5 Pregnancy-Safe Sushi Recipes

When you get pregnant, people love to contribute their (sometimes unwanted) two cents. A frequent subject of their advice? What you should–or shouldn’t–be eating.

There’s loads of talk about what a safe and healthy pregnancy diet really looks like, and in reality, it’s a bit different for everyone. However, there are certain foods that can pose a risk during pregnancy and it’s important to know what those are. We’ve got a whole breakdown of Do’s & Don’ts when it comes to your pregnancy diet (with ideas for easy swaps) in the Baby2Body App – so be sure to check that out! 

You’re probably already aware that raw fish tends to make the ‘avoid’ list during pregnancy, and sadly, that means sushi is often off the menu. But do you actually have to pass on all sushi if you’re expecting? Not necessarily… 

If we’re talking sushi in the “traditional sense,” where it’s made up of rice and raw fish, then it’s a no-go. Raw fish can put you at risk for contracting listeria (which can harm your baby in-utero) and other parasites that are especially dangerous for pregnant women due to naturally weakened immune systems.

Don’t freak out over all fish, though. Ultimately, fish is a great source of lean protein, and certain varieties are high in super-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids (which has loads of health benefits that are directly beneficial during pregnancy)As long as your fish is cooked, you have nothing to worry about–the FDA encourages pregnant women to eat 2-3 servings of low-mercury fish per week, including mackerel, cod, haddock, herring, pollock, salmon, and trout (just make sure it’s been cooked to 145°F/ 62.8°C).

Now when it comes to sushi and uncooked fish the chance that you’ll get sick is actually rather low, and the NHS in the UK says that it’s “usually safe to eat sushi and other dishes made with raw fish when you’re pregnant” but that you should know where it’s sourced from and avoid larger fish that’s usually high in mercury. 

Across the pond in the U.S., doctors have slightly more conservative recommendations, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that women shouldn’t eat raw fish while pregnant just to be safe.

We’re all about helping you stay informed so you can make the best decision for you and your baby. But it’s always a good idea to play it on the safer side. We know that sushi is a super-common craving during pregnancy (likely because so many people tell us we can’t have it), and for many moms it’s the top choice for ‘the first meal after birth’.  The good news here today is that you can totally do sushi safely to satisfy those cravings while expecting, without having to take any raw-fish risks. Keep reading for our favorite pregnancy-safe sushi recipes!

Homemade Pregnancy-Safe Sushi Recipes

The Rainbow Veggie Roll

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Inspired by Veggie Magnifique

What you’ll need for the rolls:

  • 4 nori sheets
  • 1 cup rice or quinoa 
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • Cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, and asparagus
  • Baby spinach
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP agave syrup

What you’ll need for the sauce:

  • 2 TBSP tahini
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp. tamari
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 TBSP rice vinegar

How to make it:

  1. Cook your brown rice or quinoa and let cool
  2. Mix rice with soy sauce and agave syrup
  3. Matchstick-chop veggies of your choice
  4. Lay down a nori sheet, rough side up, and spread two spoonfuls of rice evenly on top, leaving an inch gap on the edges
  5. Layer your veggies on bottom side of sheet, then roll bottom to top (If you’ve never made homemade sushi before, watch how to roll here).
  6. Wet your finger and run it along the edge to stick the roll together, and slice into pieces
  7. For sauce, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and serve alongside your roll

 

The Baked Salmon Roll

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Inspired by Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown or sushi rice
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • Thumb of ginger
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 8 ounces salmon (wild caught, if possible)
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 4 nori sheets
  • Soy sauce

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/204°C
  2. Rinse and cook rice, then set aside
  3. Season salmon with salt and pat dry. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked
  4. Toss cucumbers and carrots with vinegar, oil, salt, and sugar
  5. Once the salmon has cooled and flake apart
  6. Place a sheet of nori rough side up. Spread a thin layer of rice evenly on top, then add 1/4 cup of veggies, one portion of salmon, and a few slices of avocado. Roll, slice, and serve with soy sauce.

 

The Spicy Shiitake Mushroom Roll

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Inspired by Olives For Dinner

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1 TBSP agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 nori sheets
  • To serve: pickled ginger and soy sauce

How to make it:

  1. Soak the rice in cold water for about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and cook with 2 cups of water.
  2. Whisk rice vinegar, sugar, and agave and add to cooked rice. Stir thoroughly.
  3. In a small saucepan, sauté mushrooms in olive oil with red chili flakes and grated ginger, to taste. 
  4. Spread sushi rice on nori sheet, then place mushrooms on the shorter end of the nori sheet. Add spinach and cucumber, roll, and slice into pieces.
  5. Serve with pickled ginger and soy sauce.

 

The Avocado and Shrimp Roll

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Inspired by Maureen Callahan

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 TBSP wasabi (optional)
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
  • 12 large shrimp, cooked and halved
  • 4 nori sheets
  • Thinly sliced cucumber
  • Soy sauce

How to make it:

  1. Rinse and cook rice, then mix in vinegar and allow to cool
  2. Mix mashed avocado and wasabi (optional) in a bowl. In a separate bowl, toss shrimp with cilantro
  3. Place nori sheet rough side up and spread evenly with rice. Spread 1 TBSP avocado mixture over rice, then place shrimp and cucumber slices at bottom of nori sheet
  4. Roll firmly, seal edges, and slice. Serve with soy sauce.

 

The Sweet Potato Tempura Roll

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Inspired by Rachel Gaewski

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 4 sheets nori
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • ½ cup all purpose flour (60 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ cup ice water (180 mL)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into thin chunks
  • 1 avocado

How to make it

  1. Rinse and cook sushi rice, mix with vinegar, sugar, and salt, and set aside
  2. Heat oil in a medium pot until it reaches 375ºF/190ºC
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper, and whisk thoroughly. Add ice water and mix until smooth. Dip potato chunks in the mixture and coat evenly.
  4. Carefully drop potato chunks into the hot oil. Cook 3-4 minutes until crispy, then transfer to paper-towel lined plate to soak up excess oil.
  5. Place nori sheet rough side up. Evenly spread rice, then layer sweet potato and avocado at the bottom. Roll rightly and slice into pieces. Enjoy!

Is there food you’re craving but can’t eat while pregnant? Share in the comments below! We love seeing you get inspired by these recipe ideas as well, so if you make some pregnancy-safe sushi, be sure to share on Instagram and tag us @baby2bodyofficial.

And don’t forget, we have loads of delicious, healthy, pregnancy-safe recipes in our newly updated Baby2Body app!

Baby2Body

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