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Easy Vegan Sushi Recipe

Homemade vegan maki sushi is easier than you think to make at home. It’s a great family activity to do when you want to enjoy some time together. This Vegan sushi recipe uses fresh veggies and tofu to provide a well-balanced and delicious meal you can serve any time of day. Make it ahead to have an easy lunch, dinner, or snack any time you want!

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homemade-vegan-sushi

This Recipe's Index

What is vegan sushi?

Vegan maki sushi uses only plant based ingredients to create delicious rolls. Unlike some sushi recipes, which use raw tuna, vegan sushi only includes veggies like cucumbers and cabbage, and tofu. Tofu is a soy based protein that provides the protein in our vegan tofu. 

Is sushi healthy?

Sushi is packed full of fresh veggies and rice. You use a small amount of sugar to flavor the rice, but the benefits from the vegetables outweigh the amount of sugar in the recipe. All the veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals, which makes sushi a good meal to get your daily needs met.

Our sushi also uses tofu. Tofu provides protein from soy. 

The dipping sauce contains ginger. Ginger provides great flavor and also several nutrients. It is also great for digestive health.

homemade vegan sushi

Why you will love this Homemade Vegan Sushi 

Our sushi recipe is a plant-based meal that is easy to make at home. You can make the sushi as a family as a fun and budget friendly activity nearly any time of year.

You can also easily make it ahead and pack it for lunch. Or you could serve it for dinner on a busy night or enjoy as a quick snack when you are busy working.

And, of course, it is delicious! 

Maki Sushi Ingredients

The ingredients for a vegan sushi recipe include fresh veggies, tofu, and kitchen staples you probably have at home already. Here is what you’ll need to make this great tasting meal.

For the sushi rice:

  • sushi rice
  • water

For the sushi rice seasoning:

  • sushi vinegar or rice vinegar 
  • sugar 
  • salt

For the vegan sushi

  • nori sheets
  • cucumber 
  • carrots 
  • tofu 
  • red cabbage
  • roasted black sesame seeds 

For the dipping sauce

  • soy sauce or tamari
  • wasabi
  • pickled ginger (Gari)

To make your life a bit easier, you’ll want to have to have these tools on hand:

  • bamboo rolling mat
  • small bowl

 

How to make Maki Sushi

Make Sushi Rice

Start by making the sushi rice. We use the Instant Pot to make the sushi rice. Start by rinsing your rice thoroughly. Then place it and water in the inner pot, close the lid, and pressure cook for 6 minutes. Allow it to naturally release all of the pressure. 

As the rice is cooking, make the seasoning in a glass bowl. Stir the salt and sugar in the sushi vinegar or rice vinegar until it is dissolved. For more tips, check out our sushi rice post here.

Sushi Ingredients

Prepare Sushi Filling

As your rice cooks, you can cut the veggies into long strips.  

Then, slice the tofu into 1 cm strips and lightly fry it until it's light golden brown.

How to Roll a Maki Sushi

Once your ingredients are ready and cool, place the bamboo mat on your countertop or table so that the cotton strings are away from you. Next, place the nori sheet on the mat with the shiny side facing down.

Next place a cup of rice in the center of the nori sheet. Using wet hands, spread the rice evenly onto the nori sheet. Leave ¾ inch of the sheet empty towards the cotton threads. 

Press the rice and make sure it’s evenly spread across the sheet.

homemade sushi recipe

Place 1 to 2 cucumber strips, 1 to 2 carrot strips, 1 to 2 tofu strips, and some red cabbage on the lower side of the sheet closest to you. Connect the short strips making sure the strips reach both the ends of the nori sheet.

Tuck your thumbs under the mat and hold the ingredients with your fingers. Roll the mat away from you. As you roll, make sure the nori sheet is ​overlapping with the side that doesn’t have the rice.

Then, place the sushi roll on a cutting board and carefully cut the sushi rolls into six pieces. It works best to use a wet knife to help avoid the rice sticking to the knife.

Sprinkle the sushi rolls with roasted black sesame seeds and serve it with soy sauce, tamari, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

homemade sushi recipe

Pro tips and tricks to make the best Maki Sushi

Here are some tips for making the best homemade vegan sushi. 

  • Make sure you cut the veggies into thin, roughly uniform strips.
  • Use sushi rice instead of basmati rice, brown rice, or jasmine rice for the most authentic flavor.
  • Don’t over stuff the rolls, a thin layer of rice and a few strips of veggies are all you need when rolling.
  • Use wet hands and knife when working with the rolls, this helps prevent sticking.
  • If you use the Instant Pot to make the rice, follow these tips to avoid the Burn Notice on the Instant Pot.
  • Though not traditional, you could try stuffing the sushi with either our Teriyaki Fried Rice or our Instant Pot Fried Rice recipe for some bold flavors

Vegan sushi Roll

Vegan Sushi Filling Ideas

Want to add even more variety to your sushi? Here are some other vegan friendly stuffing ideas for you to try:

  • Thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • Avocado 
  • Green or yellow squash
  • Eggplant 
  • Asparagus - steam it lightly and leave whole
  • Bell peppers
  • Pickled plums - seeds removed

You need to cut each into 1 cm strips to help keep the sushi the right size and texture.

You could also make only veggie and rice sushi. Just skip the tofu strips.

Vegan Sushi Recipe

How to cut vegetables for homemade vegan maki sushi

Sushi veggies need to be cut into long thin strips. It doesn’t really matter what veggies you use, they need to be cut into about 1 cm thick strips. The best way to cut them is lengthwise. 

For a bell pepper, cut from top to bottom to form the strips. You can use any color you prefer.

For carrots, peel and wash them. Then cut lengthwise forming strips. Cutting them in half first can help make even cuts.

If you want to use asparagus, boil a small pot of water and then steam the asparagus just long enough for them to become a bit tender. You can leave thinner stalks whole but may want to cut larger ones into halves or quarters.

For avocado and eggplant, you can make strips that are roughly 1 cm thick cutting lengthwise.

Homemade Sushi

Dips that go with Sushi

If you don’t want to make your own sauce, you can use a lot of different premade sauces to dip your homemade vegan sushi in. Some popular options include:

  • Soy sauce - has a salty and slightly sweet flavor
  • Wasabi - a spicy dip for those that like a little heat
  • Japanese Teriyaki sauce 
  • Tamari sauce 

Tips to make maki sushi with kids

Kids love making finger foods in the kitchen. It’s often fun. And they get to eat what they make! What better way is there for them to spend some time with their parents?

If you are making sushi with your kids, you can follow these tips for a fun and enjoyable experience:

  • I recommend getting all the ingredients ready to assemble into rolls before involving younger kids. If you slice all the veggies first and do the prep work, they can help assemble the rolls quickly and avoid them cutting things. If they are older, they can definitely help with cutting the veggies and making the rice. 
  • Don’t stress about perfection! These rolls don’t need to look perfect to taste great!
  • Use it as a teachable moment where they can learn about different cuisines from around the world, learn more about nutrition and cooking, and help them to start to learn how to cook.

Can I make sushi rice on the stove top?

Yes you can make sushi rice on the stove top. Follow these steps to make sushi rice on the stove top.

Thoroughly rinse the rice. Add 2 cups of water to a small to medium sized saucepan. Bring the water to a boil and stir in 2 cups of rice. Once the rice is added, reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook until the water has evaporated and the rice is fully cooked. Use a fork to fluff the rice.

In a small glass or wooden bowl, combine the salt, sugar, and vinegar with a fork or spoon. Transfer the rice into another glass or wooden bowl and mix in the vinegar mixture. Once combined, you can use the rice to make sushi rolls.

Made it, tag it!

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Easy Homemade Vegan Maki Sushi Recipe and Video

Easy Vegan Sushi Recipe

Easy Homemade Vegan Sushi Recipe

Yield: 20 sushi pieces
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes

Easy vegan sushi is easier than you think to make at home. It’s a great family activity to do when you want to enjoy some time together. This Vegan sushi recipe uses fresh veggies and tofu to provide a well-balanced and delicious meal you can serve any time of day. Make it ahead to have an easy lunch, dinner, or snack any time you want!

Ingredients

For Sushi Rice

  • Sushi rice, 1 cups
  • Water, 1 cups

For Sushi Rice Seasoning

  • Sushi vinegar or rice vinegar 2 tbsp
  • Sugar 1 tsp
  • Salt ½ tsp

Vegan Sushi

  • 4 full size nori sheets
  • Cucumber 1, cut into strips 1 cm thick
  • Carrots 2, cut into strips 1 cm thick
  • Tofu 8 oz. extra firm, cut into strips 1 cm thick, pan fried
  • Red cabbage, ¼ cup, cut into strips1 cm thick
  • Roasted black sesame seeds 2 tbsp

Dipping Sauce

  • Soy Sauce / Tamari
  • Wasabi
  • Picked Ginger (Gari)

Tools

  • Bamboo Rolling Mat
  • A small bowl of water

Instructions

Make Sushi Rice

Start by making the sushi rice. We use the Instant Pot to make the sushi rice. Start by rinsing your rice thoroughly. Then place it and water in the inner pot, close the lid, and pressure cook for 6 minutes. Allow it to naturally release all of the pressure. 

As the rice is cooking, make the seasoning in a glass bowl. Stir the salt and sugar in the sushi vinegar or rice vinegar until it is dissolved. For more tips, check out our sushi rice post here.

Prepare Sushi Filling

As your rice cooks, you can cut the veggies into long strips.  

Then, slice the tofu into 1 cm strips and lightly fry it until it's light golden brown.

How to Roll a Sushi

Once your ingredients are ready and cool, place the bamboo mat on your countertop or table so that the cotton strings are away from you. Next, place the nori sheet on the mat with the shiny side facing down.

Next place a cup of rice in the center of the nori sheet. Using wet hands, spread the rice evenly onto the nori sheet. Leave ¾ inch of the sheet empty towards the cotton threads. 

Press the rice and make sure it’s evenly spread across the sheet.

Place 1 to 2 cucumber strips, 1 to 2 carrot strips, 1 to 2 tofu strips, and some red cabbage on the lower side of the sheet closest to you. Connect the short strips making sure the strips reach both the ends of the nori sheet.

Tuck your thumbs under the mat and hold the ingredients with your fingers. Roll the mat away from you. As you roll, make sure the nori sheet is ​overlapping with the side that doesn’t have the rice.

Then, place the sushi roll on a cutting board and carefully cut the sushi rolls into six pieces. It works best to use a wet knife to help avoid the rice sticking to the knife.

Sprinkle the sushi rolls with roasted black sesame seeds and serve it with soy sauce, tamari, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

Notes

  • Make sure you cut the veggies into thin, roughly uniform strips.
  • Use sushi rice instead of basmati rice, brown rice, or jasmine rice for the most authentic flavor.
  • Don’t over stuff the rolls, a thin layer of rice and a few strips of veggies are all you need when rolling.
  • Use wet hands and knife when working with the rolls, this helps prevent sticking.

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