How to Order Sushi Without Rice? – The Complete Guide!

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Your friends take you out to eat and select the place. Eventually, you end up in a fancy sushi place. The menu looks delicious. Unfortunately, there is one major problem – all the items have rice in them.

Now, as a person trying to reduce your carb intake, how to order sushi without rice?

You can request the chef to prepare rice-less sushi for you, as most restaurants don’t serve them. If unavailable, you can order Sashimi, thinly sliced raw fish served with sauce and veggies. Or you can order Naruto Roll wrapped fish and vegetables in a very thin cucumber wrap instead of rice.

However, it’s only a short picture of the full story. To get a complete picture read the whole article. The article also talks about a riceless alternative to sushi that does not require any special request.

What is Sushi? – The ABCs

What is Sushi - The ABCs

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish. The modern form of sushi started in the 19th century as a form of street food. People in a rush took a bite of this “Fast” food. However, since then, the image of sushi has changed quite a lot and has become quite a delicacy.

Sushi is basically a roll of specially prepared rice with raw seafood, vegetables, fish, egg, and some other tasty food. The rice is usually mixed with vinegar. In its traditional form, Sushi’s most critical component is rice. So, Is sushi without rice still sushi?

If you want to be technical about it, the answer is NO. You cannot make sushi without rice. In fact, rather than the seafood, it is the special way of making rice that makes sushi a unique dish. So, technically no. Without rice, the dish cannot be called sushi. But you can still make tasty sushi-like rolls without rice.

How To Order Sushi Without Rice

How To Order Sushi Without Rice

As I said before, technically, sushi cannot be made without rice. Nevertheless, sushi chefs can make rolls without any rice in them. Sushi chefs can use ingredients like soba noodles; cucumber wraps to make the roll. But this is a challenge that many sushi chefs will not want to take on.

A better bet is asking for sushi with less rice. So, how do you ask for less rice in sushi? Here are a few tips for you:

Communicate Your Situation

Tell the waiter why you want less rice. By stating your problem, you are more likely to get a customized dish with less rice than simply making that demand. The waiters can also point out the dishes containing less rice.

Be Polite

Remember, Sushi is a traditional dish enriched with a strong culture. Sushi chefs undergo years of training to master their craft and often see their dish as a work of art. So, if you tell them to change a dish for you, be courteous.

Request Not Demand

Remember that you are requesting. The chef will have to adjust your request, which is not always possible. Give them more time to prepare your dish, especially during rush hour.

Sushi At Home

Sushi At Home

One thing you can do is make Sushi at home. Sure, the taste will not be like the ones made by master chefs, but you can customize your sushi any way you like – with as little rice as you desire.

Making sushi can be daunting. But there are many simple recipes out there. Some tools will help you in your sushi-making endeavor.

For example, get yourself a Makisu – the wooden mat to perfectly roll the sushi. Also, make sure to keep a decent stock of Wasabi to serve with the homemade sushi.  

You will also need a replacement for the rice. Here we recommend using Soba Noodles

Sashimi – A Riceless Alternative to Sushi

Sashimi - A Riceless Alternative to Sushi

But if you are in a sushi place and the chef is not interested in making a customized dish for you, what will happen then? Fear not! We got you covered.

Most of the dishes in a sushi place indeed have a decent amount of rice. Yet there are some dishes you can find in almost every sushi place that are completely rice-free. One such dish is Sashimi! Many people think Sushi and Sashimi are the same.

But while sushi is basically the rice prepared in a special method, Sashimi is specially preparing the fish. The fish is usually raw and often served on ice. However, because these fish are prepared in a particular way, they are usually not harmful to the body.

Sashimi might be more of an acquired taste than Sushi. But after a few tries, we believe you will also grow to love it. Plus, by ordering Sashimi, you will not have to worry about rice by ordering Sashimi!

Keto Options in a Sushi Place

Keto Options in a Sushi Place

Keto Foods refer to foods that are somewhat rich in protein but have very little carbohydrate. In general, sushi is a bad place if you are following a keto diet due to the heavy use of rice on the menus. This significantly limits your options.

So how do your order keto at a sushi place? First, find out the options that contain the least amount of rice. You are already quite aware of these dishes. It is generally advised to avoid sushi in this case and just order a Sashimi that has no carbs.

But if you are adamant about having a roll, then your only option is ordering a Naruto roll where rice is carefully replaced by cucumber wrap. However, this is not available in all the restaurants. In such cases, your best bet is to order the Sashimi.


  • What is Sushi Without Rice Called?

Many Sushi enthusiasts will say that it is not sushi if there is no rice in it. Still, you definitely can make rolls without rice. One such “Sushi Without Rice” roll is called Naruto Roll, where the rice is replaced by cucumber wrap. This wrap holds everything in place.

  • Can You Make Sushi Without Fish?

Yes, definitely. Most sushi do have fish in it. The fish enhances the taste. However, you can make sushi without fish. For example, there are vegetable rolls, where only different types of vegetables are used alongside rice and vinegar.

  • How to Know if Sushi is Safe to Eat?

Although the fish is raw, the dish will not harm you if prepared properly. The same goes for Sashimi. To understand if the fish is still good to eat just press the fish slightly. If the fish bounces back up then it is good for consumption. On the other hand, don’t eat it, if the fish feels mushy.

Final Words

Now, do you know how to order Sushi without rice?

Technically, sushi without rice is not the traditional and proper sushi. But many dishes use less rice compared to others. Try them out. But if even a little rice is out of the question, then either politely request the chef to make one without rice or try Sashimi.