Yes. Vegan sushi! I don’t know about you, but sushi is one of the tastes that I miss the most since going vegan. I used to have a “fudge day” once and a while and have it, but we discovered that Nick’s digestion and energy were affected in a negative way fairly immediately post consumption, and this curtailed “fudge day!” Apparently I lucked out have, quite literally, the digestion of a goat as I never suffered any negative after effects.
Veggie sushi already exists, but Nick isn’t a big fan of it. I had a veggie tempura roll one time and I thought it was pretty good, but he doesn’t like “fried stuff” so shunned that, too. Man, I was just outta luck on the sushi front! After feeling bummed for just a bit, I got inspired! I rolled up my sleeves and put my “can-do” attitude to work!
May I present to you Vegan Sushi. That doesn’t suck!
It has sweet potato oven fried tempura, tofu, carrots, avocado, and cucumber. You could add sprouts or lettuces, too.
Now, if this is something you are interested it, a word to the wise. Making sushi takes time and effort. I am by no means an expert at this–in fact, I’d say my sushi abilities are crude at best. But, it is a fun meal to make, and a fun meal to eat, and I’ve improved over time. First, let’s start with the sushi rice.
1 Cup Sushi Rice (needs to be Sushi Rice!)
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Rice Vinegar
1/2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
2 Tbs White Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
Rinse your rice! Yes, you must rinse it in a strainer of some kind until the water runs clear. I like to put the rice in a large bowl and rinse it this way. I *think* this gets some of the extra sticky starch off. Like I said, I’m no expert here. I’m just going by what I’ve read and messed around with. Once rice is clean(?), put in a pot with the water, cover and bring to a boil. Turn down heat, leave covered, and let cook until water is all absorbed; about 20 minutes or so.
While rice is cooking, prepare the stuff that actually makes all sushi-rice-yummy. In a small sauce pan, put vinegar, oil, sugar, and salt. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Once the sushi rice is done, pour this liquid over it and mix until totally incorporated. Don’t worry, the rice will hold it’s shape as the liquid gets absorbed in. The rice shouldn’t turn into a sloppy, glop on you.
Okay. So there you go. Phew! Step one of sushi done! Let the rice just cool, uncovered, and move on to making your sweet potato oven fried tempura!
1 Medium Sized Sweet Potato, Peeled & Sliced into 1/4 inch thick strips
1/4 Cup Plain Almond Milk
4-5 TBS White Flour
1/4 – 1/3 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Roll the sweet potato strips in the flour, then milk, then coat with the panko bread crumbs. Place on a well oiled tin foil sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Set aside for use in the vegan sushi.
My little panko potato minions of goodness before they went into the oven!
….Okay. You all still with me here? Alright. Now we are really getting somewhere! We got the rice, we got one of the main fillings, well, now what? Time to assemble your sushi station!
To make the sushi, you will need:
3-4 Sheets of Nori Seaweed Paper
Prepped Sushi Rice
Prepped Sweet Potato Tempura
1/2 Package Savory Kind Tofu (optional)
1/2 Cucumber, Peeled & Seeded
1 Carrot, Peeled
Cut the tofu, avocado, carrot, and cucumber into nice thin slices. You can use a kitchen towel, a sushi roller, or even a place mat to help you roll up your sushi. For the purposes of this recipe, I’m going to pretend that you all have a sushi roller/mat thingy, okay? So, place a sheet of seran wrap covering the entire surface area of your sushi mat. Lay a piece of nori seaweed paper on it, then cover it with your sushi rice, making sure to really press the rice down, smoothly and evenly.
Next, start layering on your goodies!
Next, take the edge of your seaweed paper and start to roll the whole thing up, nice and tight! You want to be firm, but not so much that you squish the guts out of your roll.
Then, slice and serve! Trick for you guys–use a really, really sharp knife. And don’t press down too hard as you cut the roll. Also? Try not to handle them too much. This is the stage where mine usually sort of fall apart a bit. I was amazed that I got any good photos!
Serve with wasabi & soy sauce.
See what I mean? It isn’t the most elegant looking sushi ever, but with time and practice I think I can get better at this! Keep in mind that this recipe will yield enough rice and fillings for 3-4 large rolls, which is more than enough for two people. If you are cooking for more, double the recipe. Side note: the sweet potato oven fried tempura were so dang good all on their own! They’d make a great side for sandwiches or sloppy joes or the like.
I hope you all give it a try and let me know how you make out. It is a bit of a labor of love for this recipe, but I think that it cures the sushi cravings pretty nicely. :) Cheers and here’s to vegan sushi!