Fun and easy vegan sushi rolls, one with cucumber and avocado, the other with tofu, carrot, green onion, and a spicy sriracha mayo sauce.
Most sushi restaurants will offer these very rolls, and depending on the restaurant, they may be the only options for vegans. Now, I have been to some vegan restaurants that served sushi rolls that absolutely blew my mind, making veggies into works of art bursting with flavor. But I think I need to master the basics before I get too crazy. And these two rolls are a great place to start!
What you'll need:
bamboo sushi rolling mat
plastic wrap (it's not necessary but recommended - I really don't buy plastic wrap anymore but had some left to use for this)
fillings of choice - for my rolls I made an avocado cucumber roll and a tofu, carrot, green onion roll
sauces of choice - I used soy sauce and made a vegan sriracha mayo
The above items that you may not have on hand like a sushi rolling mat, nori, or rice vinegar, can easily be found online or at Asian markets, or even at your local grocery store. Sushi rice, or sticky rice, is short grain white rice which you should be able to find at the grocery store as well.
serving size: 2 rolls
2 nori sheets
1 1/2 cups sushi rice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
Roll 1: Cucumber Avocado Roll:
thinly sliced cucumber
half of an avocado
Roll 2: Tofu, Carrot, Onion Roll (does this have a name? Someone tell me if so.)
1/4 a block firm tofu
thinly sliced carrots
sriracha or any chili sauce
Cook your rice according to the package instructions. (I am guestimating 1 1/2 cups because I made 1 cup and could've used just a bit more)
In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt until dissolved. The sugar will balance out the rice vinegar some. Use less sugar if you want a less sweet flavor.
When the rice is done, remove from heat, add the rice vinegar mix, stir, and let cool.
Prepare the tofu by pressing it first. I only used about 1/4 of a block for one roll. Cut the tofu in stick-like strips and pan fry them in some light oil over medium heat until browned on each side.
Thinly slice some carrots. You can buy pre-shredded carrots or slice your own. I only had baby carrots so I steamed them just enough to make them easier to cut but still have a bit of a crunch.
Cut the green onion as needed to fit the length of the nori sheet, or cut into shorter strips to layer, whichever you prefer.
Slice your cucumbers into thin sticks.
Right before your ready to roll, slice your avocado pieces long ways (I only used half of the avocado).
Wrap your sushi mat all around in plastic wrap. This will make cleanup easier.
Lay a sheet of nori on the mat with the textured side facing up.
Wet your hands and grab a handful of rice. Begin spreading the rice on the sheet from edge to edge, leaving about a 1" space at the top. Wet your hands as needed to keep the rice from sticking to you. You don't want the rice to be stacked too thick but a decent enough layer should do.
At the bottom edge of your nori (not the blank space) you can start layering up the ingredients. Again, not too thick that it doesn't roll, but just enough.
Use the mat to start rolling the bottom of the nori towards the top, using your fingers to tuck the ingredients in tightly as you roll, and peeling the mat so that it doesn't roll in with it.
When you get to the top, wet your finger and glide it along that 1" space we left blank. This will help to seal the roll. Finish rolling.
Use a wet knife to cut the roll into 6-8 pieces.
For the sriracha mayo, I did equal parts vegan mayo and sriracha, which probably came to about 1 tablespoon of each. Adjust to your taste or skip and use a different sauce entirely!
Optional: I saw a vegan sushi chef wrap the finished roll in plastic wrap and twist the ends to make it really tight before unwrapping and cutting. I did this and it seemed to work really well!
And there you have it - 2 very easy vegan sushi rolls to make at home!
First timer here! If you're experienced in sushi and have any tips or tricks to share, please leave a comment - I'd love to learn ways to improve!