These quick and easy cucumber sushi rolls will become a new staple in your healthy lunch playbook. Crisp carrots, bell peppers, creamy avocado, and sticky sushi rice are stuffed into a refreshing, hollow cucumber. The rolls are then sliced and served with an irresistible sesame sriracha aioli.
Healthy Cucumber Sushi Roll Recipe
Prepare to change up your repertoire of healthy lunch options – or appetizers – with these deliciously fresh cucumber rolls. Featuring a tasty combination of crunchy carrots, bell peppers, velvety avocado, and sticky sushi rice, all snugly nestled within the cool embrace of a hollowed cucumber, this dish is a game-changer for those of you looking out for your bod. Crisp, fresh veggies, and sushi rice sounding a little too healthy, I know, but don’t worry, I got you. The delectable sesame-sriracha aioli these rolls are dipped in is sure to add that extra bit of decadence you are looking for.
I also love that cucumber rolls are customizable, and you can stuff them with pretty much any sushi roll filling you can think of. They are a must-try for anyone seeking a quick and healthy cooking adventure.
Why You Should Make Cucumber Sushi Rolls
I like so many things about these rolls. It’s hard to pick just a few, but I did my best. Here’s why I think you absolutely have to try this recipe right now.
- Healthy. Lower in carbs than a traditional sushi roll and loaded with nutrients and fiber from the multitude of veggies stuffed into them, these rolls are not only good but also good for you.
- Refreshing crunch. Cucumber rolls offer a refreshing and satisfying crunch. The crispness of the cucumber provides a delightful contrast to the creamy texture of the avocado and the tender sushi rice.
- Yummy sauce. You’ve got to sin a little, so I decided to pair these healthy rolls with a creamy sriracha aioli with hints of toasted sesame. It’s so delicious and rounds out the meal beautifully.
- Customizable. Cucumber rolls are a versatile canvas for your cravings. You can fill them with various ingredients, from fresh fish to tofu, making them perfect for seafood lovers and vegetarians.
Ingredients For Cucumber Sushi
- Sushi Rice & Water: Sushi rice really does make a difference here.
- Larger Cucumbers: You want them to be big enough to hollow out to the point where you can actually stuff them.
- Red bell pepper
Ingredients For The Sriracha Mayo
- Soy sauce
- Toasted sesame oil
Sushi Rice vs. Regular Rice
Sushi rice is a short-grain rice variety that holds a lot more starch than other kinds of rice. This makes it preferable for making sushi because the starch helps the grains of rice stick together. If you try to use conventional rice in these rolls, the individual grains will likely fall out of the roll, whereas the grains of sushi rice will cling together making for a much more manageable meal.
How to Make Cucumber Sushi Rolls
Here’s an overview of how to make this delicious, health-conscious lunch. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more thorough instructions.
Make the rice
- Rinse. Rinse the rice well.
- Cook. Combine the water and the rice in a saucepan and cook it according to the packaging directions. You can also cook it in an Instant Pot; combine the water and rice, seal the IP, and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure manually. Fluff the rice with a fork.
- Cool. Transfer the cooked rice to a bowl to cool.
Make the rolls and sauce
- Core the cucumbers. Cut each cucumber in half crosswise and remove the seeds.
- Fill. Press the rice into the cucumbers and press it against one side. Slide in the avocado and veggies.
- Slice. Cut the stuffed cucumber rolls into slices.
- Make the sauce. Whisk together the mayo, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha.
- Serve. Serve the rolls cold with sriracha-sesame mayo.
Other Filling Ideas For Cucumber Rolls
This cucumber recipe is a clean sheet for fresh ideas. Start with the traditional carrot, bell pepper, avocado, and sushi rice filling to get the basics down, but then feel free to branch out with any (or all) of these other delicious renditions.
- Seafood. Stuff cucumber rolls with fresh, raw salmon, smoked salmon, lump crab meat, or imitation crab. If you are using raw fish, make sure it’s sashimi grade with absolutely zero signs of spoilage.
- Tofu. Slide some raw or sautéed tofu into your cucumber rolls for a dose of vegetarian-friendly protein.
- Other veggies. Don’t limit yourself to carrots and bell peppers. Other veggies that would be fun are daikon, marinated beets, red cabbage, or sprouts. Those are just some ideas, though. Feel free to get creative.
- Phili roll. I love a good Phili roll when I go out for sushi. Go ahead and stuff some sashimi-grade or smoked salmon into your cucumber rolls along with a little cream cheese.
- Copycat. Pull up your favorite sushi restaurant’s menu online, pick out a roll, and use it for inspiration.
Tips for Perfect Cucumber Sushi Rolls
- Sushi rice is key. Do not try to use any other kind of rice here, folks. You need the starchy, stickiness of the sushi rice otherwise, it will not hold together, and you’ll have rice falling out of your rolls before they make it to your mouth.
- Use the right cucumber. Start with straight, firm cucumbers that are nice and wide. They will be easier to hollow out.
- Choose your tools wisely. Hollowing out a cucumber can be tough work. I recommend using a narrow knife, a small spoon, or, better yet, an apple corer.
- Press. Don’t be afraid to press your ingredients tightly against one another. If you don’t, there’s no way you’ll fit everything in. Start by pressing the sushi rice firmly into the interior of the cucumber to make as much space for the other ingredients as possible, and follow suit with the rest.
What To Serve With Cucumber Sushi
While you could enjoy these fresh, colorful rolls on their own, they’re even better with a little company. Dip them in sauce (that’s pretty much a non-negotiable) and serve them with a side or with your favorite Japanese-inspired main. Here are some ideas for you.
- Sauce. Obviously, I’m partial to my delicious sesame-sriracha aioli but you may very well want to experiment with alternative or additional sauces. Soy sauce or teriyaki would be great. I like mixing a little wasabi into my soy sauce for a spicy kick.
- With a side. Mimic your favorite sushi restaurant and serve your rolls with my Sesame Cucumber Salad or my Japanese Kani Salad.
- As a side. Serve these veggie-loaded rolls as an accompaniment to a heartier Japanese-inspired main. Try my Pork Katsu, Chicken Katsu, or Chicken Teriyaki Recipe. You could even serve it alongside more traditional Maki Rolls if you’d like.
- With sake. One of my favorite parts of Japanese cuisine is the tradition of warm sake (rice wine) served in pitchers that you get to pour into tiny little cups. Recreate that tradition at home with a quality sake from your liquor store.
Can Cucumber Rolls Be Prepared In Advance?
They can! You can make the rice, slice the veggies, make the sauce, and hollow out the cucumbers up to 2 days in advance. Store everything in separate airtight containers in the fridge. When you’re ready to enjoy, all that’s left to do is assemble. You can also just follow the whole recipe from start to finish and store the rolls and the sauce in separate airtight containers. They should be good in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More Healthy Lunch Ideas
If you are searching for more lunch recipes that will help you stay on track with your health goals, here are some ideas for you.
- La Scala Chopped Salad
- Chopped Salmon Salad
- Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes
- Chicken Taco Soup
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Instant Pot Chicken Tinga
Cucumber Sushi Rolls
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 1¼ cup water
- 4 large cucumbers
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin slices
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
- 1 avocado, peeled and cut into 8 slices
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Rinse. Rinse the rice in a fine-sieved colander until the water runs clear.
- Cook. Combine the rice and water in a saucepan and cover the pan with a lid. Cook over medium-high heat until the water begins to simmer. Then, lower the heat to medium-low, maintain the simmer, and let it cook for 16 to 18 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed and the rice is tender. After removing from the heat, keep the lid on and allow the rice to steam for another 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluffy the rice with a fork.
- Cool. Transfer the cooked rice to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature before using it in the rolls.
- Core the cucumbers. Cut each cucumber in half crosswise and, using an apple corer, a long, narrow knife, or a small spoon, remove some of the flesh and all the seeds so that you have hollow cucumbers.
- Fill. Push the rice into each cucumber half and press it toward one side using your fingers. Gently slide a slice of red bell pepper into either end of the cucumber. Do the same with the carrot slices and sliced avocado. Repeat with the remaining cucumber halves. If you have extra space, add more of the ingredients you already have, or try sprouts or even tofu.
- Slice. Cut the stuffed cucumber rolls into ½ inch slices.
- Make the aioli. Whisk together the mayo, sriracha, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
- Serve. Serve the rolls cold with the sriracha-sesame mayo.
- Sushi Rice is Essential. Only sushi rice will do for this dish due to its unique sticky texture. Other rice varieties won’t stay put, resulting in a messy eating experience. Note that you may have extra rice at the end. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for another use.
- Cooking Sushi Rice in the Instant Pot: Transfer the rice to the bowl of the Instant Pot and add the water. Seal the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure valve and opening the Instant Pot.
- Rice Cooker Instructions: Stir the rice and water in the bowl of a rice cooker. Cover and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Pick the Perfect Cucumber. Opt for straight, large, but wider cucumbers – they are easier to core.
- Select the Right Tool. Carving out a cucumber can be challenging. A thin knife, a small spoon, or an apple corer can simplify the process.
- Pack Tightly. Ensure all ingredients are firmly pressed together to fit inside the cucumber. Start with a solid foundation of sushi rice and continue this technique with the remaining fillings.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.