When I first went vegan, I found myself craving vegan sushi rolls but not feeling comfortable enough going into non-vegan sushi restaurants and requesting vegan options. I don’t eat at a lot of non-vegan restaurants, because you never really know what goes on in the kitchen. There are no vegan sushi places near me, or even places that advertise that they have vegan options, so I was determined to make my own. After doing a bunch of research, I was convinced that I didn’t want to add rice vinegar to my rice and I didn’t want to use a bamboo mat (only because I didn’t have one, and didn’t want to find one!)
I’ve made this sushi recipe many times for my vegan-husband, and recently made it for my family (some vegans, some not) and they loved it! My mom actually said that her stomach felt amazing after she ate it. This sushi recipe is so easy, doesn’t require special instruments or ingredients and is delicious! Depending on the type of rice you buy, it can take up to an hour to make, but it is so easy to make with minute rice (it just doesn’t keep well – so you have to eat it all when you prepare it). The sticky rice that I used requires 45 minutes to cook, and the rolls themselves take 10-15 minutes to prepare (and get easier with time). But, if you used minute rice you could reduce the overall time to 30 minutes, easily!
Easy DIY Vegan Sushi
This vegan sushi is so easy to make, requires no special ingredients (other than nori, rice and veggies) and I never use a bamboo mat! You can choose to use sushi rice, but I almost always use minute rice to reduce the cooking time. Either way, these sushi rolls are easy, delicious and super healthy!
- 7 sheets of Nori
- 1 cup of rice (measured dry – can be brown or white, sticky or not)
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 bell pepper (I prefer red)
- 1 avocado
- 1 cooked sweet potato (I usually only use this if I have leftovers, otherwise it just adds way more time to the sushi!)
- Start by cooking your rice according to package instructions.
- If you’re adding sweet potato that isn’t cooked, cook it while the rice cooks (in the oven for 30 minutes, or in the microwave for 5 minutes – whichever you’d prefer). Keep it peeled, and then when it’s cooked you can peel the potato and slice it or mash it. If it’s already cooked, just warm it up, slice it and set aside.
- Cut your other vegetables. I love cutting mine into thin, long strips.
- When your rice is done cooking, put it into a glass bowl and let it cool down a bit. It doesn’t need to be room temperature, but it’s a lot easier to work with if it isn’t piping hot.
- This is where things can get a little complicated. Put your nori on your working surface and make sure the rough side is facing up. Add a spoonful of rice to the bottom 1/3 of the nori, and then start layering your veggies. Keep a bowl of cold water beside you, and when you’re ready to start rolling, wet your fingers and dampen the top inch of the nori. It will become almost slimy, but this makes it so the roll stays tight!
- Start rolling from the bottom, the same way you would roll a burrito. Don’t overthink it – it’s really, really easy. Make sure you keep it extra tight so your veggies don’t fall out when you get it. Once it’s rolled, use your water bowl to wet the strip where the nori overlaps and make sure it’s sealed. If your rice is too hot, it can cause the nori to tear here – trust me, you don’t want that to happen.
- Once all your rolls are done, use the sharpest bread knife that you have and wet it with cold water. Slice each roll into 6-8 sushi pieces, and make sure you wet your knife every 3-4 cuts. This makes it much easier to cut and helps the nori to not rip. Serve with your favourite Japanese soy sauce, ginger and/or wasabi.