Grain-free sushi bowl (grain-free, vegan, gluten-free)

Have I told you how much I love sushi? Well, I LOVE sushi... My passion for sushi began years and years ago, after University. I st...

Have I told you how much I love sushi? Well, I LOVE sushi...

My passion for sushi began years and years ago, after University. I started going out for dinner at least once a week with my good friends and sushi was almost always our food of choice. And why not? Sushi is beautiful, delicate, often cheap, semi-healthy, delicious and can be found virtually everywhere where I live. Our favourite go-to place was a busy one -- always rammed with lineups out the door but well worth the wait, every time. 

A few years in to my sushi obsession I started having weird reactions to almost all Asian food. I would eat and then begin to feel as if my ears and throat were sealing shut. It was terrifying. A few allergy tests later and I discovered I had developed a soy allergy. 

Dismayed and terrified of anaphylaxis, I began to explore other cuisines and avoid sushi and other Asian foods like the plague. To this day I still do, more or less. The sad thing is that I still consider Japanese cuisine my favourite. So what's a girl to do when she's hit over the head with sushi cravings but still fearing soy? Make her own without any!

Today was a great day. I bought all the vegan sushi paraphernalia I could think of (wasabi, ginger, soy-free 'soy' sauce,  nori, avocado, sweet potato, mango) and made some seriously convincing sushi and this sushi bowl.

You may have noticed that I refer to this sushi bowl as "grain-free". I decided to make it, and my unpictured sushi rolls, with cauliflower "rice" instead of real rice. If you're unfamiliar with cauliflower "rice", its just steamed cauliflower, processed in a food processor to look like grains of rice. In the context of this sushi bowl it is a very convincing rice substitute. For my sushi rolls I used a touch of rice wine vinegar and coconut sugar to season the cauliflower which made it taste and look a LOT like sushi rice. My husband didn't even notice it wasn't rice, I had to tell him! Technically my sushi rolls were not grain free because I used rice vinegar but I left it out for this sushi bowl recipe and honestly didn't miss it.

So what's in my bowl? All this sushi-inspired goodness:
  • sliced avocado
  • sriracha
  • spicy vegan mayo (vegenaise mixed with sriracha)
  • dulse flakes (for fishy flavour)
  • vegan kimchi (for a Korean twist and a good dose of probiotics)
  • mango slices
  • cauliflower "rice"
  • coconut aminos (to replace soy sauce) mixed with a touch of wasabi and ginger 
This bowl is everything I love about sushi. Its light, pretty, delicate, full of interesting flavours, healthy and  delicious.

My only regret in this experience is my current inability to properly cut sushi rolls. If I didn't suck at it so much I would have shared my sushi variation on this recipe today. I'll practice and share it in a few weeks! For now I hope you enjoy this sushi bowl.

This bowl is a little addictive -- sweet, spicy and salty. Its also pretty healthy, featuring lots of veggies and fruit, a good dose of iodine from the dulse, good fat from the avocado and probiotics from the kimchi. Make it for a healthy and light lunch, pretty appetizer or fun international breakfast!


  • 2-3 cups fresh or frozen cauliflower florets, steamed until tender
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
Steam your cauliflower until tender. Add cauliflower and vinegar (if using) to a food processor and pulse, breaking it up into rice sized pieces. Set aside.

  • 1/2 large avocado, skin removed, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/2 ripe mango, skinned and sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tsp dulse flakes
  • cucumber, sliced thinly into matchsticks
  • coconut aminos OR tamari soy sauce
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tbsp pickled ginger, 1 tbsp kimchi, vegan spicy mayo (recipe follows)
  • 1 tbsp vegenaise (or your favourite vegan mayo)
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • dash of garlic powder
Mix all spicy mayo ingredients together well. 

Transfer Sushi "Rice" to a serving bowl. Top with mango pieces, dulse, cucumber, kimchi, pickled ginger and avocado. Add a dollop of the spicy mayo, then drizzle over the sriracha. Serve with a drizzle of coconut aminos or tamari. 

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