Not a fan of fish in your sushi rolls? Then this Vegan Sushi recipe is for YOU! These sushi rolls are easily customizable, with a plethora of fresh ingredient options for you to create fun, flavorful homemade sushi!
Easy Vegan Sushi Rolls
Our daughters love sushi, but they’re not big fans of fish (especially raw). So this Vegan Sushi recipe is a win for our family!
From Hawaiian tuna poke bowls, to salmon sushi burritos, to dragon rolls with tempura shrimp, I like to eat a variety of sushi. And I welcome the inclusion of raw fish, but I know not everyone feels the same.
So vegan sushi rolls are the answer to pleasing ALL sushi lovers. It includes all the usual elements of sushi, like sticky sushi rice, plus fillings like avocado, cucumber, carrots, and all sorts of other fresh ingredient options. This recipe includes high-protein baked tempeh, but you can easily leave that out if you wish.
That’s the really awesome thing about sushi – it’s fully customizable. Beyond the nori and sushi rice, you can pretty much stuff it with whatever you like. I’ve provided lots of vegan sushi ideas below, just in case you’re not a fan of tempeh or other fillings I used.
Once you get the hang of this recipe, you’ll be creating your own custom sushi rolls in no time!
What You’ll Need
To make this vegan sushi, you’ll need nori, sushi rice, and your favorite fillings.
Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for exact measurements.
- Nori sheets – Nori is the seaweed sheets used to wrap sushi. You can find it in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.
- Sushi rice – See my notes below.
- Rice vinegar – Rice vinegar is a key component in flavoring sushi rice. It’s less acidic than white vinegar, much more delicate. I like its lightly sweet flavor and soft fragrance.
- Sugar – Sushi rice usually includes a touch of sugar, which is lovely with the vinegar.
- Sea salt
- Baked tempeh – Vegan sushi does not include fish, shrimp, crab, etc. So baked tempeh and tofu are good options if you’re wanting a boost of protein.
- Vegetables – I used avocado, cucumber, carrots, mango, and purple cabbage as my vegan sushi fillings – but I’m always changing it up! You can use pretty much whatever you’d like. I provided some extra ideas below.
- Vegan mayo – You can use whatever vegan mayo you prefer as the base of your sriracha mayo.
- Sriracha – Add more or less depending on how spicy you want the mayo to be.
- Lime juice – Just a bit of lime juice thins and brightens the sriracha mayo.
Sushi Rice vs White Rice
You may find sushi rice labeled as sushi rice or as short grain white rice. However, be sure the bag says short grain white rice, as long grain white rice will NOT work.
Sushi rice is meant to be sticky and is flavored with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to add more flavor to your sushi rolls.
Other Vegan Sushi Filling Ideas
When it comes to sushi fillings, the options are nearly endless. Here are some ideas for adding delicious flavor and beautiful color to your vegan sushi rolls. Note that for the vegetable options, many ingredients can be used raw, steamed, sauteed, or roasted – and for some, even pickled! (YUM!)
- Bell pepper – any color
- Beets – Try pickled beets, a surprisingly delicious and beautiful ingredient!
- Cabbage – any color
- Green onion
- Jalapeno – regular or pickled jalapenos
- Pickled ginger
- Red onion – regular or pickled red onions (my FAVORITE pickled condiment!)
- Sweet potato
- Tempura fried vegetables
Other Filling Ideas:
- Cream cheese (vegan variety)
- Basil – sweet basil or spicy Thai basil
- Sesame seeds – white or black
How to Make Vegan Sushi
There’s a slight learning curve to making sushi, but once you get on a roll (ha!), it’s quite easy!
First thing’s first, make the sushi rice!
- Rinse the rice. Rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear to remove excess starch.
- Cook the rice. Bring the water and rice to a boil on the stovetop. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and let simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Add the vinegar mixture. Mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a bowl until the sugar and salt dissolve. Pour over the rice in a large bowl and gently mix to coat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Make the sriracha mayo. Mix together the vegan mayo, sriracha, and lime juice. Set aside.
- Add sushi rice to the nori. Place the nori shiny side down on a sushi mat. Take a handful of cooled sushi rice in wet hands, then spread evenly over the nori sheet, leaving an inch at the top.
- Add the vegan sushi fillings. Place the tempeh and vegetable fillings in a line across the middle of the sheet. Top with spicy mayo.
- Roll the sushi. Use the mat to tightly roll the sushi, starting at the bottom. Use the top inch of nori as a flap to seal the roll. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Serve. Slice each roll into 6-8 pieces. Serve with desired condiments and garnishes.
Tips for Preparing Sushi Rolls
Here are a few tips for making vegan sushi.
- Prepare the rice in advance. Sushi rice needs to cool to room temperature before you can work with it, so feel free to prepare it a few hours in advance.
- Wet your hands when working with the rice. Sushi rice is quite sticky, so the easiest way to work with it is to dip your fingers into water, to prevent it from sticking to you. Just keep a little bowl of water next to you as you make the rolls.
- Don’t overfill the sushi roll. Keep the fillings tightly gathered in the center of the roll and avoid overstuffing. You want to be able to roll the sushi properly – AND to fit a piece in your mouth in a single bite!
- What if I don’t have a sushi mat? If you don’t have a sushi mat, no worries. You can lay a piece of plastic wrap down on a clean kitchen towel and use that as your mat.
- Use a clean, sharp knife. For clean lines, be sure to use an extra sharp knife to slice your sushi.
What to Serve with Sushi
I like to serve vegan sushi rolls with some extra sriracha mayo for dipping, along with soy sauce or tamari. And, of course, you can’t forget the pickled ginger and wasabi!
Seaweed salad is another flavorful addition that I often pick up at our local Kowalski’s store or Asian market.
Can Vegan Sushi Be Prepared In Advance?
Yes, you can prepare vegan sushi up to a day in advance. However, I don’t recommend slicing it. Instead, once you roll the sushi roll, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Then slice it just before serving.
If you have any leftover pieces, keep them tightly covered with plastic and refrigerate for up to a day. Keep in mind that while this sushi does not contain raw fish, the avocado can brown quickly.
More Asian-Inspired Recipes:
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- 3 Nori sheets
- 1 cup sushi rice (white short-grain rice)
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Vegetable to fill:
- 8 ounces baked tempeh, cut into stripes
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 English cucumber, julienned
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 mango, thinly sliced
- 1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 3 tablespoon Vegan mayo, or mayo of choice
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1/2 lime, juice of
- Soy sauce or Tamari sauce
To Make Sushi Rice:
- Rinse the sushi rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. This will help remove excess starch and ensure that the rice cooks evenly.
- Combine the rinsed rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the rice simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
- While the rice is cooking, mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until the sugar and salt dissolve.
- When the rice is done, transfer it to a large bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over the rice. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently mix the rice until it is evenly coated with the vinegar mixture.
- Let the rice cool to room temperature before using it for sushi.
To Assemble the Vegan Sushi Rolls:
- To make the sriracha mayo, mix the vegan mayo, sriracha, and lime juice together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Lay a sheet of nori shiny side down on a sushi mat or a clean kitchen towel.
- Wet your hands and take a handful of sushi rice. Spread the rice evenly over the nori sheet, leaving about 1 inch of space at the top.
- Spread a strip of the spicy mayo across the tempeh and vegetables.
- Place your tempeh stripes and vegetable fillings on top of the rice,
arranging them in a line across the middle of the sheet.
- Use the mat to tightly roll the sushi, starting at the bottom and using the top inch of the nori as a flap to seal the roll.
- Repeat the process with the remaining nori sheets and fillings.
- Cut each sushi roll into 6-8 pieces with a sharp knife.
- Serve the sushi with soy sauce or Tamari sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger, and the sriracha mayo on the side for dipping.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 584Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 1477mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 9gSugar: 28gProtein: 21g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.