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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gluten and Soy Free Cucumber Sushi Rolls (Kappa Maki) Cool Meals for Hot Summer Days

Free of gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, eggs, corn

Whew is it ever hot. The last few days in Madison, WI, have, according to the weather network, felt like 122F (50 degree Celsius for my Canadians readers!). Every morning I wake up groggy because it's been so hot at night, I almost long for the snow of just a couple of months ago.

So these gluten and soy free cucumber sushi rolls came about for lunch today as a result of 3 things:

1) There was brown rice in the fridge and I picked up a basket of mini cucumbers at the farmers market this morning
2) As a Vancouverite, I am naturally addicted to sushi (if you need clarification on this, check out my posts on Canadian Food )
3) Most importantly, I don't want to slave over a hot stove and these are super quick to make!!

If you have leftover brown rice in your fridge, these cucumber rolls (a.k.a. kappa maki) take about 5 minutes to make. Otherwise, you can follow the directions for cooking brown rice below.

Alternatively, you can easily swap the cucumber with some shredded carrots, chicken, lettuce, or whatever else you have kicking around.You could also use white rice as this is what most restaurants use, but brown rice is a healthier option when available.

(FYI, there is a recipe for STEAMED VEGETABLE SUSHI in my upcoming cookbook on Oral Allergy Syndrome that is friendly for those with OAS and who can't have fresh veggies).


1/2 c dried brown rice
1c water
1 Tbsp rice vinegar (available in the Asian section of most markets)
1 Tbsp coconut aminos (a gluten and soy free alternative to soy sauce. If soy is not a problem for you, Bragg amino acids or Tamari are GF but not soy free alternatives that are easier to find & cheaper)
1 cucumber
1 sheet Nori sushi (available in the Asian section of most markets)


1. In a pot, rinse the brown rice with cold water, swirl and strain. Repeat 2 or 3 times until the water is not longer cloudy.

2. Add the 1 c water to the rice and optional coconut aminos or GF alternative. Bring water to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, add the rice vinegar and fluff with a fork. Let the rice cool.

3. Slice cucumber into thin sticks, approx the length of a nori sheet (most kappa maki have 3 sticks of cucumber. Depending on your cucumber, you may choose to remove the seeds)

4. Lay a sushi mat on a flat surface (sushi mats are available in most Asian sections or markets for about $1.50).  *Hint* : I learned to carefully wrap my mat with a sheet of plastic wrap to protect it from messy, sticky rice spills.

  Lay a nori sheet on the sushi mat and scoop about 2/3c of rice onto the mat.  Carefully spread the rice out, patting and pressing it down.  Leave approx 1" of the nori sheet nearest you free from rice.

The following photos is one where I used mixed veggies, but you get the idea. There is 1" of the nori sheet left clean of rice and veggies.

(Most nori sheets come with diagrams on the back to show you how to do this, below is my explanation of this!)

Lay out your cucumber lengthwise. Use the sushi mat to lift the edge closest to you up and over the cucumbers, using your fingers to tuck the cucumber into the fold and pull back towards yourself while pressing forward on the mat with your thumbs to create a tight roll. Pull the mat up so that it doesn't get rolled into the sushi roll, and use the mat to alternately roll the nori sheet forward and pull back towards yourself to make a tight roll. Roll until the end of the sheet and press gently downwards on the sticky rice to seal the roll shut.

Move the roll to a cutting board and slice into 3/4" rounds.  Serve with more coconut aminos/GF soy sauce for dipping.  

And there it is! A healthy, filling lunch/dinner/snack that is perfect for a hot day and minimized time in the kitchen.

Do you eat sushi? If so, what's your favorite type?

This post was shared on the following great link parties: Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Musings of a Housewife, Natural Living Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Traditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Hearth and Soul, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Tasty Traditions, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday on Designs by Gollum, Gluten Free Fridays,Whole Foods Friday, From the Farm Blog Hop,   


  1. I wish I had this recipe when it was super hot here in NY... wonderful light and flavorful. Thank you for sharing it with us on foodie friday.

  2. These look so yummy. I have an overload of cucumbers right now too. Thank you for sharing on Foodie Friday

  3. I make mine with a thin layer of umeboshi plum paste, then avocado, cucumbers and top with pickled ginger. To make it super easy I just roll it up and eat it as is without cutting it up.

    1. Yum! Plum paste would be awesome, and do love pickled ginger so much. Thanks for sharing, catherine.


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