Vegan Sushi

These vegan sushi rolls are filled with avocado, cucumber and carrots. They are easy to make at home and make a great lunch or dinner!
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These vegan sushi rolls filled with avocado, cucumber and carrots are so easy to make even if you are a beginner! With only few ingredients, you can enjoy them in the comfort of your home.

maki rolls filed with cucumber, avocado, carrots placed in a bowl

Before I talk about the recipe, I would like to put a little disclaimer- I understand this isn’t really “sushi” since sushi has to have fish. This is based on some of the vegan maki rolls I have had at several Japanese restaurants in the US. Since that’s what they call it, I am going to call this vegan sushi as well. I have no intention of hurting anyone’s sentiments. I am only trying to re-create a recipe that I have eaten and loved in the last few years.

Do you guys know it’s so easy to make vegan sushi at home? The idea might sound intimidating but trust me it’s easier than you think.

I have eaten a lot of these vegan rolls over the past few years in the US and have always enjoyed them. Recently, on our trip to Hawaii, we had these amazing avocado and cucumber maki rolls. They were seriously so good that we had them twice in a row for dinner.

Maki is the most popular type of sushi that is served at most restaurants here in the US. I have never been to Japan so my knowledge is obviously limited here.

And since I am a vegetarian, my knowledge is super limited to only these maki rolls or vegan sushi rolls as you may call them.

To make vegan sushi, you only need few ingredients, it actually comes together very quickly!

What Do You Need To Make Vegan Sushi

  • Sushi Rice
  • Nori Sheets
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Avocado
  • Bamboo Mat (makisu)
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Soy sauce, wasabi and gari (thinly sliced ginger), for serving
all ingredients for making vegan sushi like nori, bamboo mat, veggies laid down on a board

As you might have rightly guessed, the first and most important part of making sushi at home is to find the right tools and ingredients for it.

I am lucky that I have several huge Asian stores in my area so I can find everything there. But in case you don’t have an Asian store nearby, then amazon is definitely a good option.

I have to admit though, I am so lost when I am at these Asian stores. It’s difficult for me to understand all the different types of rice, soy sauce, rice noodles etc. There’s so much variety, it’s mind boggling!

Whenever I am there, I always think that this is how people of other nationalities must feel at Indian grocery stores looking at all the different type of dals!

Making sushi rice is the first step in this process and that process is quite easy in the Instant Pot. Do check out my post on sushi rice where you will get more details on the kind of rice to use and how to make it with zero monitoring in the Instant Pot.

You would also need nori (seaweed) sheets to make these rolls. I use roasted nori which again I found at my local Asian grocery store. And if you want to make the rolls more often, then it’s also a good idea to invest in a bamboo mat (makisu).

Step by Step Instructions

First make the sushi rice and let it cool down. Please refer to my post on sushi rice for complete instructions. You would need to cook 1 cup raw rice which would yield around 2 cups cooked rice.

Once the rice is cooked, add vinegar, salt and sugar, mix well and then let it cool down before using in the rolls.

sticky rice in a glass bowl with a wooden spatula

1- Take a nori sheet(I used roasted nori) and place it over the bamboo mat (makisu). Then place around 3/4 of the cooked & cooled rice on top of nori. .Wet your fingers frequently when doing so as the rice is sticky. Spread it all over the nori while leaving an inch on one side.

2- Then place sliced cucumber, carrot and avocados in center. You don’t want the vegetables to be super thick so slice them thin.

3- Tuck your fingers and roll the sheet using the bamboo mat until it covers the filling. This first roll is most important since this determines how firm the roll will turn out. So roll tightly here.

4- Once the mat is over the filling, now use your fingers to press down on the mat.

step by step picture collage showing how to make vegan sushi

5 & 6- Now remove the mat from top of the nori, and then roll the nori sheet until the end to seal it.

7- If you want, you can further press the log under the mat to shape it better.

8- Using a sharp knife, now cut the log into slices. Slightly dip the knife in water and wipe with a wet cloth before slicing each time. Similar make more rolls until the rice and filling is over. I got 2 such rolls with the ingredients mentioned.

step by step picture collage showing how to make vegan sushi

Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve these vegan sushi rolls with soy sauce, wasabi and thinly sliced ginger!

pair of chopstick holding a vegan sushi roll

Tips & Notes

  • It’s best to use freshly made rice for making these rolls. Let the rice cool down at room temperature and then use in the recipe straightaway.
  • Use a super sharp knife to slice the sushi rolls. And wipe the knife with a wet cloth after slicing each time.
  • Slice the veggies thin, you can even use a mandoline slicer here if you want.
  • Other options for filling: you can add a lot of other veggies to the rolls here if you like. Bell peppers, asparagus, radish, jalapeno will all work well.
  • If you want to add tofu, I would recommend cooking it first with some soy sauce, ginger and garlic. You can even add a touch of sweetness with maple or honey. Once the tofu is cooked, then cut it into thin strips and use in the recipe. This will impart a lot more flavor to the tofu rather than using it straightaway.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these rolls gluten-free?

These are not since I used soy sauce for serving. You can use tamari to make these gluten-free.

Can I add other vegetables to these rolls?

Yes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, even fruits like mango they all would go well.

Can I replace rice with quinoa?

It should work but to be honest I have not tried it myself.

How to store leftover sushi?

Best is to eat sushi as soon as you make it. If you have leftovers, I would suggest wrapping them in plastic and refrigerate. If you don’t plan to finish the entire batch, then I would suggest skipping the avocado from the filling since that would go black if you store it for later.

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Vegan Sushi

maki rolls filed with cucumber, avocado, carrots placed in a bowl
Manali
These vegan sushi rolls are filled with avocado, cucumber and carrots. They are easy to make at home and make a great lunch or dinner!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 16 rolls
Calories 45 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked sushi rice
  • 2 nori sheets roasted
  • 2 medium carrots sliced in strips
  • 1 large avocado sliced
  • 1/2 medium cucumber sliced in thin strips
  • black sesame seeds to sprinkle

soy sauce, wasabi, ginger, to serve

    Instructions
     

    • First make the sushi rice and let it cool down. Please refer to my post on sushi rice for complete instructions. You would need to cook 1 cup raw rice which would yield around 2 cups cooked rice.
      Once the rice is cooked, add vinegar, salt and sugar, mix well and then let it cool down before using in the rolls (all measurements in the post on sushi rice).
    • Take a nori sheet(I used roasted nori) and place it over the bamboo mat (makisu). Then place around 3/4 of the cooked & cooled rice on top of nori. .Wet your fingers frequently when doing so as the rice is sticky. Spread it all over the nori while leaving an inch on one side.
      Then place sliced cucumber, carrot and avocados in center. You don't want the vegetables to be super thick so slice them thin.
    • Tuck your fingers and roll the sheet using the bamboo mat until it covers the filling. This first roll is most important since this determines how firm the roll will turn out. So roll tightly here.
      Once the mat is over the filling, now use your fingers to press down on the mat.
    • Now remove the mat from top of the nori, and then roll the nori sheet until the end to seal it.
      If you want, you can further press the log under the mat to shape it better.
    • Using a sharp knife, now cut the log into slices. Slightly dip the knife in water and wipe with a wet cloth before slicing each time. Similar make more rolls until the rice and filling is over. I got 2 such rolls with the ingredients mentioned.
    • Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve these vegan sushi rolls with soy sauce, wasabi and thinly sliced ginger!

    Notes

    1. You can fill these rolls with peppers, jalapenos, tofu and so much more! Mangoes are also great especially during summers.
    2. Serve with tamari in place of soy sauce to make this gluten-free. Sometimes wasabi can also contain gluten, so make sure to check the label. 
    3. Nutritional information does not include the nutrition from serving accompaniments. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 45kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 97mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1313IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 1mg
    Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

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