Just because you’re following a vegetarian lifestyle, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sushi. This Japanese food is traditionally known as being filled with fish, but you can find delicious versions of it to cater to your vegetarian lifestyle.
Are there lots of vegetarian sushi options? There are tons of vegetarian sushi options out there, and you can also whip up delicious vegetarian sushi at home.
Read on to discover what your best vegetarian sushi options are when eating out. We’ll also feature what ingredients you need to add to your grocery shopping list so that you can make healthy, tasty vegetarian sushi in your own kitchen.
Best Vegetarian Sushi Variations
There are many vegetarian options to tickle your tastebuds if you want to enjoy sushi without any fish or seafood in it. Here are some of the best ones to try.
- Shiitake Mushroom Nigiri: Shiitake mushrooms have a bold, savory flavor, plus they offer a meatiness to sushi even though this type of sushi is completely vegan. The mushrooms are flavored with soy sauce or salt to bring out more of their flavor. When biting into this sushi, you’ll love how juicy and satisfying it is.
- Nasu Nigiri: In Japanese, “nasu” means eggplant. This is a common ingredient in vegetarian sushi because it can be presented in a variety of ways, such as grilled or pickled. Eggplant also works well with many different ingredients, such as ginger, to make your vegetarian sushi even healthier.
- Spinach Sushi: This is a healthy and interesting take on vegetarian sushi. It contains sushi rice, rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, spinach, avocado, spring onion, cucumber, and coriander. The blend of avocado and spinach is not just delicious but filling.
- Inari sushi: This looks a bit different from traditional sushi rolls. How it works is that the sushi rice is stuffed inside tofu pouches that have been fried. These are also cooked in a broth, such as dashi, which is a Japanese soup stock that’s the base for many popular dishes, such as ramen and miso soup.
- Kappa maki: This is essentially a cucumber roll that you’ve likely seen at restaurants when ordering vegetarian sushi. It’s basically made with a slice of cucumber that’s wrapped in a roll of seaweed and rice. This type of sushi is also sometimes used as a palate cleanser.
- Avocado rolls: Avocado contains healthy fats that are good for you, so an avocado sushi roll is a suitable option for vegans and vegetarians alike. These sushi rolls contain chunks of avocado that are rolled in sweet sushi rice which is then wrapped in seaweed. When ordered from a restaurant, these sushi rolls are served with pickled ginger on the side.
- Fruit Sushi: This might seem a bit out there, but fruit sushi is great if you want to enjoy a bit of a sweet treat. It contains rice that’s cooked with sugar, water, and salt. Then vanilla and coconut milk is added to make the rice moldable. You can use any fruit you like, so slice it up before rolling out the rice and then laying the fruit pieces on it. You can also blend berries with water to make a sweet, tangy dipping sauce.
How To Make Vegetarian Sushi At Home
Recipe #1: Easy Vegetarian Sushi
This is a really easy sushi recipe to try at home. You will need ingredients such as sushi rice, nori (seaweed) sheets, and a bamboo rolling mat, but other ingredients are probably already in your kitchen, such as cucumber, avocado, and carrots.
You can add vegetables, herbs, and spices of your choice to this recipe, so experiment or simply use what you already have!
- 2 cups sushi rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 avocado
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup carrots (shredded)
- Soy sauce/wasabi
- Rice vinegar
- Sesame seeds
- Nori (seaweed) sheets
- Bamboo rolling mat
- Plastic wrap
- Start by cooking sushi rice in water. Put it aside.
- Slice your avo into thin slices, and peel and deseed your cucumber. Slice it thinly. Put both aside.
- Cover your bamboo mat in plastic wrap.
- Now, place a sheet of nori on the mat. It should have its shiny side facing down.
- Dip your fingers in rice vinegar and spread half a cup of rice onto the nori.
- Sprinkle it with sesame seeds, then gently flip it over.
- Now you can place a quarter of the vegetables into the center of the nori sheet.
- Roll the sushi. Press it tightly against the bamboo mat.
- Once rolled up, you can slice the sushi roll into six pieces.
- Repeat the steps with the rest of your vegetables and nori sheets.
- Serve the sushi with soy sauce or wasabi.
Recipe #2: Sweet Potato Sushi
If you want something a bit different, you should try adding sweet potatoes to your sushi recipe. This one is healthy and filled with deliciousness!
What you’ll need to make the rice
- 1 ½ cups uncooked white sushi rice (rinsed)
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar (optional)
What you’ll need to make the roll
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
Extra items you’ll need
- Thin slices of avo
- Thin slices of cucumber
- Nori sheet (seaweed)
- Sushi rolling mat
- Start by cooking the sushi rice according to the instructions on the package.
- Stir in the rice vinegar, salt, and sugar.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash your sweet potato and peel it. Chop it into slices that are about half an inch thick.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg.
- In a second bowl, whisk the rice flour, salt, and garlic powder.
- In a third bowl, add breadcrumbs.
- Dip a slice of sweet potato in the egg, then the flour, then the breadcrumbs.
- Place the coated potato slice on a baking tray that’s been lined with parchment paper.
- Repeat the above steps with all the potato slices.
- Bake the coated potato slices for about 30 minutes. You want them to be crispy and golden-brown on the outside.
- Once they’re ready, you can put the sushi together.
- Add a nori sheet to a sushi rolling mat.
- Add a rice layer to the lower two-thirds of the nori. You want about two inches of space at the top.
- Firmly press the rice so that it will stick.
- Add your fillings to the bottom half of the rice: the sweet potato, avo, and cucumber.
- With the use of the bamboo mat, carefully fold up the sushi roll.
- Use a bit of water to seal up the ends of the nori.
How To Make Delicious Sushi At Home Every Time
Here are some extra tips to make mouth-watering sushi at home.
- Use a range of vegetables: Choose veggies with different flavors, colors, and textures. This is what gives your sushi lots of flavor and increased nutrients.
- Make sure you use some cooked veggies: While it’s good to use crunchy veggies, some cooked ones such as sautéed mushrooms, can provide appealing differences in texture and flavor. A good tip is to cook some vegetables in oil and soy sauce.
- Serve your sushi with delicious sauces: You don’t have to be limited to sauces such as mayo. You can use a variety of sauces, such as black bean paste, plum sauce, and wasabi. Just make sure that you start with a small amount of sauce as you don’t want it to overpower the ingredients in your sushi.
What can you use to make sushi if you don’t have a sushi rolling mat?
You can use a thick towel! This will work in the same way as a bamboo mat. As a bonus, it will clean up any mess you’ve made on your table or counter.
What can you use instead of nori when making vegetarian sushi at home?
You can use a variety of ingredients instead of nori, such as lettuce, a very thin omelet, rice paper, or deep-fried tofu.
While fish-based sushi is delicious, if you’re vegetarian or vegan you don’t have to give sushi a miss – you can make delicious and healthy sushi that doesn’t contain any fish or seafood.
In this article, we’ve looked at different and unique types of vegetarian sushi as well as provided you with tips to help you start rolling your own vegetarian sushi at home.