Vegan Sushi

Make delicious vegan sushi rolls at home with easy to follow instructions. This is the best vegan sushi recipe because it’s made with simple ingredients and creates the perfect veggie sushi filled with sweet potatoes, avocado and more.

A hand holds vegan sushi, dipping it in a bowl with sauce. There's more sushi rolls around the bowl.
It’s easy to make sushi vegan following these simple steps.

I am absolutely the last person who you’d think would be singing the praises of sushi. In fact, the first several times I tried sushi, I hated it. Let’s blame that on immature taste buds.

For years I’ve allowed the taste preferences of my inner seven year old to run the show. That meant mac and cheese and mashed potatoes were my go-to favorites.

The good news is that taste buds are malleable. I am an expert on this topic because there are so many foods I hated that thought I would always hate, but now I like. Tomatoes and beets come to mind. Anyway, when you keep giving food a chance, you suddenly like them.

This is the story for me and vegan sushi.

What is Sushi?

Sushi originated in Japan and consists of a roll of seaweed wrap called nori, vinegar-infused cooked rice, and other ingredients, such as veggies. The word “sushi” actually means “sour rice” which is why vinegar is usually added to sushi rice.

Traditional sushi is oftentimes served with raw fish, but this vegan version is simply nori, rice, and veggies. If you find yourself doubting whether sushi without fish is good, let me tell you, this vegan sushi is amazing!

Once you know your vegan sushi options, you will love making your own at home. So, let’s talk about making vegan sushi.

If you’re new to homemade sushi, this recipe is perfect for beginners! Maki sushi rolls has the seaweed on the outside and makes a beautiful and delicious meal.

A platter holds two rolls of sushi rolls.

Homemade Vegan Sushi Ingredients

Personally, I find making homemade sushi really easy. The thing that can take the longest is preparing the ingredients for the rolls. So, let’s talk about vegan sushi ideas for ingredients.

  • Nori — Think of Nori, dried seaweed sheets, like tortillas that are used to roll up burritos. It’s a similar concept. Nori can be found in the Asian or International aisle of most grocery stores.
  • Rice — I recommend using Japanese sushi rice for sushi because it creates a nice, sticky rice. That’s what you want for sushi.
  • Vinegar — rice vinegar is added to the rice to create a slight sour taste as is mentioned above. This is a characteristic flavor of sushi, but once combined with all the other ingredients it works.
  • Sugar — we’ll add a little sugar to the rice to offset the sour from the vinegar.
  • Salt — just a little bit of salt is added to the rice for flavor.
  • Sweet potato tater tots — I know it seems like an odd ingredient for vegan sushi fillings. I got the inspiration from a local sushi shop that adds sweet potato tempura in their vegetarian sushi recipes. I wanted to add that sweet potato flavor, but without the work of making homemade tempura. Sweet potato tater tots did the trick!
  • Red bell pepper  — I love the color and flavor that thinly sliced red bell peppers add.
  • Avocado — sliced avocado adds both flavor and texture for vegan sushi.
  • Green onions — All the flavors are fairly mild, so adding a bit of sliced green onions contributes wonderfully to the flavor profile.

How to Make Vegan Sushi

There are a few steps when preparing the ingredients for easy vegan sushi, and it begins with sweet potatoes. So, let’s get started.

Step One: Prepare the Sticky Rice

Everyone would agree that getting the rice right is one of the most important steps of a good sushi roll. It begins with choosing the right rice. I recommend buying rice that is specific for sushi, which is typically a short-grain white rice.

You can use brown rice to make sushi, but the flavor, texture, and color may be different.

To make the best vegan sushi rice, begin by rinsing the rice and then place it in a pan with 3 cups water. Allow the rice to soak for 10 – 20 minutes in the pan. Then place it over medium to medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. When the rice is done remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

A hand holds a glass bowl, pouring liquid into another bowl full of white rice.

Meanwhile, add the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. When the rice is done and has set for 10 minutes, transfer it to a bowl. Pour in the vinegar mixture and stir to ensure the rice is coated. Cover with a wet kitchen cloth until you’re ready to roll the sushi.

Step Two: Prepare the Sweet Potatoes

As described above, we’re using sweet potato tater tots to make a crunchy potato filling for this vegan sushi rolls recipe. I find sweet potatoes make a really tasty non fish sushi. Leave the tuna in the sea! You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups from a bag of frozen sweet potatoes.

Cook the sweet potato tater tots according to package instructions, cooking them until good and crispy. When the tots are done, remove them from the heat and allow them to cool, until cool enough to handle. Then place them on a cutting board and chop each in half lengthwise.

Step Three: Rolls the Sushi

This is a maki sushi which means the nori is on the outside of the roll. Place a nori sheet on the bamboo sushi mat, with the shiny side of the nori sheet down. I think it helps to have a small bowl with water nearby to dip your fingers in, because this can be a sticky process.

Spoon rice on the nori sheet and create a thin layer of sushi rice across the bottom 2/3 of the nori sheet. You’ll want to leave about 1 1/2 inches at the top without rice. Be sure to press the rice firmly to ensure it sticks on the nori sheet.

A nori sheet is on a bamboo mat with ingredients on top like rice, sweet potato pieces, avocados, and more.

On the bottom half of the roll, add a strip of chopped sweet potato tater tots, then a layer of avocado slices, red bell pepper slices, and green onion slivers. 

Note: The goal is to create sushi rolls that all have consistent ingredients. That’s why thin slices of the veggies is important.

Hands are using a bamboo mat to roll up a sheet of nori with sushi ingredients on top.

To roll the sushi, use the bamboo roller to roll the nori, using your fingers to gently press down on the nori sheet as it rolls up. Roll it tightly to the end. Dip your fingers in water and apply that to the end of the nori sheet and finish rolling the nori, pressing gently to seal it.

I like to place the sushi roll, seam side down, on the counter and allow it to sit while I roll the remaining sushi rolls. This helps create a nice, firm sushi roll. Repeat this process with remaining nori sheets, rice, and toppings.

Step Four: Cut the Sushi Rolls

To cut the nori rolls, I like to use a sharp knife dipped in water to get a clean cup. Here’s the process I use for cutting sushi rolls:

  • Place the nori roll on a cutting board.
  • Dip a sharp knife in water and cut the nori roll in half.
  • Dip the knife in water again, then cut each half in half.
  • Dip the knife again, then cut the remaining pieces in half, resulting in 8 sushi slices per roll.
  • Repeat this process with remaining rolls.

Make Sushi Dipping Sauce

There are a number of sauces you can create to dip your sushi in. For example, this awesome sauce I used for my veggie lettuce wraps. However, today’s sauce works so well with this vegan sushi. Here are the ingredients:

  • I love using tamari, a gluten-free version of soy sauce
  • We’ll add just a bit of agave nectar to offset the spicy
  • Lemon juice adds flavor and improves the consistency
  • Vegan mayo makes this sauce creamy
  • Dried ginger is added for its flavor
  • Sriracha is optional, based on your hotness preference, but really adds a lot!

Simply combine these ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. I find the mayo doesn’t always break down, so heating the sauce in the microwave for 20 – 30 seconds helps.

Looking down on several sushi rolls sitting next to a bowl of sauce and chopsticks.

Other Vegan Sushi Fillings

There are other veggie sushi ideas that might work for fillings too. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Make tofu sushi rolls by adding slices of marinated tofu
  • Chopped cucumber is another popular sushi ingredient
  • Some like adding pickled ginger to their sushi either inside the sushi or serving it on the side
  • You can a small amount of vegan cream cheese as a filling
  • Pickled red cabbage is another colorful and tasty option
  • Chopped greens can add texture and nutrition to your vegan sushi.
Looking closely at several rolls of vegan sushi.

What to Serve with Vegan Sushi

There are lots of goodies you can serve with vegan sushi, including these:

As you can see, vegan sushi recipes are easy to make and create a stunning dish!

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

Looking closely at several rolls of vegan sushi.

Vegan Sushi

This Vegan Sushi recipe is so easy and delicious. Enjoy this plant-based sushi and served with a tasty peanut dipping sauce!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Vegan Sushi
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 116kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

Sushi Rice

Sushi Roll

  • 1 1/2 cup frozen sweet potato tater tots
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced thinly
  • 1 avocado peeled and sliced
  • 2 green onions sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 5 sheets of nori

Spicy Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegan mayo
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha (Optional, based on your hotness preference)

Instructions

For the Sushi Rice

  • Rinse rice and then place in a pan with 3 cups water. Allow it to sit for 10 – 20 minutes. Then place over medium to medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. When the rice is done remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar. When the rice is done and has set for 10 minutes, transfer it to a bowl. Pour in the vinegar mixture and stir to ensure the rice is coated. Cover with a wet kitchen cloth until you're ready to roll the sushi.

For the Sushi Roll

  • Cook sweet potato tater tots according to package instructions, cooking them until good and crispy. When done, remove from heat and allow to cool, until cool enough to handle. Then put on a cutting board and chop each in half lengthwise.
  • Place a nori sheet on the bamboo sushi mat, shiny side down. Have a small bowl with water nearby to dip your fingers in. Spoon rice on the nori sheet and create a layer of sushi rice across the bottom 2/3 of the nori sheet. You'll want to leave about 2 inches at the top without rice. Be sure to press the rice firmly to ensure it sticks on the nori sheet.
  • On the bottom half of the roll, add a strip of chopped sweet potato tater tots, then a layer of avocado slices, red bell pepper slices, and green onion slivers.
  • Use the bamboo roller to roll the nori, using your fingers to gently press down on the nori sheet as it rolls up. Roll it tightly to the end. Dip your fingers in water and apply that to the end of the nori sheet and finish rolling the nori, pressing gently to seal it. Allow the roll to sit for a minute or two, seem side down. Repeat this proceess with remaining nori sheets, rice, and toppings.
  • To cut the nori rolls, use a sharp knife dipped in water. Cut the nori roll in half. Dip the knife again, then cut each half in half. Dip the knife again, then cut the remaining pieces in half, providing 8 slices per roll. Repeat with remaining rolls.

For the Spicy Dipping Sauce

  • Make the dipping sauce by combining the ingredients in a bowl. Microwave for 10 – 20 secons to heat it up. Stir to combine.
  • Serve the sushi bites with the sauce.

Equipment

Notes

If you don’t have issues with gluten, feel free to substitute soy sauce for tamari.
If you’d like additional protein, you can add thin strips of pressed tofu to the sushi rolls.
You can find sweet potato tater tots in the freezer section of most grocery stores.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Sushi
Amount Per Serving
Calories 116 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 155mg6%
Potassium 391mg11%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 835IU17%
Vitamin C 50.9mg62%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Enjoy!

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