Sushi is something we all love! But have you thought about why you might have had that upset stomach after having sushi? Well, that may be because you are lactose intolerant, and the sushi you ate had imitation crab in it.
Is sushi dairy-free? While some sushi may be dairy-free, all are not. Sushi may contain traces of dairy in them or dairy itself, such as different types of cheese, cream, imitation crab meat, milk, etc.
Read on to know more about sushi, whether it’s dairy-free, and whether all sushi is dairy-free. This article will also discuss how to choose dairy-free sushi and what some alternatives are.
What Is Sushi?
Sushi is a Japanese dish that was initially created as a way to preserve fish. It is usually made with vinegar rice, seafood such as tuna and salmon, vegetables, and sometimes eggs.
There are many different types of sushi rolls- the most popular of which are the California Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll.
Sushi is made by taking sushi-grade fish and slicing it into thin strips. The sushi-grade fish is then placed on top of a ball of sushi rice. The sushi rice is then rolled up in nori (seaweed paper) and served with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi.
Sushi originated in Southeast Asia and was brought to Japan by the Chinese. It is thought that sushi was first created as a way to preserve fish. The fish was salted and wrapped in rice, which would ferment and preserve the fish.
The first mention of sushi in Japan is from a book called “Ryobi Shoryuki”, which was written in the mid-eighteenth century. In this book, sushi is described as being a dish made with rice and fish that has been salted and fermented.
Different Types of Sushi
There are many different types of sushi, but the most popular ones are sushi rolls. The most popular sushi rolls are the California Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll.
The California Roll is made with sushi rice, cucumber, avocado, and crab meat. The Spicy Tuna Roll is made with sushi rice, tuna, and spicy mayo.
Other popular sushi rolls include the Salmon Roll, Yellowtail Roll, Eel Roll, and Shrimp Roll.
Sushis can be dairy-free, the ones containing totally no dairy in them are dairy-free sushi. People who are lactose intolerant and ones on a dairy-free diet prefer to have dairy-free sushis.
How Does Sushi Contain Dairy?
Sushi can contain dairy in a few different ways. The most common way sushi contains dairy is by using imitation crab meat, which is made with milk proteins and contains whey.
Some sushi rolls also contain cheese, such as the Philly Roll and Manhattan Roll. These sushi rolls are usually made with cream cheese, Swiss cheese, or American cheese.
Milk can also be used in sushi rolls as a way to make them more creamy. This is most common in the Dynamite Roll, which is made with salmon, shrimp, and scallops.
Finally, some sushi restaurants will use mayonnaise or sour cream as a way to add creaminess to sushi rolls.
Types of Dairy-free Sushi Rolls
There are some sushi rolls that do not contain any dairy products. Some dairy-free Sushi rolls are given below;
- Vegan Rolls: These rolls usually contain nothing except vegetables making it risk-free to eat for people who want to avoid dairy.
- Tiger Roll: It contains avocado, shrimp tempura, cucumber, tobiko (flying fish roe — fish eggs).
- Crunch Roll: This contains spicy tuna, crispy seaweed, tempura.
- Dragon Roll: The ingredients in this are eel, crab, cucumber/avocado outside, eel sauce.
- Caterpillar Roll: The ingredients in this roll are eel, cucumber, avocado.
- Shrimp Tempura Roll: This roll contains shrimp tempura, avocado, tempura flakes, eel sauce.
- Surf and Turf Roll: This roll has cucumber, fish cake/imitation crab, beef, carrot, tuna, salmon, avocado in it.
- Volcano Roll: The contents will vary, but it will have some kind of topping that makes the roll appear to be exploding. So you can use any ingredients that are dairy-free.
- Yamagobo Roll: Yamagobo is a type of pickled ginger root, and this roll will also contain cucumber, sushi rice, and nori (seaweed paper).
- Kappa Maki: This is a cucumber sushi roll.
- Soya Maki: This sushi roll is made with soya beans, making it a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.
- Tamagoyaki: This is an omelet sushi roll, and it can be made with either egg or soya.
- Salmon Skin Roll: This sushi roll is made with cucumber and salmon skin, which gives the sushi its pinkish color.
- Salmon Roe: This sushi roll is made with cucumber and salmon roe, which gives the sushi its orange color.
- Tekka Maki: This sushi roll is made with tuna and cucumber.
- Tobiko Nigiri: This sushi roll is made with tobiko, which are flying fish roe, and sushi rice.
- Unagi Nigiri: This sushi roll is made with eel and sushi rice.
- Uni Roll: This sushi roll is made with sea urchin and sushi rice.
How Can You Tell If a Sushi Roll Contains Dairy?
If you are looking to order dairy-free sushi, it can be difficult to know whether or not the sushi roll you are ordering contains dairy.
- The best way to tell if a sushi roll contains dairy is by checking the ingredients list on the menu.
- By the presence of words such as “milk”, “cheese”, or by the use of symbols such as a cow.
- If you are ordering sushi at a sushi restaurant, you can also ask your sushi chef if the sushi roll you are ordering contains dairy. They will be able to tell you which ingredients in the sushi roll contain dairy and which ones do not.
- By doing little research beforehand on which sushi types usually contain dairy.
Some sushi rolls that are known to contain dairy products include the Philly Roll, Manhattan Roll, California Roll, Spider Roll, and Dynamite Roll.
LEARN MORE: What Is Shredded Nori?
What Are Some Dairy-Free Alternatives to Sushi?
If you are looking for some dairy-free alternatives to sushi, there are some options available.
One dairy-free alternative to sushi is sashimi. Sashimi is sushi without rice, so it is just fish or seafood with no other ingredients. This makes sashimi a good option for those on a dairy-free diet.
Another dairy-free alternative to sushi is rolls made with cucumber or avocado instead of sushi rice. These rolls are usually called “ cucumber rolls” or “avocado rolls” and can be found at most sushi restaurants.
Finally, there are also some frozen sushi options that are dairy-free. These sushi rolls are usually pre-made and can be found at most grocery stores.
Some Good Substitutes for Dairy in Sushi Rolls
- Sushi rolls can also be made with avocado, cucumber, or tofu as a way to add creaminess without using dairy.
- In sushi restaurants, you can also ask for soy milk to be used instead of regular milk in your sushi roll. And, many sushi places will have vegan-friendly options as well.
- You can use plant-based cheese and mayo or plant-based vegan products as substitutes for dairy in sushi rolls. There are a number of vegan-friendly brands that make these products, so it should be easy to find something that will work for you.
- Some restaurants may also have a “vegetarian” sushi roll which will not contain any meat or seafood but will still have all the flavors and textures of a traditional sushi roll.
These substitutes will not make your sushi roll taste exactly the same as one made with cheese or other dairies, but they will still be delicious!
Conclusion: Is Sushi Dairy Free?
Sushi is a delicious Japanese dish that can be enjoyed by everyone, whether they are on a dairy-free diet or not. While all sushi rolls are not dairy-free, there are many sushi rolls that do not contain any dairy products.
To order a sushi roll that is dairy-free, you will need to ask for one without imitation crab meat, cheese, mayonnaise, or sour cream. With a few simple substitutions, you can enjoy delicious sushi without any dairy!