One of the most common questions clients ask is how to eat healthy at Japanese restaurants, especially when it comes to sushi. Sushi can go one of two ways - super clean and lean, or total calorie bomb. Unfortunately, Americans have (surprise, surprise) botched the simple sushi concept, and most restaurants offer a long list of options described as "crunchy", "flaky", and "spicy", or in other words, fried, loaded with mayo, and highly caloric. Let's be honest, the white sticky rice used to make sushi rolls is no healthier than white Wonder Bread, and it's probably atypical that Wonder Bread would ever debut on your dinner plate, right?
Before you vow to never eat sushi again, take a deep breath! There are ways to avoid this diet disaster. Here are our Tovita tips for doing sushi right.
- Start with a green or seaweed salad, edamame, or soup. These are all light appetizers that will start to fill you up. Many people worry they might leave a sushi dinner still hungry and over-order. Eating a light appetizer will help the "eyes are bigger than your stomach" issue.
- If you are ordering a roll, look for the simple options - just fish, cucumber, and avocado. Avoid anything with tempura or spicy mayo. Sashimi is a great way to go to keep it clean and avoid all of the unnecessary additions.
- We're all about the ginger and wasabi, but go easy on the soy sauce. Most places will have a low-sodium soy sauce to help your cause but still keep it light rather than drowning your roll in it. Overdoing the salt will cause dehydration and puffiness.
- Ask for brown rice to up the fiber content. Stick to one rice roll and ask for the other as a "naruto" roll, meaning it's wrapped in cucumber rather than rice. You are also always safe with a sashimi salad. Other friendly words to look out for on any menu: crudo, tartar, and tataki. AKA simple fish dishes sans the rice.
Now to share our Tovita picks from a favorite NYC sushi spot, Mamoya!
- Edamame to share
- Miso soup or seaweed salad
- Tuna avocado appetizer to share
- Salmon avocado roll with brown rice
- Ask for 1 naruto style roll with fish of choice
- Still hungry? Go for 2-3 pieces of sashimi, fish of choice
- Not a sushi fan and dragged to sushi with your friends? The broiled Chilean sea bass is a great option!