5 of our favourite veggie sushi recipes

Want to save some money by making sushi at home? 

Dig out your long-forgotten nori (seaweed) sheets from the cupboard, because we’re going to show you how to make veg sushi at home. And when you make your own plant-based sushi, you gain new, inventive ideas for how to use up leftover vegetables.

vegetarian sushi bowl on a dark wooden table with chopsticks on the right hand side

IS SUSHI VEGAN?

Sushi recipes aren’t usually vegan. Common sushi ingredients we see here in the UK are raw salmon, raw tuna and cream cheese. 

But the word “sushi” itself simply means “pickled rice” in Japanese. Sushi can easily be adapted and reinvented into vegan versions of these classic dishes. 

Some popular vegetarian and vegan sushi fillings and ingredients are:

  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Avocado
  • Tofu
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet potato
  • Aubergine
  • Mango
  • Watermelon

OUR FAVOURITE VEGGIE SUSHI RECIPES

It might feel overwhelming to start making sushi at home. But it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. 

Here are some easy ideas for vegan and vegetarian sushi meals you can make at home

FIRST, HOW TO COOK SUSHI RICE

A lot of recipes call for sticky sushi rice, although you can experiment with any leftover rice you have in the cupboard. Just make sure it’s not cooked in a way that dries and separates the grains, as it needs to hold together. 

To cook 200g sushi rice, rinse it repeatedly until the water runs clear. Bring to the boil in a pot of 500ml water. Then cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 more mins. 

Once cooked, remove from the heat and leave to sit for 10 mins. The rice will absorb the remaining water in the pot.

TIPS FOR ROLLING SUSHI

  • Place the nori onto a bamboo sushi rolling mat if you have one – although a thick tea towel will usually work well too
  • Dip your fingers in water before rolling, to prevent rice from sticking to them
  • Place nori sheets rough side up so they grip better to the ingredients
  • Leave a 1cm space at the top of the nori sheet, for easy sealing
  • Squeeze while rolling, to make the rice and other ingredients more compact
  • To seal the roll, dip your finger in water and brush it across the margin, then press down

VEG TEMPURA ROLL

Cook 215g sushi rice. Then stir in 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, ¾ tsp salt and 1 tbsp mirin (or more rice vinegar). Set aside to cool. 

Choose a few spare veggies you’d like to wrap into your rolls. For this recipe, we recommend mushroom, carrots, sweet potatoes or aubergine. Cut them into ½ inch cubes. Toss with 1 tbsp soy sauce and ½ tbsp sesame oil, then marinate for 5 mins. 

Heat oil in a pan to medium heat. Toss the veggies in 30g cornstarch until they’re coated. Fry them in the pan until browned and crispy (about 4-5 mins). Whisk 100g vegan mayo with 1-2 tbsp sriracha sauce to make spicy mayo. 

Place one sheet of nori on your rolling mat, then cover the sheet with a thin layer of the sushi rice. Add your fried veg in a row in the middle. Drizzle with the spicy mayo and add thinly sliced cucumber and avocado. Roll tightly, then slice into bite-sized pieces. Serve immediately. 

Recipe from: The Plant Based Wok

VEGAN CALIFORNIA ROLL

Cook 200g sushi rice. In a separate bowl, mix 3 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt until dissolved. Pour into the rice and stir well. Let the rice cool completely (putting it in the fridge and stirring every 5 mins will speed this up). 

Cut 2 or 3 avocados into strips and 1 block of silken tofu into sticks. Place a nori sheet on your rolling mat, then apply a thin layer of the rice, covering all edges. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the rice, then place a thin cloth over the top. California rolls feature the nori on the inside of the rice, so flip it over now. 

Spread 3 tbsp vegan mayo on the nori sheet, then layer avocado and tofu in a row at the bottom. Carefully roll it, then slice into bite-sized chunks. Serve immediately, with soy sauce and sesame oil for dipping.

Recipe from: Gourmandelle

VEGETARIAN SUSHI BOWL

Rinse 400g brown rice and bring a large pot of water to the boil. Pour in the rice and stir, then boil for 30 mins. You can use any other rice you have instead of brown – just adjust the cooking time. Turn off the heat, drain the rice and return it to a covered pot. Let it steam for a further 10 mins, then remove the lid and fluff with a fork. 

In a small saucepan on medium heat, mix together 8 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 ½ tsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sugar and ½ tsp salt. Warm and stir often until dissolved. Remove from the heat and toss with the steamed rice. 

In a large skillet on medium-low heat, warm a sheet of nori for about 5 mins, flipping halfway through, until it’s crisp enough to crumble easily. Crumble into very small pieces over the rice, then stir through and leave to cool. 

Bring a pot of water to boil and add 250g frozen edamame beans. Simmer for about 5 mins, until the beans are warmed through, then drain and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk 100g vegan mayo with 1 or 2 tbsp sriracha or chilli-garlic sauce. Slice 1 small cucumber into matchsticks. Slice 2 large carrots into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Cut 1 avocado into long strips. Prep any other veg you’d like in your bowl – asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli or courgette? 

Divide the rice between 4 bowls, then top with the edamame and other veggies. Drizzle your chilli mayo on top, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with soy sauce.

Recipe from: Cookie & Kate

PEANUT TOFU SUSHI ROLL

Cook 450g sushi rice. Once cooked and the remaining water has been absorbed, transfer into a large glass dish. Season with ½ tsp salt, carefully folding it into the rice with a spatula. Allow to cool completely. 

Slice 200g firm tofu into long batons. Place in a shallow dish and coat in 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce. Heat the oven to 190 degrees C and let the tofu marinate. In a separate bowl, mix 60g peanut butter, 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp rice vinegar or lime juice, 1 tbsp sesame oil, a small grated garlic clove and 1 tsp Chinese five spice. 

Spread the tofu on a baking tray and bake for about 10 mins. Coat the tofu in around half of the peanut glaze, then return to the baking tray and cook for another 10 mins in the oven. 

Place a nori sheet onto your rolling mat. Spread a thin layer of the cooled rice evenly across the nori sheet. Along the bottom edge, place a row of cucumber sticks, pickled radish halves, shredded spring onion or any other veggies. Then pack in the baked tofu, an extra drizzle of peanut sauce and a sprinkle of crushed toasted peanuts. 

Start rolling and squeezing tightly. Repeat with more nori sheets, until you’ve used up your tofu and veggies. Then cut the rolls into 1cm slices. Serve with slightly watered-down leftover peanut sauce and soy sauce. 

Recipe from: Lazy Cat Kitchen

Vegan Sashimi

Sashimi makes the perfect sushi accompaniment. You can easily prepare vegan sashimi to top your sushi, roll it into veggie sushi rolls or add it to a rice bowl. Cut 3-4 shallow vertical slices on 6 tomatoes. Place them into a pot of boiling water and boil for 3-5 mins, until the skins begin to peel off easily. 

Fill a container with enough ice water to cover the tomatoes, and place them in there until cooled. Prepare a marinade in a separate bowl by whisking together 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp maple syrup, ½ tsp ground ginger, ¾ tsp garlic powder and 2 tbsp crushed nori sheet (or kelp powder). 

Peel the skin from the tomatoes and quarter them, scooping out the seeds. Save both the skins and seeds to blend into a separate soup recipe. Slice the tomato flesh into 1-inch slices and place in a large, shallow, sealable container. Pour the marinade over the tomato slices, cover and shake. Leave to sit for 15 mins before using.

Recipe from: Rooty Fruity Vegan

Oddbox Fruit and Vegetable box

FIGHT FOOD WASTE WITH A DELIVERY OF DELICIOUSLY ODD FRUIT & VEG.