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Tastier than at a restaurant, these homemade maki, nigiri and inside-out rolls are made with only plant-based ingredients. I’ll show you how easy it is to make the sushi at home in three popular shapes. You can find a detailed vegan sushi recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions right below.
What is sushi?
You’ve probably eaten sushi in restaurants or maybe even made it yourself. It’s a Japanese dish in the form of bite-sized morsels consisting of leavened rice, various fillings such as vegetables, raw fish or seafood, and nori. There are many different forms of sushi.
Maki, nigiri and inside-out rolls
The most common types of sushi, which are also served in restaurants, are mainly maki, nigiri and inside-out rolls. The most popular of these are probably the maki sushi. These are pieces rolled from rice, stuffed in the middle and wrapped in nori. Nigiri sushi are small rolls of rice topped with various toppings. Sometimes the roll and toppings are tied together with a strip of nori. Inside-out rolls are also known as ura-maki or California rolls. They are not part of traditional Japanese sushi, as the name suggests. Inside-out rolls are small rolled pieces in which the filling is wrapped in nori in the middle, and the top layer is rice. On the outside, the pieces are usually rolled in sesame seeds.
Sushi ingredients: all you need to make it at home
The most important ingredient in sushi is rice. The taste of the Japanese dish also strongly depends on its flavor. So when buying sushi rice, make sure it is of good quality. It is important to wash the rice thoroughly before cooking, because it contains a lot of starch. The excess starch must be removed, otherwise the rice will be much too sticky after cooking. You should wash the rice until the water is clear and no longer turns whitish.
Prepare the sushi rice according to package instructions. You can either do it in a regular cooking pot or in a rice cooker if you have one. While the rice is cooking, prepare the seasoning mix for it, which is called sushi su. It is just as important as the rice for a good sushi taste. The seasoning mixture consists of rice vinegar, sugar and salt. The quantities are usually indicated on the rice package. Alternatively, you can buy ready-made sushi su. Add the seasoning to the warm rice, stir gently and let it cool to room temperature.
You can fill vegan sushi with various vegetables (fresh, pickled, steamed or dried), with tofu or with homemade carrot lox. You can also make them with fruit. Besides, different spreads or sauces are suitable for them.
For rolling sushi you also need nori sheets.
And that’s it for the ingredients you need to make your own sushi.
Vegetarian sushi fillings – ideas
You don’t necessarily have to prepare sushi with raw fish. Vegan sushi tastes at least as delicious. You can fill the Japanese dish in vegan variant – depending on your mood – differently. Here are some ideas for vegan filling:
- carrot lox,
- bell bell pepper,
- steamed asparagus,
- fried mushrooms,
- boiled beet,
- crispy fried tofu,
- dried tomatoes,
- (vegan) cream cheese,
A combination of several ingredients makes your sushi taste even more delicious. But make sure you don’t fill the rolls too full. Just try different sushi fillings and report here in a comment which ones you like best.
Making sushi at home for beginners: these utensils make it easier
It’s not hard at all to roll sushi. Even if the pieces don’t look perfect at first, with practice you’re bound to get a little better at rolling sushi each time. A few utensils can also make it easier for you to make sushi.
Sushi rolling mat
A bamboo sushi rolling mat is the easiest way to form even and tight rolls. It also helps you to cut the roll into equal-sized, bite-sized pieces. You can buy such a roll mat in some supermarkets, in an Asian market or online. If you don’t have a sushi rolling mat at hand, you can also use a normal bamboo table mat. I made my sushi with an ordinary place mat, and it worked out quite well.
Cooking pot or rice cooker
With a rice cooker you can cook the sushi rice easily and quickly. But it is not a must. It works just as well with an ordinary cooking pot.
Cutting board and sharp knife
To cut the rolls, you need a cutting board and a sharp knife to quickly cut the rolls into small, straight pieces without crushing them. To make sure nothing sticks to the knife, keep moistening it with cold water.
If you have all the sushi ingredients and utensils at home, you can start rolling immediately.
Serve vegan sushi
Serve your homemade sushi fresh, right after you have prepared it. Because only then it tastes best.
Sushi is usually served with soy sauce, wasabi paste and pickled ginger. Soy sauce and wasabi paste are used for seasoning. Sometimes the Japanese dish is already prepared with wasabi. The pickled ginger is usually eaten between pieces of sushi to neutralize the taste of different varieties. For non-vegetarian sushi, it is the flavor of the different fish. You can either buy ginger already pickled or pickle it yourself.
So serve your homemade vegan sushi according to your taste with
- soy sauce,
- wasabi paste,
- pickled ginger.
This sushi is
- vegan – without fish,
- filled with carrot lox and vegetables,
- tastier than in a restaurant,
- easy to make at home,
- in the form of maki, nigiri and inside-out rolls,
- perfect for lunch or dinner.
In addition, the recipe
- can be changed at will, as far as the filling is concerned,
- is to implement with a few sushi basics.
How tp make vegan sushi at home: the recipe
You can find the exact quantities and step-by-step instructions on how to make sushi vegetarian at home below in the box recipe.
The vegan sushi recipe is quite simple. All you need are common sushi basics that you can buy in some supermarkets or in an Asian market. The sushi ingredients are
- sushi rice,
- for seasoning the rice vinegar, sugar and salt,
- for sushi fillings different vegetables or carrot lox,
- for sushi rolling nori leaves and
- and for rolling still sesame.
How to prepare vegan sushi
- Cook sushi rice according to package directions, season with the seasoning mix of rice vinegar, salt and sugar and let cool.
- Cut vegetables into thin strips, prepare carrot lox in advance if necessary.
- Roll sushi – in the form of maki, nigiri and inside-out rolls. Your vegetarian sushi is ready!
How to make vegan sushi at home: tips and tricks
- Use good quality sushi rice.
- Wash the rice thoroughly before cooking.
- Cook the rice exactly according to the package instructions.
- Before adding the sushi su to the rice, transfer it to a glass, ceramic or untreated wood bowl. In a saucepan, the vinegar may react with the metal and leave a corresponding taste.
- Always place the nori sheet smooth side down on the bamboo mat and spread the rice on the rough side.
- The plastic wrap on the bamboo mat will keep the mat clean as you roll the sushi.
- To prevent the rice from sticking to your hands when spreading it on the nori sheet, wet your hands a little with water first.
- When spreading the rice on the nori sheet, leave a gap of about 1 cm at the top long side to make the roll easier to roll later.
- If you like your sushi spicy, coat the rice a little with wasabi paste after spreading it on the nori sheet. Don’t go overboard with the wasabi paste though, as it is very spicy. A very small amount of it would be enough.
- Always spread the filling on the rice only on the bottom long side of the nori sheet from where you will roll up the sheet.
- Don’t fill your sushi too full.
- You can moisten the upper long side of the nori sheet, to which the roll will be rolled up, a little with water before rolling it up, so that the roll can be closed tightly.
- Use any vegetables or homemade carrot lox for filling. See my ideas for sushi fillings above.
- For inside-out rolls, you can brush the nori sheet a bit with (vegan) cream cheese or a dip to help the filling stick to it.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the rolls into pieces.
- To make it easier for you to cut the rolls into pieces and so that nothing sticks to the knife, keep moistening the knife with cold water.
- Serve sushi fresh immediately after preparation.
Did you make vegan sushi with this recipe? I look forward to your result, your star rating and your comment on the recipe below, how you have succeeded and tasted the Japanese dish.
Fancy some more delicious vegan main dishes from international cuisine? Also try:
- How to make Poke Bowl – vegan recipe with sesame sauce
- Vegan lasagna classic – the best recipe with lentil bolognese
- Ramen soup – vegan recipe for popular Japanese noodle soup
- Red lentil dal – recipe for popular Indian vegan dish
Vegan Sushi (maki, nigiri and inside-out rolls)
- sushi rolling mat
- 500 g sushi rice
- 1 l water (or according to package instructions for cooking rice)
- 100 ml rice vinegar (or according to rice package instructions)
- 1 tsp salt (or according to rice package instructions)
- 2 tsp sugar (or according to rice package instructions)
- 5 nori leaves
- wasabi paste (alternative)
- carrot lox (according to this recipe)
- yellow bell bell pepper
- red bell bell pepper
- white sesame
- black sesame
to serve (according to taste)
- soy sauce
- wasabi paste
- pickled ginger
- Wash sushi rice thoroughly and cook it according to package instructions. Then transfer it to a bowl made of glass, ceramic or untreated wood.
- Dissolve salt and sugar in rice vinegar, add the mixture to the warm rice, stir gently and let it cool to room temperature.
- Cut cucumber, bell bell pepper and avocado into thin strips.
- Wrap the sushi roll mat with plastic wrap, place a nori sheet on it with the smooth side down, moisten your hands a little with water and spread the cooked and seasoned sushi rice evenly, about 0.5 - 1 cm thick on the nori sheet, leaving about 1 cm from the top long sides of the sheet. (For this, also note my tips and tricks for making sushi at home here at the top of the post).
- Depending on your taste, coat the rice just a tiny bit with wasabi paste if you like your sushi spicy. Place cucumber strips, bell bell pepper strips, avocado strips, carrot lox, or a combination of ingredients lengthwise on the entire bottom long side of the nori sheet with the rice. Roll the nori sheet from the side with the filling using the sushi rolling mat firmly, with a little pressure to form a roll and then cut the roll into pieces about 1 cm wide, keep moistening the knife a little with water.
Shaping inside-out rolls
- Place a nori sheet with the smooth side down on the sushi roll mat wrapped with cling film, moisten your hands a little with water, spread the cooked and seasoned sushi rice evenly, about 0.5 - 1 cm thick on the whole nori sheet and press it a little.
- Now turn the nori sheet with the rice so that the rice layer is on the bottom. Place cucumber, bell bell pepper, avocado strips, carrot lox, or a combination of ingredients lengthwise on the entire bottom long side of the nori sheet. Using the sushi rolling mat, roll the nori sheet from the side with the filling tightly, with a little pressure, into a roll whose surface is rice.
- Roll the roll in a mixture of white and black sesame seeds and then cut it into pieces about 1 cm wide, keeping the knife slightly moistened with water.
- Moisten your hands a little with water, take a small amount of sushi rice in your hands and shape it into a short roll about 2 cm wide.
- Top the roll of rice with carrot lox or the vegetable strips. Tie each of the rolls topped with the vegetables with a narrow strip of nori leaf.
Serve vegan sushi
- Serve vegan sushi with soy sauce, wasabi paste and pickled ginger according to taste.
- Use good quality sushi rice.
- Transfer the rice with the seasoning mixture into a bowl made of glass, ceramic or untreated wood. In a saucepan, the vinegar may react with the metal and leave a corresponding taste.
- To prevent the rice from sticking to your hands when spreading it on the nori sheet, wet your hands slightly with water.
- Do not overdo it with the wasabi paste, as it is very spicy.
- The upper long side of the nori sheet, to which the roll is rolled up, can be moistened a little with water before rolling up so that the roll can be closed tightly.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the rolls into pieces and keep moistening it with cold water.
- Note the detailed tips and tricks for making vegan sushi at home at the top of the post.