Deconstructed (Paleo) Sushi Bowl

Sometimes, a “project” recipe can be fun. You know the kind I mean, right? You research the recipe, buy special ingredients, and set aside a weekend afternoon to roll up your sleeves and spend the day playing in the kitchen. Then you mentally give yourself a standing ovation while you eat it, and maybe brag to your dining companions about what a badass you are in the kitchen.

But then, most days, you just want to eat.

Rightly or wrongly, I think of sushi rolls as a project: There’s all that fine chopping and rolling and… well, I guess I’m lazy when I’m hungry. This recipe from Well Fed Weeknights delivers the contrasting flavors and textures of a fresh maki roll in a friendly bowl. It’s sushi you eat with a fork! And it takes just 35 minutes, fridge to table.


Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

Serves 2-4 | Total Time 35-40 minutes | Tools: food processor | Whole30 compliant

Cauliflower Rice:
  • 1 large head cauliflower

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Crispy Nori:
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 sheets nori

Rice Garnish:
  • wasabi powder

  • coconut aminos

  • unseasoned rice vinegar

  • toasted sesame seeds

Shrimp Bowl:
  • 4 scallions

  • 1 ripe mango

  • 1 medium red bell pepper

  • 1 avocado

  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked shrimp


Cook the rice. Break the cauliflower into florets, removing the stems. Place the florets in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice, about 10 pulses. Warm the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high, 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower and salt; toss with a rubber spatula to coat the rice in oil, then cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Set a timer for 15 minutes.


Crisp the nori. Place the olive oil in another nonstick skillet and warm it over medium-high heat, 2 minutes. While the oil heats, stack the nori sheets and cut them into quarters. Roll each pile of quarter-sheets into a thin cylinder, then cut it into very thin strips. Add them to the pan, toss to coat with the oil, and stir-fry until very dark green and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with a little salt.


Make the wasabi. Mix the wasabi powder with water according to the package directions and set aside.


Prep the shrimp bowl ingredients. Slice the dark green part of the scallions into 2-inch-long batons. Peel and dice the mango. Cut the red pepper into thin strips. Dice the avocado. Cut the shrimp into bite-sized pieces, if necessary.


To serve, give each of your dining companions a bowl of rice and encourage them to add wasabi paste, coconut aminos, and rice vinegar, according to their whims. Then invite them to top their rice with shrimp, scallions, mango, bell pepper, and avocado. Sprinkle each bowl with crispy nori strips and sesame seeds.

You Know How You Could Do That?

Beat an egg or two, cook like a thin omelet, then cut it into strips and add to the bowl. Or replace the shrimp, mango, and bell pepper with smoked salmon, cucumber slices, and julienned jicama.

Cookup Tips

Rice and cook the cauliflower and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, prep the other ingredients while you reheat the rice.


You can pre-order Well Fed Weeknights so many awesome places, including my online store. I encourage you to support your favorite local bookstore by pre-ordering there—or use these links to order online.

Amazon | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | BAM! Books-a-Million | Barnes & Noble | BookPeople
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Download the free 70-page sampler for 18 awesome recipes you can cook in 45 minutes or less!

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  • Meg says:

    Another winner Mel! This was actually more delicious than I thought it would be! I made the recipe exactly as you suggested – over oven roasted cauliflower- rice and then I made a sauce of the wasabi powder, aminos and rice vinegar and drizzled it over everything (no choices!) and it was beautiful, light and very flavorful!

  • Nicole says:

    Great recipe! My family loved it. For simplicity, I swapped the rice garnishment for a little sprinkle of soy sauce. Not sure if that makes it non-Paleo.

    Thanks for creating this yummy recipe!

    • Glad you liked it! Soy sauce isn’t paleo—soy is a legume and can cause inflammation—that’s why I recommend coconut aminos. But if you’re happy with soy sauce, go for it. 🙂

  • Dana Zia says:

    HI Mel!
    I’ve been following your wonderful adventures since discovering you with your very first and magnificent cookbook, Well Fed 1. Oh my, I had to get that book spiral bound I have used it so much. Congrats on moving to your beloved Prague and having a blast! I’m back to the paleo world after a wonderful year and a half of falling off the cart into the cookies, wine and cheese. The first place I go for inspiration is you. Yes, you you you. You ROCK! Thanks for being a beacon flashing your light to guide me back through the storm of cravings and inflammation. ((Hugs)) and keep on rocking.

    • Hello, old friend! Welcome back to veggies and meat 🙂 I’m so glad Well Fed has been your companion along the way—thank you for hanging in with me. Hugs right back to you!