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Making vegan sushi at home is delicious, fun, and much cheaper than in any sushi restaurant! A vegan sushi recipe with step-by-step pictures everyone can follow!

vegan sushi on a plate

Some people might think, sushi without fish, that isn’t real sushi! But let me tell you, vegan/vegetarian sushi is totally delicious. Whether filled with vegetables, vegan cream cheese, or herbs – the possibilities are endless.

My favorite vegan sushi fillings:

  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Vegan Cream Cheese
  • Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Coriander
  • Sesame Seeds
sushi macro shot

I love to fill each sushi roll a little different to have some variety on my plate. Mix and match those ingredients as you like! They all go so well together.

This list can be expanded with tofu, bell pepper, watermelon “tuna”, chickpea “tuna,” carrot, or any other plant-based ingredients. If you don’t like something on the list, just swap it out.

In summer, for example, I like to add some fresh mango to my sushi filling.

Sushi Beginners Are Welcome

It doesn’t matter if you have made sushi a dozen times or if you are a total beginner. With this detailed recipe and the step-by-step pictures, everyone can handle homemade sushi, even YOU! I promise! 

Let me tell you that your first rolls might not be as perfect, but this doesn’t matter. It takes a little practice until you reach the pro sushi chef level! 😉 No pressure at all, you will get better with each roll. 

How To Roll Sushi Without a Bamboo Mat

No bamboo sushi mat at home? No worries! Most recipes require a bamboo mat, but I am going to show you how to make a perfectly round sushi roll without a bamboo mat. 

All you need is a piece of plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. A slightly thicker kitchen towel would be perfect. Fold it in the middle and you have your free bamboo mat replacement.

See how easy you saved some extra bugs and space in your kitchen cabinet? 😉

By the way, if you don’t like the taste of Nori sheets, you might want to try this rice paper sushi recipe without seaweed.

two chopsticks taking a sushi roll

Before You Start

If it’s your first time making sushi at home, you will need much longer than the time suggested in the recipe. Plan it as a fun activity for the weekend with enough time and no rush. 

You can buy all the ingredients for sushi in major grocery stores. If there is an Asia Shop in your area, it’s worth a visit. Asian products are much cheaper there and often taste much more authentic because they import original Asian brands. 

Vegan Sushi Recipe – Step-by-Step Guide

This visual guide with step-by-step pictures should help you along the way- definitely recommended if you are preparing sushi for the first time. 

If you are a pro, skip right to the recipe at the end of the post, where you will also find the exact quantities and everything else you need to know to make this recipe.

  • Prepare the rice according to this recipe with step-by-step pictures and many additional tips: How To Make Sushi Rice (Perfect Every Time)
  • Place one sheet of nori (glossy side down) on a plastic wrap. Spread a layer of cooked sushi rice onto the nori. → This goes super easy with the plastic spoon from the rice cooker. To prevent the rice from sticking to it, dip it into a bowl of water from time to time. The same applies if you spread the rice by hand.
vegan sushi recipe step 1
  • Leave out approx. 1 inch at the bottom and 2 inches at the top. → For thicker sushi rolls, only leave out 1 inch at the top (makes less than 8 sushi rolls, but thicker ones).
vegan sushi recipe step 2
  • Cut the vegetables into thin strips.
vegan sushi recipe step 3
  • Place a thin line of cream cheese, followed by cucumber, avocado, and tomato strips onto the lower third of the rice. Top with cilantro or sesame seeds. → Mix and match the fillings as you like.
vegan sushi recipe step 4
  • Transfer onto a folded tea towel. 
vegan sushi recipe step 5

Start rolling it up into a tight sushi roll. 

  • Take the lower part of the nori with both hands and place it tightly over the filling (like a wrap).
  • This is how it should look!
vegan sushi recipe step 8
  • Now roll it into a nice and tight roll with the help of the kitchen towel! Tip: Make sure you don’t roll the plastic wrap into the sushi. To make the roll nice and round, roll it back and forth in the kitchen towel. If the Nori end is too dry and doesn’t stick, moisten it with a damp finger and slightly press to seal.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cut the rolls with a sharp knife into thin (or thick – as you like) sushi rolls. → For a nice and clean cut, and to prevent the nori from tearing apart, wet the knife under running tap water from time to time. Tip: The two ends are always kind of ugly! → I eat them as a snack while preparing the sushi. 😉
vegan sushi recipe step 11
vegan sushi served with wasabi and pickled ginger

Recipe FAQ

Can I prepare vegan sushi rolls in advance and keep leftovers? Yes. The best way to store sushi is to wrap each sushi roll (uncut) into plastic wrap (see picture below) and refrigerate. Eat within one day.

sushi roll packed in plastic wrap

Small portion? You can also cook only half the amount of rice, therefore, add 1 ¼ cup (300ml) cold water to the rice cooker! → The rice-water ratio is a little different for a smaller amount of rice if using a rice cooker. 

Do I need to make the rice in a rice cooker? If you are a sushi beginner, I ONLY recommend making sushi rice using a rice cooker! Don’t try it on the stove, or you are going to give up on homemade sushi! You don’t need an expensive one, a simple and cheap rice cooker for USD 20 will do!

Which is better, wasabi powder or paste? The powder version is what’s served at quality sushi bars and is more intense than paste, yet also more expensive. Either one is delicious. Make sure to prepare the powder at least 15 minutes prior to serving, as the flavor develops over time (follow the package instructions).

How to make pickled ginger? Follow this recipe to make homemade pickled sushi ginger. Prepare it at least one day in advance.

pickled sushi ginger next to sushi

Aline’s Dipping Tip: If you, by any chance, have sweet soy sauce at home, mix it 1:1 with regular soy sauce for dipping. So delicious with the vegan cream cheese filled sushi rolls!

two chopsticks dipping a sushi into soy sauce

More Asian Recipes You’ll Love:

Did You Try This Recipe?

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📖 Recipe

two chopsticks taking a sushi roll

Vegan Sushi

Making vegan sushi at home is delicious, fun, and much cheaper than in any sushi restaurant! A vegan sushi recipe with step-by-step pictures everyone can follow!
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 2 votes

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :20 minutes
Rice Preparation :1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time :1 hour 45 minutes
Servings : 8 Sushi Rolls
Calories : 204kcal

Ingredients
 

Sushi Rice

  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) sushi rice
  • 2 ⅓ cups (560 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Sushi Rolls

Serving

Instructions
 

Sushi Rice

  • Place the sushi rice in a large bowl and wash the rice under running cold water until the water comes out clear. → Move the rice in a circular rotation using your hand to speed up this process.
  • Carefully discard the water (use a sieve if you want) and generously fill the bowl with fresh cold water. Let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  • Drain over a sieve, place the rice in a rice cooker, add 2 ⅓ cups of water, and switch on the rice cooker.
  • Once cooked, switch off the rice cooker (unplug if necessary, don't leave it in the "warm" mode) and leave the rice for another 30-45 minutes in the rice cooker with the lid on. → This step can be skipped if in a hurry, but it does make a distinguishable difference!
  • Meanwhile, add rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, switch off the heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Place the sushi rice in a large bowl, pour over the hot vinegar mixture, and toss until well combined. Cover with a damp tea towel and let it cool to room temperature before using it to make the sushi rolls.
  • → For more tips and a detailed visual recipe guide with step-by-step pictures, please visit my other blog post: How To Make Sushi Rice

Sushi Rolls

  • Place one sheet of nori (glossy side down) on a plastic wrap. Spread a layer of cooked sushi rice onto the nori, leaving out approx. 1 inch (2 cm) at the bottom and 2 inches (5 cm) at the top. → For thicker sushi rolls, only leave out 1 inch at the top (makes less than 8 sushi rolls, but thicker ones).
  • Place a thin line of cream cheese, followed by cucumber, avocado, and tomato strips onto the lower third of the rice. Top with cilantro or sesame seeds. → Mix and match the fillings as you like.
  • Transfer onto a folded tea towel and roll it up into a tight sushi roll. → Check out the blog post for the visual guide with step-by-step pictures!
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  • Cut the rolls with a sharp knife into thin (or thick – as you like) sushi rolls. → For a nice and clean cut, and to prevent the nori from tearing apart, wet the knife under running tap water from time to time. Tip: The two ends are always kind of ugly! Eat them as a snack while preparing sushi!
  • Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled sushi ginger.

Notes

  • Leftovers & Make Ahead: The best way to store sushi is to wrap each sushi roll (uncut) into plastic wrap and refrigerate. Eat within one day.
  • Filling: If you don’t like something on the list, just swap it out with tofu, bell pepper, watermelon “tuna”, chickpea “tuna,” carrot, or any other plant-based ingredients. I love to fill each sushi roll a little different to have some variety on my plate.
  • Wasabi: The powder version is what’s served at quality sushi bars and is more intense than paste, yet also more expensive. Either one is delicious. Make sure to prepare the powder at least 15 minutes prior to serving, as the flavor develops over time (follow the package instructions).
  • Aline’s Dipping Tip: If you, by any chance, have sweet soy sauce at home, mix it 1:1 with regular soy sauce for dipping. So delicious with the vegan cream cheese filled sushi rolls!
  • Dislike Nori? Try out this sushi version with rice paper! 
  • Bamboo Sushi Mat: If you have a bamboo mat at home, you can omit the plastic wrap & towel and roll the sushi directly onto the mat.

Nutrition

Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 336mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 211IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @aline_made on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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