Vegetarian Sushi

Want to know how to make sushi rolls? The best vegetable sushi and vegan sushi rolls with 8 different sushi roll types to choose from!

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

  • Step by step instructions on how to make sushi rice and how to roll sushi like a Japanese chef!
  • 8 different vegetable and vegan sushi options!
  • 3 sauces for sushi that work with different sushi rolls for fun mix and match!

WHAT IS SUSHI?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish prepared with sushi rice (rice with rice vinegar, salt and/or sugar) and a variety of ingredients such as fish or other seafood, vegetables, fruits and other toppings or condiments. Sushi presentation and style varies, this can include vegetarian sushi recipes, vegan sushi rolls and other sushi without fish.

HOW TO MAKE SUSHI RICE

Sushi rice is always the main ingredient when making sushi with fish or vegetable sushi (sushi without rice is referred to as sashimi). Sushi rice is also sometimes referred to as shari or sumeshi.

Sushi rice is most commonly made with medium-grain white rice. However, it can also be prepared with brown rice, short-grain rice, or even black forbidden rice. Some excellent brands of sushi rice brands that I have had good luck with are Lundberg Organic California Sushi Rice, Botan Calrose Rice, and Nishiki Premium Grade Rice.

Sushi rice is made by cooking the rice and adding rice vinegar. Some recipes vary and will call for added salt or sugar. Well, seasoned rice vinegar brands that I use are Marukan Seasoned Rice Vinegar and Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar. You can typically find these brands in the Asian or vinegar/salad dressing section of most grocery stores. Many grocery stores also carry a store brand version of rice vinegar (ex: target).

If you would like to make your sushi rice with the quick and easy instant pot method, check out my Instant Pot Sushi Rice. You can also make it in a rice cooker – no problem!

If you would like to make black rice (sometimes called forbidden black rice) for your veggie sushi, you can check out How to Make Black Rice for my detailed instructions.

SUSHI MAKING KIT OR BAMBOO MAT?

Before you embark upon your journey to become a super awesome sushi chef, you are going to need a few tools to make your sushi at home.

Sushi making kit: You can buy a premade sushi kit if you would like. This is a fancy sushi making kit that has a bamboo mat, bamboo chopsticks, avocado slicer, paddle, spreader, sushi knife, chopsticks holder, and DIY sushi roller machine. However, I would argue that if you really want to practice your sushi craft, you can certainly start with a few less sushi-making tools.

Bamboo sushi mat: The one critical item that you will need is a bamboo mat. The bamboo sushi mat is a critical sushi tool. This is what you will use to roll and form the sushi rice into the perfect sushi roll shape. Truthfully, it is super fun to see when you roll out your sushi with this and it really looks like a roll you would get in an authentic Japanese sushi restaurant. A sushi rolling mat really affordable too! You can buy a bamboo mat on Amazon. I have also been really lucky to find them at my local Asian supermarket for a few dollars.

Nori sheets: Nori is the Japanese name for edible seaweed. Nori sheets are a necessary component for your sushi rolls and can be purchased on Amazon or in an Asian specialty store. Some supermarkets are starting to carry nori seaweed sheets as well. You will need one sheet of nori per vegetable sushi roll.

I will argue that the bamboo sushi mat and Nori sheets are the minima you need to get started on your sushi at home journey. However, I have to admit that there is some other fun stuff that you will probably want to have! Below is a list of my favorite items that I have in my sushi collection:

  1. Chopsticks
  2. Soy sauce dish
  3. Sake set: This is a more traditional white sake set and this is a more ornate sake set option, to give you some ideas.
  4. Sushi plates: This is a beautiful sushi dish set that comes with sushi plates, soy sauce dishes, and chopsticks, and here is a white sushi plate option.
  5. Sharp knife for cutting sushi

HOW TO MAKE WASABI AND PICKLED GINGER

If you like to dip your sushi in a mixture of wasabi and soy sauce and enjoy some delicious pickled ginger on the side, then you are in the right place my friend!

While can buy pre-made wasabi paste and many grocery stores or online, if you want to know how to make wasabi, I would recommend that you buy wasabi powder. Personally, I think that wasabi made with wasabi powder tastes fresher and more potent. Wasabi is super easy to make! You simply add water to the wasabi powder and BOOM, you have the awesome wasabi that you get in Japanese restaurants.

As far as picked sushi ginger, if you would like to make your own, you can head over to my Quick Pickled vegetable recipe which works great to make pickled ginger. You can also buy pink pickled ginger or white pickled ginger on Amazon or at most local supermarkets in the Asian section.

HOW TO ROLL SUSHI

If you want to make sushi rolls like a Japanese chef, you need to jump right in and start to practice. It is actually not as difficult as you might think once you get to it! The good news is, you can always eat the practice rolls!

An excellent video on how to make sushi rolls were made by Kikkoman USA, the maker of Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

SUSHI ROLL TYPES AND OTHER FAQ

WHAT IS NIGIRI?

Nigiri is a bite-size rectangular/rounded ball of rice topped with a piece of fish (or sashimi) which can be raw or cooked. Often a small pinch of wasabi is placed between the rice and fish. Sometimes a thin strip of seaweed may be used to “tie” them.

WHAT IS A MAKI ROLL?

Maki is a sushi roll sliced into round bite-size pieces. The rice is rolled with ingredients in the middle. The outside can be covered in sesame seeds, fish roe, or other condiments and sauced. The maki roll can be made with fish (raw or cooked) or with vegetarian and vegan ingredients like cucumber, avocado, carrot, or other pickled vegetables.

WHAT IS A HAND ROLL OR SUSHI HAND ROLL (TEMAKI)?

Temaki or sushi hand roll is a rolled nori (seaweed) cone wrapped around rice and sushi fillings.

WHAT IS SASHIMI?

Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish or other types of meat. It is eaten without rice. It can be dipped in soy sauce. Often the additional wasabi (or Japanese horseradish) is added to the soy sauce for extra flavor. The sashimi-grade dish is some of the highest quality seafood you can eat due to its meticulous procurement and storage process.

WHAT ARE VEGAN SUSHI ROLLS?

Vegan sushi rolls would be the same as maki rolls only using no animal products as the sushi filling.

IF MY GUESTS WANT FISH AS WELL, WHAT TYPES OF SUSHI FISH CAN I SERVE?

Common sushi fish includes tuna (maguro, Shiro-maguro), toro (the fatty tuna belly), salmon (sake), yellowtail (hamachi), eel (anago and unagi), snapper (Kuroda), mackerel (saba), squid (ika), octopus (tako), shrimp (Ebi and amaebi), clam (mirage, voyage, and Akagi), fish roe (ikura, masago, Kazuko, and tobiko), sea urchin (uni), crab (kani), shellfish (abalone, prawn, scallop), crab (or imitation, Kani kama).

Some of the most popular sushi rolls with fish would be California Roll (crab, nori, cucumber, and sesame seeds), Dragon Roll (eel, crab, and cucumber inside with avocado outside), Spicy Salmon Roll (nori, rice, salmon, and spicy mayo), Spicy Tuna Roll (nori, rice, tuna, and spicy mayo), Tiger Roll (avocado, shrimp tempura, and cucumber), Rainbow Roll (an assortment of fish and avocado on top of a California Roll), Spider Roll (soft-shell crab, cucumber, avocado, and spicy mayo), Philadelphia Roll (salmon, avocado, asparagus, and cream cheese), Dynamite Roll (yellowtail or shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, and spicy mayonnaise), and Alaskan Roll (smoked salmon, asparagus and avocado).

BEST SAUCES FOR SUSHI

If you want the best sauces for sushi, you cannot go wrong with spicy mayo (spicy Sriracha mayonnaise), eel sauce (or unagi sauce), bang bang sauce, and ginger miso dressing. If you want something extra hot and spicy, you can also check out my delicious chili crisp.

HOW TO MAKE SPICY MAYO

Spicy mayo is made with 1/3 cup mayo and 1 tbsp. Sriracha (you can add a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sugar if you prefer).

HOW TO MAKE EEL SAUCE

Eel sauce is not made of eel! It is a sauce that traditionally contains sake, mirin or rice vinegar, and soy sauce. My Eel Sauce Recipe is quick and easy with rice vinegar, soy sauce and white wine that you may already have on hand!

HOW TO MAKE BANG BANG SAUCE

My Bang Bang Sauce is a dreamy combination of Thai sweet chili sauce, mayo, and sriracha. Great for dipping! It is similar to spicy mayo only with a sweet and salty spin.

HOW TO MAKE GINGER DRESSING

You should also check out my Miso Ginger Dressing. This is a tart and the tangy, fresh dressing that is delicious with veggie sushi.  

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