Homemade Vegan Sushi – It’s Easier Than You Think and Even More Delicious (and Pretty) than You Dared Hope!

Homemade Vegan Sushi - It's Easier Than You Think and Even More Delicious and Pretty Than You Dared Hope
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If you have been putting off making vegan sushi (or maybe never even thought of making homemade vegan sushi rolls), stop it! It turns out that making vegan sushi rolls at home is really easy! Stymied for vegan sushi filling ideas? Guess what! You can use almost anything as a filling for vegan sushi! Is it authentic? Who cares! It’s delicious, and fun! We’ve used string beans, rehydrated dried sweet potato cubes, rehydrated dried mushrooms, and baby corn (because that’s what we had on hand), as well as ordering and using more traditional things such as ume (pickled plum) and tuno (vegan tuna). There’s even a vegan unagi (eel) sauce you can get to replicate vegan unagi (hey, it’s all about the sauce)! On a side note, who here remembers the ‘unagi’ episode of Friends? (Are we dating ourselves?)

We use this sushi-making starter set from Amazon, which is a complete kit and is usually on sale for under $20. This kit has literally everything that you need, including not one but two rolling mats, so you can make let someone else do it with you!

The Sushi Making Kit that We Use
recommended sushi making kit

Having actual sushi rice is great, but you can also use plain white rice or brown rice. Having ingredients like the ume and unagi sauce that we mentioned is cool but, again, not imperative (we’ll give you links to those things though in case you want them). But really, at the end of the day, all you need to make homemade vegan sushi is rice and sheets of nori (that’s the seaweed that is wrapped around the rolls). Everything else is optional. As for filling ideas, the only limit is your imagination.

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Anything can be a sushi filling! Use your imagination!
Pictured: green beans, mushroom, red peppers, avocado, carrots

homemade vegan sushi roll filling ideas can be anything

A word about rolling your own: it took us literally one roll to get the hang of making sushi rolls. It’s that easy. In fact, we hear tell that some people don’t even use a sushi rolling mat! Instead they use a dishtowel covered in plastic wrap, or they don’t use anything at all – they just plop the sheet of nori on a cutting board or countertop, put on the rice layer, add the filling, and hand-roll it! However you do it, the secret is to roll it tightly. After you put the rice layer on your nori and you start rolling it, after every half turn or so squeeze it evenly with your fingers to compress it. This is where having a sushi mat is good, because it helps you to compact the roll evenly across the whole roll. For more in-depth instructions on how to roll your sushi (it really is easy, but sometimes visuals help) see this YouTube video.

Easy Homemade Vegan Sushi

Ingredients

1 package nori sheets (we love these organic nori sheets)
Cooked rice (we use this organic sushi rice)
Whatever fillings you want (see suggestions below recipe)

Directions

Wrap your rolling mat with plastic wrap so that it is completely encased in plastic wrap. You don’t have to do this but it will be a pain to clean your rolling mat when you are done otherwise.

Lay a sheet of nori on your rolling mat. Spread 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the rice on the nori (how much you use is up to you, we like about 2/3 cup), leaving about a half-inch of nori at the far end naked (blank, riceless, whatever you want to call it) so that it can seal your roll. Note: some people will be tempted to wet this last, naked bit of nori with water – do not do that. The nori will seal all on its own, trust us.

Now put a thin line of filling, east to west, about an inch in from the edge of the nori that is closest to you. Now roll it up! Be sure to stop with every turn to squeeze the roll into submission (it’s helpful to think about the motion you make when giving someone a ‘hurts so good’ shoulder rub, you know what we mean, right?)

When you get to the end of the nori, on the final turn, make sure that the seam (where the naked nori meets the rest of the roll) is on the bottom of the roll. Compress, and then take the whole roll and rest it seam-side down on a cutting board while you go on to making your next roll.

Rolled sushi at rest while waiting to be cut up
sushi rolls at rest

Once you have made all of your rolls, slice them up using a very sharp knife and a light hand (the kit we recommend even includes a sushi knife). That’s literally all there is to it!

Serve with soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos and, if desired, wasabi.

Once we really started getting into this here are some of the fillings and other things that we added to our sushi kit:

ume (pickled plum)
umeshiso sauce
Tuno (vegan tuna)
unagi sushi sauce
inari pockets (OMG these things are so good, you stuff them with rice)

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 The Happy Gluten-Free Vegan is always free, always reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated. Receipts will come from ISIPP.

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Homemade Vegan Sushi - It's Easier Than You Think and Even More Delicious and Pretty Than You Dared Hope

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