As a sushi chef, one of my favorite things is to create new recipes. A friend asked me recently to create a ketogenic recipe for sushi.
After researching ketosis and learning about the diet, I found something that made this tutorial very challenging.
This recipe doesn’t call for sushi rice…
The ketogenic diet, which is low in carbohydrate and high in fat, puts your body into ketosis. This means that you use fat instead of carbs to fuel your body. This means that rice and seasoned rice wine vinegar are out.
By definition, sushi is not made with seasoned rice. (Sushi literally means “vinegar rice”) There are two exceptions to this rule: sushi and Katsuramuki.
Although they don’t qualify as sushi, they can still be found in many sushi bars around the world. For this recipe, I chose a Katsuramuki design.
What is katsuramuki?
Katsuramuki refers to the Japanese method of cutting a vegetable into long sheets using a knife. This is a tedious and time-consuming process that can be very frustrating. This technique is one of the most important taught to sushi apprentices. It can take several months of practice to perfect. My Katsuramuki technique is still being perfected.
Here’s a short video that I found from a sushi chef showing the technique.
The process can take a lot of time, even if the technique is done correctly.
I’ve come up with a way to make sushi without spending a lot of time practicing.
Sushi Hack: Katsuramuki Crutches
This technique is difficult because the cucumbers need to be uniformly thick. To solve this problem, I used disposable bamboo chopsticks.
- Use a sharp knife to make a cut about 3/4 of the length of the chopsticks. You don’t have to go too deep, just enough to be visible.
- Start sawing by adjusting the angle of your knife to 15 degrees.
- You can switch to a serrated blade (I used a steak knife) after you have sawed through half of the chopsticks.
- To begin peeling your cucumber, slide the chopsticks onto a non-serrated chef’s knife.
We are now ready to make our ketogenic sushi!
Pro Tip: Katsuramuki crutches may also be made using toothpicks
To complete this tutorial, you’ll need:
1-2 Cucumbers (standard or English cucumbers).
A sharp, non-serrated knife (I use an Ushu).
A Cutting Board
Use paper towels
1/2 lb Alaskan King Salmon (Wild Caught).
Blanched Asparagus (up to 4 pieces per roll, depending on their thickness).
This recipe makes 3-4 rolls.
Making Ketogenic Sushi
First, peel the cucumber to make Katsuramuki. It is a good idea to buy extra cucumbers so you can practice before making the real thing. Cucumbers can be easily found and are inexpensive. You could even grow them yourself.
- Begin by cutting a straight slice of the cucumber. It should be at least 4 inches (10 cm) long.
- Your Katsuramuki crutches can be slipped onto your knife. You can use the crutches as a spacer to maintain consistent thickness.
Katsuramuki chopsticks on a knife.
- Begin to slide your knife slowly back and forth, while rotating the cucumber away. Do not be discouraged if your crutches slip a little (mine did). Simply reposition them and keep slicing.
- Continue this slow process until you reach your cucumber seeds. When you have reached the seeds, cut them vertically.
Your Katsuramuki Peel should be between 8-10 inches (20.3 cm – 25.5 cm) in length. You can also remove the remaining cucumber skin.
This tutorial was made with cucumbers that I had washed thoroughly. The overall flavor of the cucumber will be slightly altered if the peel is left on.
- To remove excess moisture, use paper towels
Drying cucumber of katsuramuki
- You will cut 3 pieces of salmon, just as you would for sushi.
Sliced salmon for ketogenic sushi
- To make the salmon reach the edges of the cucumber, slice it diagonally. Place the salmon slices on your cucumber peel starting at the edge.
- Place several avocado slices on top of the salmon. For more info on how to slice avocado for sushi, check out my Avocado Roll tutorial.
Only the avocado should be in the middle of the salmon. Once we begin to roll it, the reason will become clearer.
- A few pieces of asparagus can be placed on top of the avocado. I used three small pieces. There are many ways to add more ingredients, but I chose to make the final product small. You will get smaller pieces at the end if you use fewer ingredients.
- Use your hands to gently roll the mixture. Begin by placing your thumbs under the salmon and cucumber. Then, use your fingers to hold everything together. You will need to roll the ingredients from one side to the other.
- Once your ketogenic sushi has been tightly rolled, it is time to cut. Slice your katsuramuki into 6 even pieces:
- Finally, place your pieces on a plate and drizzle some Ponzu for an additional layer of refreshing flavor.
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