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Sushi Anyone?


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One food I thoroughly enjoy and eat rather frequently is "Sushi". As you are no doubt aware, Sushi is an umbrella term and can include anything ranging from raw cucumber wrapped in rice to raw sea urchin (uni). I initially cringed at sitting down at the sushi bar and ordering what I wanted, usually a wide assortment of this and that, without really knowing what I was ordering in terms of carbohydrates.

The real (low carb) diet killer with sushi is the rice, one little cup of which carries with it 145 g carbs. Anyone who has eaten at a Japanese restaurant, whether you had sushi or not, will attest to the likelihood of your eating at least one cup of rice. So beware.

Nigiri Sushi is the type where a slice of fish (or whatever) is placed atop a small rectangle of rice. The rice may or may not be surrounded in Nori (seaweed paper). Thus ordering Nigiri Sushi will likely push your total carb count way beyond what you desire if you eat the rice.

Similarly, Maki Zushi refers to the rolled sushi. And most of the sushi rolls likewise contain a good deal of rice alongside their more delicious ingredients. So the same thing goes for Maki Zushi... go lightly.

Another option is Chirashi Zushi, which generally comes as a bowl or box of rice covered with assorted slices of fish. Here you can more easily pick the fish off the top of the bowl and eat your sushi without the carb impact of the rice, but you'll probably feel this was a wasteful order when you see all that left over rice (which you undoubtedly paid for).

So far, not too promising, eh? But don't fret. There is one more option that is precisely what low carbers need!

Sashimi consists in most cases of the same ingredients as the other sushi options but comes with no rice. The slices of fish are generally creatively arranged on a nice looking plate, and is intended for lovers of raw fish. You can't go worng with sashimi! In compensation for the lack of rice, sashimi slices are usually slightly thicker, and so you end up getting more of what you came for. Thus sashimi provides an excellent opportunity for low carb dieters to thoroughly enjoy an very traditional method of serving raw fish. Iitadakimasu!

Below is a chart outlining the nutritional counts for the most common sushi ingredients. From this you will notice that for the most part, all the ingredients are quite low carb. Those with the highest carb counts are the shellfish and the imitation crab (which likely includes some starchy products to create a crab-like appearance). The "extras" in the table include the stuff you'll likely ingest alongside your sushi via miso soup or condiments. One side note worth mentioning is the carb count of Tofu which is easily within range of low carb diet use. Tofu comes in very handy for a variety of American, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese dishes.

All of the counts below are for 1 ounce portions, except for the Miso and Rice counts. The weight of the slice of fish you receive at the sushi bar will vary wildly, but it is probably not the case that it equals exactly one ounce. Thus my use of a one ounce portion does not reflect expected "sushi size" and is only intended as a simple base chart from which you can calculate (should you care to) the carb count of your sushi experience.

item carb* prot fat fib chol sug cal
Tako (Octopus) 0.625 4.225 0.3 0 13.75 0 23.25
Fake Crab (Pollock) 1.95 4.3 0.25 0 8.5 0 28
Saba (Mackerel) 0 5.275 3.95 0 20 0 58
Smoked Salmon 0 5.175 1.225 0 6.5 0 33.25
Raw Salmon 0 5.675 1.8 0 15.5 0 40.25
Ika (Squid) 0.875 4.425 0.4 0 66.25 0 26
Maguro/Ahi (Tuna) 0 6.25 0.3 0 13.25 0 29.25
Hamachi (Yellowtail) 0 6.575 1.5 0 15? 0 41.5
Hirame (Flounder) 0 5.35 0.35 0 13.5 0 26
Amaebi (Raw Shrimp) 0.25 5.75 0.5 0 43.25 0 30
Hokigai (Raw Clam) 0.725 3.625 0.275 0 9.75 0 21
Ikura (Salmon Roe) 0 3 1.5 0 55 0 35
extras
Rice (1/4 cup White) 36 3 0 1 0 0 160
Shyoga (Ginger) 0.525 0.025 0.025 0 0 0? 2.5
Wakame (Seaweed) 0.65 0.225 0.05 0.025 0 0 3.25
Tofu 0.5 2.3 1.4 0.3 0 0 22
Miso (1 tbps paste) 3 2 1 1 0 0 25
Daikon (Radish) 0.45 0.075 0.025 0.175 0 0 2

1 Comments


Nice! Been looking for exactly this , thanks for posting, Carb Lovers Diet.

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