Sashimi on a Keto Diet in Japan

Sashimi and Keto




When I first started out on keto, my research led to many warnings about how difficult it would be to follow in Japan. At times it’s certainly not easy, however there are a plethora of incredible Japanese foods that fit perfectly with a keto lifestyle. One is sashimi, which is difficult to find with such quality and abundance abroad. The variety in Japan is incredible and I’m learning to love it more and more!

What is sashimi?

Sashimi is sliced raw fish that is often served with shredded daikon radish, shiso leaves, wasabi and soy sauce. With this colorful platter, my lunch today was quick, simple and affordable. I found it pre-packaged in the deli at my local supermarket Peacock for only ¥398. This lovely assortment even included a remarkably tasty hotate or scallop.

Can I eat sashimi on Keto?

It can certainly be eaten on keto, as fish is full of healthy Omega 3 oils. The fish is usually quite lean, so meals should also be balanced out with fattier alternatives too. In Japan sashimi can be purchased everywhere, from exclusive restaurants to standing bars at the local fish market

How is sashimi served?

It’s sometimes served on rice, which can simply be avoided. It’s more commonly served on a bed of daikon, a radish that looks like a white carrot and is relatively low in carbs. It’s incredibly common in Asia, so I’m trying to incorporate more of it into my diet. Shiso is a herb with a unique flavor (also known as perilla) which is part of the mint family. It’s high in fibre, free of sugar and incredibly tasty. Wasabi is closely related to horseradish and has an incredible kick, while soy sauce contains a small amount of wheat, which is fine in moderation!

How is it eaten?

When eating sashimi, it’s ideal to start with the lightest-tasting fish and work your way towards the heaviest. This stops stronger flavors such as fatty-tuna from overpowering gentler ones like snapper. Place a small amount of wasabi on top of the fish and fold the fish in half, before dipping in soy sauce. This keeps the soy from diluting the wasabi and stops the wasabi from burning your tongue!

Sashimi on a Keto Diet in Japan

12 comments
  1. Thanks for this great blog. I was starting to feel a bit lost and uninspired about eating boring keto meals until I found this.
    I can say you have definitely succeeded at inspiring someone to keep going with the keto lifestyle.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Mal, thanks so much for your kind words! You’ve truly made my day, I’m so glad it’s helpful for you. Keep at it! Best of luck and please keep me posted on your progress 🙂

    1. Hi Deborah! Pickled ginger is usually prepared in sugar and rice vinegar, making it a no-no. That said, it’s generally eaten in such small amounts that it’s no problem if it fits in your macros. Some brands are better than others, so be sure to check the labels!

  2. Hi, I’m doing keto diet for like 5 months now and I’m loving it! But me and my family will have a month vacation this year to Osaka, Japan and I’m worried that I might need to stop this diet because I cant say no to their ramens and sushis!

    1. Hi Gabby, I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying keto so far! I totally understand your concerns with traveling, I’m often faced with the same problem. It’s certainly one of the most challenging times to be on keto, but I find with preparation and planning it’s totally possible too! When you’re in Osaka, try opting for the sashimi instead of sushi; you’ll still get the same delicious fresh fish, just without the rice 🙂

  3. Can you recommend anything that can be made, but preferably bought from a local sushi restaurant, that can most likely go along side the sashimi? I love things like avocado with my dishes, and being somewhat of a noob when it comes to sushi, and even more of a noob with keto being only 3 weeks in, I’m looking for some inspiration.

    1. Hi Brendan, great question! One great option for enjoying sashimi (both at home and when eating out) is a poke bowl. It’s a Hawaiian invention, typically rice served with vegetables and raw fish. I like to use a base of cauliflower rice (or ask for salad when out) and add toppings such as nori sheets, avocado, sliced cabbage and a little pickled ginger before topping it with the fish!

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