Vegan Sushi Roll
In this post I will teach you how to make home made sushi from start to finish. Along the way, I have many tips about how to avoid the common mistakes. Making home sushi has it’s challenges, but in the end the reward is well worth it!
Recommended order of preparation:
- Marinate the carrots and tofu overnight.
- Soak the rice overnight or one hour before cooking.
- Bake tofu and sweet potato
- Cook the rice
- Make the sushi vinegar
- Slice the vegetables
- Making the rolls
Veganece’s Recommended Filling combination:
- Tofu and sweet potato
- Tofu, cucumber and avocado
- Carrots, cucumber and avocado
- 350 grams extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp gluten-free tamari soy sauce
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 cups of uncooked sushi white or brown rice
- 5 Tbsp seasoned sushi vinegar (divided)
- 4 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 handful sweet potato
- 1 big carrot, julienne
- 1 ripe avocado
- 2 mini cucumber, julienne
- 1 tbsp vegan furikake
- Roasted Nori wrap
- Wasabe, optional
- Pickled ginger, optional
- Soy sauce for a dip (optional)
- Bamboo Mat
Marinating Carrots and Tofu:
Rinse the tofu and pat with a paper towel to dry. Slice the tofu into french fries like strips and put it in a leak-proof container. Add two tablespoon of gluten-free tamari soy sauce and one tablespoon of avocado oil to the tofu, cover the container and shake it gently until the tofu is coated. Put it in the fridge to marinate overnight.
Prepare to carrots, rinse and peel. Julienne 1 big or two medium-sized carrots, put it in a tight lid container and add 1 tbsp of sushi vinegar. Cover and shake to get the carrots well coated with the sushi vinegar and put it in the fridge overnight. I like marinating the carrots and tofu for more flavour, but you can skip the process if you don’t have enough time to do it.
Bake the Tofu and Sweet Potato Fries:
Preheat the oven to 400F. Cover a cookie sheet tray with parchment paper. Spray or brush the parchment paper with grapeseed oil. Take the marinated tofu from the fridge, evenly sprinkle two tablespoons of potato starch, cover the lid and shake it well but gently to avoid breaking the tofu. Just enough to get the tofu coated with the starch. Line the tofu on the cookie sheet tray to prepare for baking. Place in the oven and bake it for 25 minutes. Make sure to flip the tofu after 15 minutes and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Once done, put it aside. Bake the sweet potato fries according to the package instruction and cool them down when done. I like to bake the tofu separately since I like using the middle rack of the oven to make sure they come out well. Suppose you want to bake both simultaneously to save energy. You need to adjust the length of cooking time of the tofu.
Making the Sushi Vinegar:
I like to make the sushi vinegar while the rice is cooking, or you can also make the sushi vinegar ahead of time and store it in the fridge. You can double the amount if you want for future use; otherwise, using store-bought seasoned sushi vinegar is also acceptable. You can always buy pre-made sushi vinegar if you prefer. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. I do it most of the time. Just try to purchase the ones with no MSG.
In a small pot, put four tablespoons of rice vinegar, two tablespoons of sugar and one teaspoon of sea salt. Place the pot on the stovetop and turn it on to low-medium heat. Mix until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute.
Cooking the Rice:
For the best result and fast cooking of rice, I usually soaked the rice with water for at least an hour or even overnight, especially if you are using brown rice, but if you don’t have that time, cooking it without soaking will do.
Rinse 2 cups of white sushi rice or brown rice if you prefer. Make sure you rinse the rice well until the water runs clear. Drain properly. Put the rinsed rice in a pot. Add two cups of water or two 1/2 cups when using brown rice. Set your stovetop to a high temperature. Put the pot with the lid on. When you see the steam coming out, that means it is boiling. It is vital not to open the lid. Don’t even peak. Just turn down the stove’s temperature to low and cook the rice for 15 minutes, 20 minutes if you’re cooking brown rice as it takes longer to cook. After 15 or 20 minutes, turn the heat off without removing the pot from the stovetop. Let it sit still with the lid on for another 5-10 minutes. When done, you can check the doneness of the rice by pinching it between your thumb and pointy finger. The rice is done if you can squeeze without a hard crystal in the middle. Transfer the cooked rice to a big bowl, spread the rice and add four tbsp of seasoned sushi vinegar. Gently fold the rice into the mixture, ensuring it is well coated with the sushi vinegar. Cover the rice bowl with a cloth towel to prevent it from hardening until it’s ready to use.
Preparing the Fresh Vegetable Sushi Filling: Peel the cucumber and slice it thinly and vertically. Peel the avocado and slice vertically about half an inch thick. Arrange all of the filling choices on a wide plate. You can play around with sushi filling as there are so many options.
Making the Sushi Roll:
I start with wrapping my bamboo mat with saran wrap for easy cleaning. For inside-out sushi, I cut 3/4 of the Nori. Lay it on top of the bamboo mat. Rinse your hand with cold water but don’t dry it. It prevents the rice from sticking into your hands. Scoop half a cup of rice with your hand and, using both hands shape the rice into an oval shape, spreading it evenly to the Nori sheet. Leave at least 1/2 inch of space on one side without any rice. Flip the Nori right side up, layer your choice of filling in the middle. Now lift the bamboo mat in each end to center the Nori. Fold one end and then the other to overlap each end. Roll the log gently back and forth to get the firm sushi log shape. Repeat the process until the rice is finished. To finish, Sprinkle the rice side with furikake.
To make the Nori side up roll, use the whole Nori sheet. Put the nori sheet on top of the bamboo mat. Wash your hand with cold water again without drying. Scoop half a cup of rice and form an oval shape. Spread the rice evenly into the Nori sheet, leaving at least 1/4 of space on one end of Nori without rice. Sprinkle the rice with vegan Furikake. Place the filling on the opposite side of the space. From that corner, lift the mat and start folding to create a log while your other hand supports the other end. Slowly roll towards the other end until you meet that 1/4 space to secure the log. Gently roll back and forth once or twice until your roll is tight and secured. Repeat the same process until your rice is finished.
Use a thin sharp knife to slice your sushi roll. Typically one roll produces about eight slices of sushi. Serve the sushi with your choice of wasabi or soy sauce. You can also use my homemade mayo and mustard sauce - see this video.
Now you can enjoy your masterfully made sushi!