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Photo by Candice Kumai
May 4, 2016

Growing up with a beautiful Japanese mother in sunny San Diego, I learned how to master Eastern cooking and lifestyle methods in a Western world.

Before I began to even read or write, I knew how to cook and make sushi. My incredibly talented and detail-oriented mom taught us to make simple sushi—nori hand rolls. Nori is a type of seaweed that acts as a perfect wrap for various fillings.

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Why eat seaweed?

Sea veggies are naturally low in both calories and fat. Seaweed contains amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals—especially vitamins B12, C, D, E, and K and minerals including potassium, calcium, iodine, zinc, and fiber.

Seaweed could help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and it's rumored to boost libido, too (ooh-la-la!).

So, start going green with sea veggies!

Today, I'm sharing how to make nori hand rolls, just like my mom taught me. They're the perfect treat on the go, for lunch, or as a power snack post-workout!

Candice's at-home Nori Rolls

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 sheets toasted nori (seaweed)
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked brown rice
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Optional Fillers

  • Ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • Fresh basil, stems removed
  • Cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs
  • Carrots, thinly sliced
  • Japanese kaiware sprouts
  • Japanese umeboshi plums, seeds discarded
  • Daikon pickles

Optional Proteins

  • Imitation crabmeat pieces or sticks
  • Smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • Smoked tofu, thinly sliced
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Optional Seasonings

  • Furikake (Japanese Mrs. Dash)
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Togarashi
  • Sriracha hot sauce
  • Reduced-sodium soy sauce, for dipping
  • Ponzu sauce, for dipping

Preparation

1. Using kitchen shears, cut the nori in half. You should have 20 to 24 half-sheets. Have ready a small bowl of room-temperature water.

2. Place the nori half vertically in front of you on a clean surface.

3. Place approximately 1⁄4 cup of brown rice diagonally on the bottom left corner of a nori sheet. Top with your choice of fillers, proteins, and seasonings. Tightly roll the nori into a cone shape around the filling and seal the edge of the nori with a dab of water.

4. Dip in your choice of sauces or just enjoy as is!

For more Japanese inspiration and fresh recipes, follow me on Instagram @CandiceKumai.

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Candice Kumai
Candice Kumai

Candice Kumai, quoted by Elle Magazine as “the golden girl of the wellness world”, is a classically trained chef, wellness journalist and best-selling author of Clean Green Eats, Clean Green Drinks, Pretty Delicious, Cook Yourself Sexy and Cook Yourself Thin. She is a regular contributor on E! News and The Dr. Oz Show and has appeared as a regular judge on Iron Chef America and Beat Bobby Flay. She contributes to lifestyle publications such as Cosmopolitan, Shape, Yoga Journal, Men’s Health, Clean Eating and Prevention and volunteers at dozens of charitable organizations. She is a Top Chef alumni, and is obsessed with avocados, yoga, bar method, coconut and her cat, Sisi. She lives in New York City.