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. Serve cold.



  1. Looks Yummy :)

    I’m new to this. What is salmon sashimi? Can I just use any sliced salmon to make this or do I have to get some kind of special salmon? Are there any special considerations since it’s raw?

    • Hey Kathy. You’ll have to find the absolute freshest salmon you can get your hands on. Some places will sell you a sashimi-grade salmon that’s frozen so you ensure that it was frozen as fresh as possible and can be eaten raw. If you’re worried, try steaming shrimp and using those instead!

      • Where is a good place to find sashimi-grade salmon? Supermarket, health food store, etc? And will it say “sashimi-grade” on the package?


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