Nori Rolls with Sticky Brown Rice

Ali Segersten Feb 16, 2009 22 comments

Nori rolls are an all-time favorite in our family. They were a staple food through all of my pregnancies, I could even handle them during the 17 weeks of extreme nausea I experienced while pregnant with my twins!

Whenever our family goes out for a hike, a day at the beach, up to the mountain to play in the snow, or on an airplane trip, these rolls are sure to go too. They are the ultimate in healthy snack foods.

The seaweed is salty and full of trace minerals, the sticky brown rice is slightly sweet and nourishing. Then add in whatever vegetables please your palette and maybe a dab of leftover cooked salmon or sautéed tofu and you are good to go. A well-rounded meal or snack.

Slice them or leave them whole. Eat them with wasabi and tamari or eat them plain. Maybe a bite of pickled ginger here and there. Do what pleases you and your dietary needs.


Nori rolls are gluten, dairy, egg, nut, and soy-free (as long as you leave out the tofu and no tamari for dipping) making them a great food to eat while on The Elimination Diet. Try dipping them in the Plum Ginger Sauce recipe below for a tasty treat. I know plums are out of season right now. I make this sauce with the Italian plums that we harvested this past September. I have large containers of the halved plums in my freezer. I am not sure what could work as a replacement, maybe frozen peaches or fresh apples?

So now the recipe (which can also be found in my cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook). You'll see in the picture that I added a little bit of cooked salmon (which was leftover from the night before). You can also add sautéed tofu and tempeh (though not if you are on the elimination diet). Or just do them with veggies. Here I made them with carrots, red cabbage, green onions, and avocado. Uncut, these rolls can last for days in the fridge. Pack them in your child's lunchbox for school or bring them to work.


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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For a little verity you may like a recipe that your nori rolls inspired for our house. mexican nori rolls mix cooked rice thats been seasoned with chilli powder,cumin,garlic,and onipn with mashed pinto beans (refried beans) and just enough salsa to combine the rice and beans into a chunky peanut butter consistancy spread even layer over nori sheet and top with favorite mexican veggies (main are spinach,onion,tomatoes and olives) in thin layer do not over fill. take either a slice of cheese the width of your finger and length of nori or for non dairy slightly steemed yellow pepper and put on one edge of nori roll starting with cheese so cheese ends in the center serve as is or cut like sushi dipped in mashed avacodo mixes with salsa to taste ( my son also adds sour cream to dip mix we are trying to go dairy free but not there yet )

Ali, I just came across your website and love it. I have recently starting using nori in lots of dishes. Was wondering about your thoughts...the asian market sells many varieties and pretty inexpensive. Whole Foods sells an Organic nori for about 3x the price of asian markets. Should one purchase organic nori, or is the typical asian market nori pretty "clean"?
Thank you!

I love nori rolls and I have to add that if you purchase a bamboo mat and rice paddle (fluffer), it's an even better experience! You can purchase both for $5 total at any Asian market near you.

Hey Ali,

Thanks so much for this recipe. I just made these this afternoon and they were amazing. I'm now on day 10 of the elimination diet and I feel AMAZING!!

P.S. I forgot to spread the rice on the whole nori sheet, but it all worked out in the end. Check out my pics on my Fried Eggs and Toast Facebook fan page.


We LOVE nori rolls, especially a simple avocado & cucumber roll. For halloween, my husband used emperor's forbidden black rice, which is very sticky & smoked salmon. We are all gluten-intolerant & my husband & son don't tolerate soy. We recently discovered coconut enzymes, a raw, soy- & gluten-free soy sauce alternative that we really like for dipping. Thank you for being a source I can trust to help people eat well. I can't tell you how many times I've recommended your cookbook & !blog

I don't tolerate brown rice very well so I use quinoa in my sushi. It's SO yummy.

Wonderful! Glad you enjoy these! Yes, wasabi is fine as long as it is pure and doesn't pose a risk for cross-contamination of say gluten (all powdery, floury things are at risk). I use wasabi from Penzeys Spices - :)

I love this recipe. I am still in phase 1 of the elimination diet, and this has become a lunch time staple for me. I am getting excited to be able to eat them with wheat free tamari in a few days -- is Wasabi okay in any of the phases? Thank you! -- Megan

I just made these, and they are awesome! Cucumber, avocado and mango! So many different combinations. Love it. It never occurred to me that you could make these using brown rice.

Keep up the great work!

Oh - I can't wait to make these tomorrow night for dinner! I love how versatile Nori Rolls are - the sky is the limit. I'm especially looking forward to making the sauce. Thank you!


Yum! That looks really great! I'm usually not a huge fan of seaweed but would be definitely be willing to try this! (Plus, my husband would be really excited as he loves things like this!)

Yum! That's something you'd find at our dinner table too. We love nori rolls :)

We also love to snack on dulse straight out of the bag!

Abbe - Hope these photos were enough to get you through this process. Tom and I actually have thought about doing videos - maybe real life cooking videos with the kids helping and all. :)

Esther - Glad you enjoyed! :) If you make these while the rice is warm, not hot, it should be enough to keep them from cracking. However, if the rice is too hot it will crack the nori. Hope this helps. Somehow I missed these two comments and forgot to respond! :)

LucindaSarina - Making your own sushi is so much fun, and much more nutritious if you use the sticky brown rice. My girls love to roll their own and add fillings of their choice, sliced carrots mostly. :)


Ooh these definitely have me inspired! Sushi is my favorite food, and I really want to learn to make my own since so many at restaurants have soy sauce in them.

I just wanted to let you know I made the Nori Rolls and they were absolutely delicious! I loved the sticky brown rice, too. I will be making these again this week. I had a little trouble with the nori cracking, though, as I rolled them up. I wondered if you had a secret to keep it from cracking? Perhaps it is our dry Arizona weather. Anyway, me, my husband, mom, dad, brother and brother's girlfriend all loved them! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

Thanks for posting this recipe, Ali. I have your book and have wanted to give em a try. They are a little intimidating for someone who has never seen it done before. The photos help, but it would be nice to have cooking video of this. Might you and Tom be interested in starting something like this??? Please!


lifeglutenfree - We love avocados in our house too. My girls like rolls with carrots only, though my boys love the avocado and rice rolls!

-Ali :)

Yum!! I love Nori Rolls. My favorite thing to fill them with is avocado. We always do a few "just avocado" rolls :)

Matt- Yes I agree, I didn't even know what nori or sushi was when I was a kid. It would have been great to be eating it then, but at least we are now!

Shirley - Thanks, these are fantastic! No, I have not yet heard of that alternative fuel, sounds interesting! Hope you get a chance to make these sometime, I love dipping them in tamari and toasted sesame seeds. We buy our nori in packs of 50 sheets, and it is usually gone within 2 weeks. The babies, well now 14 months old, love to eat plain nori sheets as a snack and so do the girls!

Looks awesome, wish I had lunches like that when I was younger.

These look fantastic! I was very surprised to see kudzu in the plum sauce ingredients. I mean it grows around here like crazy (and people hate it!), but do you purchase yours? (BTW, I heard recently that kudzu is being used to make an alternative fuel and I though that was the best idea ever. It's called Kudzenol.) I love your love of avocados, too. LOL I confess that I've never used nori or made sushi-type meals, but I'd like to try. With the wheat-free tamari, I'd sure I'd be very happy!


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