How to Make Vegan Sushi

April 21, 2014

I am a huge sushi lover. I love the saltiness of the seaweed, the sticky rice, the wasabi that burns through my nostrils and the sweet, pickled ginger that cleanses my palate. I am absolutely in love with every bite. But since I gave up fish six years ago, I find it more and more difficult to go out and enjoy my sushi with such limited vegetarian options at very expensive prices. So, until they create an affordable all-vegetarian sushi bar in my area, I appreciate making my own sushi at home (saving time and money) with a few simple ingredients.

Seaweed is an extremely beneficial vegetable for the vegan diet. Since vegans cut out fish, cheese and eggs –all which contain iodine—seaweed makes up for the nutrient loss by satisfying our iodine amount. Iodine is stored in the thyroid and forms thyroid hormones. These hormones help with the health of hair, skin and teeth. An iodine deficiency can lead to dry skin or hair loss.  Seaweed is also the only vegetable to contain the vitamin B12, found typically in animal-based sources.  Vitamin B12 is essential in the production of red blood cells and a deficiency can lead to a condition similar to anemia and damage to the nerves in the spinal cord.  Studies have shown that nori (the type of seaweed used to wrap sushi) provides the best source of B12 among the different kinds of seaweed.  So instead of taking supplements, snacking on sushi can help!

Below are two recipes I conjured up over the weekend. The first is a classic vegetable sushi roll, the other a fruity dessert roll for after.

For both:
Boil one cup short-grain rice and 2 cups water in a pot. Once boiling, cover and turn heat down to simmer. Allow all water to be absorbed and then let the rice cool down.

Stir in two tablespoons of rice vinegar (add more if necessary) to rice. Add a little bit of sugar and salt and combine.

Vegan Sushi 2 Ways

Vegetable Roll

How to make vegan sushi - vegetable roll

Ingredients: Avocado, bell pepper, cucumber (seeded)

Peel and slice avocado into vertical strips. Slice bell pepper and cucumber into thin, vertical strips.

Lay a nori sheet shiny side down onto a clean, moist (not dripping) kitchen towel.

Spread rice over the center of the sheet.

Fill in with avocado, cucumber and bell pepper. Be careful not to put in too much!

Using the towel roll the sushi over slowly. Be very careful and take your time!

Strawberry-Pineapple Roll

How to make vegan sushi - strawberry-pineapple roll

Ingredients: Pineapple, strawberries, almond butter, liquid sweetener (agave or coconut)

Slice pineapple and strawberries  into thin, vertical strips.

 Lay a nori sheet shiny side down onto a clean, moist (not dripping) kitchen towel.

 Spread almond butter over sheet.

 Spread rice over the center of the sheet.

 Add a few scoops of almond butter over the rice

 Fill in pineapple and strawberry. Not too much!

 Drizzle a honey substitute such as agave or coconut nectar over it

 Roll the sushi over with the towel.

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Yoga for Reducing Anxiety

Conditioning DIY Vegan Hair Masks

Related: Detoxifying Nori Salad


Photo: Jessica Renae


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Jessica Renae is a freelance journalist based out of Northern California. As an eight-year-long vegetarian, Jessica is obsessed with everything veg. Some of her favorite things include endless hikes through her backyard forest, challenging yoga poses and lazy days spent with her cats. Follow her on Instagram @jessbuxbaum.


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