Our Homemade Vegan Sushi Rolls is a simple recipe to make delicious Vegan Sushi at home. It’s delicious, with tofu and plenty of vegetables.
If you have always thought sushi is difficult to make at home, try this simplified recipe! And though it may not be 100% authentic, it is easy to forgive it, as this Homemade Vegan Sushi Rolls Recipe is delicious, flavorful, and super simple to make!
What is a sushi roll
Sushi is a popular Japanese dish made of sushi rice, mixed with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, and accompanied by a variety of ingredients, often with fresh raw seafood, and vegetables.
If you wrap the sushi rice and filling into a nori seaweed and roll it, you get a sushi roll. It can then be sliced up into bite-sized pieces.
To make this recipe vegan, we are skipping the raw seafood (I never liked it anyway), and adding some marinated and cooked tofu instead.
Why you will love this recipe
Making this Vegan Sushi Rolls recipe is very easy and straightforward and is suitable even for beginners. Trust me, I am one myself when it comes to sushi. But we made this recipe using simple ingredients, lots of fresh produce, and it just tastes good!
This recipe is:
- quick and easy
- a light meal for midday or dinner
- can be made a day ahead
- delicious, even if you are not a sushi fan!
And if you’ve never made sushi at home before, don’t worry. It’s really easy, and it’s just about cooking the rice and tofu, assembling your ingredients, and rolling them in a roll. And I did it with no special equipment. They may not look perfect, but they taste great all the same. We’re all about simplicity here.
To make these sushi rolls you will need the following ingredients:
- Tofu, use extra-firm unflavored tofu for best results. You’ll want a variety that doesn’t break when cooking it so as to preserve the shape.
- Soy sauce, we like to use low-sodium soy sauce. Also, make sure to use gluten-free if you’re sensitive to gluten, but otherwise, any kind of soy sauce you have at hand will work just fine.
- Coconut sugar, for flavoring and marinating the tofu
- Rice vinegar is crucial in this recipe, as it adds a distinctive flavor. You can get it in all major stores, in local Asian stores, or online.
- Garlic powder, for flavoring and marinating the tofu
- Ginger powder, for flavoring and marinating the tofu
- Sushi rice is a crucial part of this recipe and will work best, but you can also use other short-grain or jasmine rice in a pinch (it may not be as sticky though, and may impact the sushi rolls). You can get sushi rice in all major stores, in local Asian stores, or online.
- Sugar, to season the sushi rice along with the rice vinegar
- Roasted nori, this is seaweed sheets that are an essential part of your sushi roll.
To assemble the rolls you will also need produce. We chose:
- baby spinach
- bell pepper
- sesame seeds
You are free to change the produce to your taste, but in general, look for ingredients that you may find in sushi rolls or spring rolls. You will want something crunchy (carrot, bell pepper), something creamy (mango, avocado), and something fresh (cucumber). We would also recommend some pickled ginger and wasabi to go with the rolls!
As always, you can find the full ingredient list in a separate recipe box at the end of this post.
How to prep the tofu
Making this vegan sushi is pretty easy if you follow the instructions. I am no pro at sushi myself, but I did manage to make a pretty roll even without using a bamboo sushi mat. So if I can make it, you can make it, too!
Start by prepping your tofu – slice it into thin strips, then pour it over with the marinade ingredients (see recipe below). Let it marinate for about 15 minutes, while you prep your other ingredients.
Once the tofu is marinated, cook it in a pan until evenly cooked and crispy. Once cooked, set it aside to cool down.
I like to add the remaining marinade to the pan once the tofu is done cooking and let the sauce cook down and reduce into a glaze. Then, I pour it over the cooked tofu for extra flavor and juiciness.
How to make sushi rice
Start by washing the rice briefly under running water – this will eliminate any extra starch. Drain it and add it to a pot of salted water. Use about 370 ml (1 1/2 cup) of water for 250 grams (1 cup) of rice. Bring it to a boil, then reduce it to a light simmer and let it cook on low heat until the rice has soaked up most of the water. At this point, I simply turn off the heat and let sit in a covered pot for another 10 minutes. During this time the rice will soak up the leftover water and continue cooking in its steam.
While the rice is cooking, combine rice vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. You can also add a pinch of salt.
Fluff the rice with a fork, then drizzle the mixture on top of the cooked and still hot rice and mix to combine. This will help the rice get sticky and add a distinct sushi flavor. Spread the rice out on a large plate or tray to cool down to room temperature.
How to make the vegan sushi rolls
While your tofu and rice are cooling down, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Slice the vegetables and fruit into equally sized thin strips.
Get a small bowl of water ready and nearby to wet your fingers.
Now it’s time to assemble the sushi rolls!
Place a sheet of nori seaweed, glossy side down, onto your work surface or bamboo sushi mat. Dip your fingers in the water, then spread some of the cooked rice in a thin layer on the seaweed. Aim for the lower two-thirds of the sheet, leaving about an inch / 2 cm on the top. Top with rows of vegetables, fruit, and tofu, filling the nori from one side to the other, but not overfilling it. Keep the filling to the lower edge of the rice as pictured above.
Lastly, roll the nori from the bottom lifting the lower edge of the nori over the rice and filling, making a firm roll as you go, but be gentle or the seaweed can break. Wet the top of the nori and press to seal.
Repeat until you use up the ingredients. You should get about 4 rolls.
Using a sharp knife slice the sushi roll into bite-sized pieces and place them on a serving dish.
Serve this vegan sushi with some soy sauce to dip and a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top. Simple is the best!
This Vegan Sushi is best eaten the day it’s made but if you would like to make them the night before, just wrap them in a towel or cling foil and store it in the fridge in an air-tight container.
This vegan sushi is best served immediately, but you can make it ahead and store it in the fridge for up to a day. In this case, I would suggest making the sushi rolls ahead, and slicing them up just before serving, keeping in mind that some vegetables may oxidize in the meantime.
You could also prep the ingredients separately, keeping the avocado whole to prevent browning, and slicing it up just before assembling.
Tips for best results
If you have trouble rolling the sushi into a roll, you may benefit from using a specialized bamboo sushi mat. You just place your nori on it, top it with ingredients, and roll it up with the sushi mat.
Also, do try and use sushi rice to make this recipe – this is a special Japanese short-grain rice that is extra sticky due to its higher starch content. Wash the rice before cooking to remove some of that starch.
Freshly cooked rice works best. Mix it with rice vinegar and sugar while still warm and allow it to cool down to room temperature before rolling. Wet your fingers before spreading the rice onto the nori seaweed to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.
Cut your rolls with a sharp knife using a slicing motion to get clean-looking cuts.
Don’t overload the toppings as it will make it harder to roll the sushi. Also, when rolling, apply even and firm pressure, but don’t pull at the roll as the nori is very delicate and it will break.
We have plenty of Asian-inspired recipes on our blog. Try also some of these:
- Vegan Fresh Sushi Spring Rolls
- Vegan Spring Roll Noodle Bowl (one of my favorite recipes!)
- Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu Spring Rolls
- Vegan Thai “Chicken” Wraps
- 200 grams tofu, extra-firm
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- 1 cup (250 grams) rice (sushi rice, short-grain or jasmin rice)
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 sheets nori seaweed
- 1-2 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 bell pepper
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 mango
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup soy sauce (for dipping)
- Slice the tofu into thin strips. In a bowl mix the rest of the ingredients: soy sauce, coconut sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger. Place the sliced tofu into the sauce and let marinate for 10-15 minutes. After, cook the tofu in a pan until cooked on all sides and crispy. Once cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Now, add the sauce to the pan and let it cook down and reduce, then drizzle it over the cooked tofu.
- Wash the rice under running water, then cook it in salted water. Use about 370 ml (1 1/2 cup) of water for 250 grams (1 cup) of rice. Let it cook on low heat until the rice has soaked up most of the water, then turn off the heat and let sit in a covered pot for another 10 minutes. Drop the cooked rice onto a large dish.
- Separately, combine rice vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Drizzle the mixture on top of the cooked rice and mix to combine. This will help the rice get sticky and add a distinct sushi flavor. Spread the rice out to cool down.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients: slice the vegetables and fruit into equally sized thin strips.
- Assemble the sushi rolls: Place a sheet of nori seaweed, shiny side down, onto your work surface. Spread the cooked rice with wet fingers in a thin layer on the seaweed, leaving about 2 cm on the top. Top with rows of vegetables, fruit, and tofu, filling the nori from one side to the other, but not overfilling it. Roll the nori from the bottom over the filling, making a firm roll as you go, but be gentle or the seaweed can break. Wet the top of the nori and press to seal.
- Using a sharp knife slice the sushi roll into bite-sized pieces and place them on a serving dish.
- Repeat until you use up the ingredients.
- Serve with some soy sauce to dip and a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1219mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 5gSugar: 20gProtein: 11g
Nutrition data is automatically calculated using Nutritionix and may not be accurate.