Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (2024)

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Before I went vegan, I wasn't really a fan of sushi. My whole life, I never really ate a lot of fish, and especially the thought of raw fish kinda freaked me out. A few years ago, I decided to give sushi - vegan sushi - another go and now I love it! When it comes to sushi, going vegan does not mean you'll have to miss out! Quite the opposite actually - there are so many delicious ways to make vegan sushi. In this vegan sushi guide, I am sharing with you 6 creative vegan sushi recipes.

Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (1)
  • types of sushi
  • is sushi vegan?
  • what you need to make vegan sushi
  • how to make vegan sushi
  • how to cook sushi rice
  • vegan sushi fillings
  • how to store vegan sushi
  • tips for making vegan sushi
  • avocado and mango sushi roll
  • carrot lox and cream cheese sushi roll
  • eggplant bacon sushi roll
  • peanut tofu sushi roll
  • spicy red pepper sushi roll
  • beetroot and basil sushi roll

What types of sushi are there?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish and it is made with sushi rice, usually raw seafood and vegetables. It's often served with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.

There are many different types of preparation and presentation when it comes to sushi. In this vegan sushi guide, I am focusing on makizushi (also called norimaki) which I find the easiest to prepare and it's probably also the most common one you find in restaurants. Makizushi is a type of sushi where the rice and ingredients are rolled in a sheet of nori seaweed and then cut into small pieces.

A variation of this is a kind of inside-out sushi where the sushi rice is on the opposite side of the nori sheet than the ingredients (uramaki).

Other types of sushi include nigiri (hand-pressed rice topped with ingredients) and temaki (rolled in a cone shape).

Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (2)

Is sushi vegan?

Many types of sushi are in fact vegan/vegetarian. The basic ingredients (nori sheets and sushi rice) are vegan so it really comes down to the filling/topping ingredients. Common ingredients include cucumber, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and avocado.

Wasabi is usually also vegan. Wasabi is made from Japanese horseradish. Other ingredients may include vinegar, salt, oil, spices and a thickening agent. I usually check the labels before I buy something to make sure it really is vegan, and so far I've had no trouble finding vegan wasabi although I've heard some can include egg whites or dairy products.

What do you need to make vegan sushi?

Making vegan sushi at home is really easy. Here is what you need:

  • a bamboo mat for rolling the sushi
  • nori sheets: You can find them at most supermarkets, although I find them to be overly expensive for only a few sheets. I like to get mine at an Asian grocery store where I can get 50 nori sheets for the same price I would pay in a regular supermarket for 5.
  • sushi rice: Sushi is made with a medium-grain white rice (usually supermarkets will sell rice specifically labelled sushi rice) but it can also be prepared with brown rice or short-grain rice.
  • sugar: for the sushi rice
  • rice vinegar: for the sushi rice
  • salt: for the sushi rice
  • your choice of fillings (see below for vegan sushi suggestions)
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (3)

How do you make vegan sushi?

To prepare your own vegan sushi, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Cook the sushi rice. The rice needs to cool down before you can work with it so I like to start with that.
  2. Prepare the ingredients. Chop everything into thin strips. Depending on the filling/topping ingredients you choose, you may need to prepare something a day in advance.
  3. Roll your sushi rolls. In the beginning, it can be a little bit tricky to not put too much but also not too little rice and ingredients on to the nori sheet. With a little bit of practice, it will get much easier!
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Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (5)
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (6)

Take a nori sheet and place it onto your bamboo mat, shiny side facing down. Next, evenly spread the sushi rice onto the bottom half/two thirds of the nori sheet and press it flat with your fingers. Add the filling to the bottom half or bottom third of the nori sheet but leave some empty space at the bottom.

Roll the sushi roll from the bottom upwards. Gently lift the bamboo mat at the bottom and place it over the filling. Curve your fingers and gently press down on the bamboo mat and gently pull it towards you. Lift the bamboo mat, roll the sushi roll to the end and gently press down the bamboo mat again.

How to cook sushi rice

Cooking your sushi rice and flavoring it in a proper way is one secret to making delicious sushi! You will need a little more water than rice for cooking (roughly 1.2 cups of water per cup of rice). After cooking, the rice is flavored with rice vinegar, sugar and salt. For one cup of rice, I used 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, half a tablespoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt.

You might be asking - how much rice should I cook? As a general rule of thumb, use 1 cup of rice for 3 sushi rolls. Of course, it depends on how much rice you actually put onto the nori sheets and how much filling ingredients you have. If you have any leftover rice, that's not a problem - you can use it to make a rice stir-fry, for example.

I followed this guide for cooking sushi rice and it has many other useful tips and information!

What can you fill vegan sushi with?

When you think beyond the "typical" vegan sushi fillings like cucumber, avocado and spring onions, you realize that there are actually so many different things you can add to your sushi roll! And this is what I love so much about making vegan sushi - you can get really creative and try out new things. Here is a list of vegan sushi filling ideas.

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Vegan sushi fillings: fruits and veggies

  • arugula
  • asparagus
  • avocado
  • beetroot (baked or cooked)
  • cabbage (pickled)
  • carrot
  • cucumber
  • green beans
  • mango
  • mushrooms like shiitake or oyster (fried)
  • pumpkin (baked)
  • raspberries
  • red pepper
  • spinach
  • spring onion
  • squash
  • sweet potato (baked)
  • zucchini

Vegan sushi fillings: proteins

  • tempeh
  • tofu
  • seitan strips
  • smoked tofu
  • soy curls/textured vegetable protein
  • soy granules
  • jackfruit

Vegan sushi fillings: vegan fish replacements

  • watermelon tuna: you can find a recipe here
  • carrot lox
  • tomato tuna: This is similar to making watermelon tuna but instead, you use tomatoes. Take a few large tomatoes and boil them in water for roughly 20 minutes. Let them cool down and peel off the skin. Then, cut them into quarters and remove the seeds. You should now have thin tomato slices. Marinate them in a mixture of no-fish sauce, vegetable oil, liquid smoke, salt and optionally nori/wakame.

Vegan sushi fillings: sauces

  • spicy mayo: You can use store-bought spicy mayo or make your own by combining tahini and sriracha (or your favorite type of hot sauce).
  • cream cheese: Use store-bought vegan cream cheese or make your own with this simple vegan cashew cheese recipe.
  • basil mayo: Simply combine mayo/tahini with finely chopped basil.
  • mango sauce: I like using frozen mango and thawing them in the microwave until soft. Then, mash with a fork and add a little bit of tahini or cashew butter for creaminess.
  • peanut sauce: You can find a simply recipe below (see peanut tofu sushi roll).
  • tahini: This is the lazy option but just as delicious. You can also mix the tahini with a little bit of lemon or lime juice.

Vegan sushi fillings: toppings

  • fried onions
  • eggplant bacon (see eggplant bacon sushi roll below for a recipe)
  • sesame seeds
  • water cress
  • avocado slides
  • peanuts
  • roasted red pepper slices (see spicy red pepper sushi roll below for a recipe)
  • more sauce
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How long can you store vegan sushi?

Finished sushi roll will keep in the fridge for roughly 3-4 days. I would recommend storing them in an airtight container (or else everything in your fridge will smell like sushi). Because we don't use any raw fish in making vegan sushi, it safe to eat even after a few days.

Tips for making vegan sushi

  • The sushi rice can be quite sticky and difficult to work with. What I've found helpful is dipping my fingers in water before. I like to keep a small bowl with water nearby when I'm rolling the sushi rolls.
  • Experiment with how much rice/ingredients you put into the sushi rolls. When you use too much, it will be difficult to roll the sushi rolls, but when you use too little (especially too little rice) they can easily fall apart when cutting. After a few tries, you should be able to find the sweet spot.
  • It's all about flavor! Of course, you can dip the sushi pieces in soy sauce which adds more flavor, but I also like to add lots of flavorful ingredients and sauces inside.

Avocado and mango sushi roll

This sushi roll is filled with:

  • creamy avocado
  • fruity mango
  • a spicy mayo made with tahini and sriracha
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (9)
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (10)

Carrot lox and cream cheese sushi roll

This sushi roll is filled with:

  • carrot lox
  • spring onion
  • vegan cream cheese - use store-bought or check out this recipe to make your own cashew cream cheese
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Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (12)

Eggplant bacon sushi roll

This sushi roll is made with:

  • baked sweet potato
  • green beans
  • a tahini and lemon juice sauce
  • topped with eggplant bacon
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Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (14)
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (15)
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (16)

Peanut tofu sushi roll

This sushi roll is filled with:

  • baked tofu
  • a delicious, salty peanut sauce
  • a fruity mango sauce
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (17)
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (18)

Spicy red pepper sushi roll

This sushi roll is made with:

  • baked tofu
  • cucumber
  • a spicy mayo made with tahini and sriracha
  • topped with roasted red pepper
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (19)
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (20)
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (21)
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (22)

Beetroot and basil sushi roll

This sushi roll is filled with:

  • baked beetroot
  • carrot
  • cucumber
  • a basil and tahini sauce
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (23)
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (24)

Did you make vegan sushi?

I hope you found this vegan sushi guide helpful! Please don't get overwhelmed with the ingredients and instructions - they are for 6 different sushi rolls. You can also choose to make only one or two recipes.

Please leave a comment below, share or rate this recipe. You can also tag me oninstagram– I would love to see your creations!

Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (25)

Print Recipe

5 from 2 votes

vegan sushi

These 6 simply vegan sushi recipes are so colorful and bursting with flavor! You don't have to miss out on sushi as a vegan.

Total Time1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Course: Appetizer, Main Course

Cuisine: Japanese

Diet: Vegan

Keyword: sushi

Servings: 12 sushi rolls

Equipment

  • bamboo mat

Ingredients

  • 12 nori sheets

for the sushi rice (enough to make roughly 12 rolls)

  • 4 cups rice use a medium-grain white rice
  • 8 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt

for the avocado and mango sushi (2 rolls)

  • ½ avocado
  • ½ mango small, or use ¼ - ½ cup frozen mango
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • sriracha

for the carrot lox and cream cheese sushi (2 rolls)

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 spring onion
  • ¼ cucumber
  • vegan cream cheese
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp wakame dried
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce

for the peanut tofu sushi (2 rolls)

  • ½ block of tofu firm or extra firm
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • juice of ½ lime
  • cup mango frozen
  • 1 tbsp tahini

for the eggplant bacon sushi (2 rolls)

  • 1 eggplant small
  • cup soy sauce
  • liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • ¼ cup green beans frozen
  • ½ sweet potato small
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • juice of ½ lemon

for the spicy red pepper sushi (2 rolls)

  • ½ block of tofu firm or extra firm
  • ¼ cucumber
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • sriracha

for the beetroot and basil sushi (2 rolls)

  • 1 beetroot
  • 1 carrot small
  • ¼ cucumber
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 small branch of basil
  • juice of ½ lemon

Instructions

to cook the sushi rice

  • Wash the sushi rice with running water for roughly a minutes until the water comes out clean.

  • Add sushi rice to a saucepan with roughly 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, stirring once in a while. Then, lower the heat and put on the lid for 8 minutes.

  • When all water is gone and the rice is cooked through, add the rice vinegar, salt and sugar and mix well. Give it a taste and add more vinegar or salt if necessary.

preparations

  • Prepare the carrot lox one day in advance. Cut the carrot into thin slices and boil for roughly 5 minutes until soft. To a bowl, add the soy sauce, paprika powder, a few drops of liquid smoke and the dried wakame. Mix well then add the cooked carrot so everything is coated in the sauce. Place in the fridge overnight.

  • Preheat your oven to 200C (390F).

  • Cut the bell pepper in half, then cut it into strips lengthwise (about 5 cm wide). Bake them in the oven for 25-30 minutes until lightly charred on top (placing it on to the top rack helps). Once cooled, peel of the skin (it should come of easily at the charred pieces).

  • Peel the sweet potato and beetroot and cut them into thin strips (about 1 cm wide). Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes.

  • To make the eggplant bacon, cut the eggplant in thin strips lengthwise and add them to a baking tray. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, tomato paste, agave syrup and a few drops of liquid smoke. Brush it onto the eggplant and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip after 10 minutes and brush some more of the sauce on top.

  • Cut the tofu lengthwise into thin strips (about 1 cm wide). Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, flipping half way through.

  • Thinly slice the avocado, carrot, cucumber, spring onion and mango. If using frozen mango, thaw it in a microave and cut it into small slices.

to make the avocado and mango sushi (2 rolls)

  • Combine the tahini and sriracha (adjust depending on your spice preferences). Add a little bit of water at a time and mix well until you reach a smooth, slightly runny consistency.

  • Add sushi rice to a sheet of nori, then add a few slices of avocado and mango and drizzle some of the spicy sauce on top. Roll up the sushi roll and place the sushi roll on a plate until you're ready to cut. Repeat.

to make the carrot lox and cream cheese sushi (2 rolls)

  • Add sushi rice to a sheet of nori, then spread some vegan cream cheese on top. Add a few slices of carrot lox, spring onion and cucumber. Roll up the sushi roll and place the sushi roll on a plate until you're ready to cut. Repeat.

for the peanut tofu (2 rolls)

  • Make the peanut sauce by combining the peanut butter, so sauce, agave srup and lime juice. Add a little bit of water if the sauce is too thick.

  • Heat up the frozen mango in a microwave until soft. Mash it with a fork and add the tahini. Mix well.

  • Add sushi rice to a sheet of nori, then add a few pieces of tofu. Drizzle some peanut sauce on top, followed by some mango sauce. Roll up the sushi roll and place the sushi roll on a plate until you're ready to cut. Repeat. You can save some of the peanut sauce for serving.

for the eggplant bacon sushi (2 rolls)

  • Heat up the frozen green beans in the microwave until soft.

  • Mix together the tahini with the lemon juice and add water if the sauce is too thick.

  • Add sushi rice to a sheet of nori, then add some baked sweet potato and green beans. Drizzle over the tahini lemon sauce. Roll up the sushi roll.

  • Place the eggplant bacon on top of the sushi roll and press it flat. Using a piece of cling film and your bamboo mat will help. Then place the sushi roll on a plate until you're ready to cut. Repeat.

for the spicy red pepper sushi (2 rolls)

  • Combine the tahini and sriracha (adjust depending on your spice preferences). Add a little bit of water at a time and mix well until you reach a smooth, slightly runny consistency.

  • Add sushi rice to a sheet of nori, then add some tofu and cucumber. Drizzle over the spicy sauce. Roll up the sushi roll.

  • Place the roasted red pepper on top of the sushi roll and press it flat. Using a piece of cling film and your bamboo mat will help. Then place the sushi roll on a plate until you're ready to cut. Repeat.

for the beetroot and basil sushi roll

  • Finely chop the basil. Combine with the tahini and lemon juice and mix well, adding a little water if necessary.

  • Add sushi rice to a sheet of nori, then add some baked beetroot, carrot and cucumber. Drizzle the basil sauce on top. Roll up the sushi roll and place the sushi roll on a plate until you're ready to cut. Repeat.

to serve

  • Cut the sushi rolls into thin pieces and serve with soy sauce and optionally some wasabi or pickled ginger.

Other vegan recipes you may like

  • Simple Vegan Sushi Bowl for Meal Prep
  • Vegan Sushi with Carrot Lox and Tahini Tofu
  • Healthy Vegan Taco Salad Great For Meal Prep
  • Vegan Tuna Poke Bowl
Vegan Sushi Guide (with 6 simple & delicious vegan sushi recipes) (2024)
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