Vegan Sushi

I love sushi. Like, seriously love it. I could eat sushi two to three times a week and still wouldn’t get bored. The only thing is, as a vegan, there aren’t as many options for what goes inside the rolls. Carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and avocado are great, but they can be, well, boring after awhile.

So, my wife and I started listing other ingredients we could try. Just about anything plant based, colorful, and with a bit of a crunch to it made it to the list. Jicama, snow peas, bamboo shoots, green onions. For the version listed here, we added a bit of roasted butternut squash. Though it didn’t have the crunch, by pairing red bells and diced radishes, we got the perfect mix. Here’s how to make it!


For the sushi rolls

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 TBSP rice wine vinegar
  • 2 TBSP organic sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 – 4 slices roasted butternut squash (approx. 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick)
  • 3-5 radishes (depending on size)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

Start by preparing your rice. Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear. Transfer the rice to a saucepan along with the 2 cups of water. Heat on high until boiling, then turn down to simmer, cover the pot, and let simmer according to the package directions for your rice.

Meanwhile, heat the rice wine vinegar in a separate saucepan until it begins to steam. Add the organic sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Pour the mixture from the saucepan into a bowl or small cup and place in the refrigerator to cool.

Slice all of the vegetables and separate into three equal piles.

When the rice is ready, add the chilled vinegar solution and stir to combine. Lay out a bamboo sushi mat (you can use a clean dish towel if you don’t have a mat) and place one piece of nori on top.

Divide your rice into thirds and spread 1/3 onto the nori. Coat 1/2 of the roll with 1/3rd of the sesame seeds.

Now you need to decide if you’re going to roll so the nori is inside the roll, or if it’s on the outside. If you’re going to roll it inside, place a sheet of plastic wrap over the rice and sesame seeds and press down lightly so it sticks to the rice, then flip it over so the nori is on the top and the plastic wrap is on the bottom. Then arrange your vegetables in a row along the side of the nori that does not have the sesame seeds.

Pick up the forward edge of the bamboo mat (or dishtowel) and roll it over the top of the vegetables, trying to keep it as tight as you can. Continue to roll, moving the plastic wrap and the rolling mat out of the way as you go. The finished roll should look like this:

Using the same sheet of plastic wrap, tightly wrap the sushi roll and place in the refrigerator to chill. Repeat this process two more times so you end up with three rolls.

While the rolls are cooling, make your sauce. Place all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the flavor to your liking. When the sauce is ready, remove the first sushi roll you made from the refrigerator and unwrap the plastic. Slice the roll with a very sharp, serrated knife into approx. 3/4″ slices. You should wind up with approx. 12 slices per roll.

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