Learn how to make healthy and delicious vegetarian sushi with brown rice and a variety of colorful vegetables in this easy, step-by-step guide.
Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or eater, enjoying completely vegan sushi is a real treat for everyone, and it’s a lot easier than you think. I love to make vegan sushi with a variety of seasonal vegetables, brown rice, and seaweed for special occasions. It’s also really fun to make this into an interactive meal – just put the rice and veggies together and let everyone make their own sushi rolls just the way they like it.
If you decide to make hand-rolled sushi a regular habit, purchase a sushi rolling mat or sushi rolling kit that comes with a handy box and knife that makes rolling sushi easy. The sky has no limits with the vegetable powered fillings you can add to your sushi rolls! I’ve included my favorites in this step-by-step guide, but you can switch them up according to your preference, the season, and what you have in your kitchen right now.
Check out the full recipe for vegetable sushi from the farmers’ market, which follows these steps for making vegan sushi.
Step by step guide:
Follow these easy steps to make 4 vegetarian sushi rolls, which equals 8 servings.
Step 1. Prepare sushi brown rice
When making any vegetarian sushi, start by cooking short-grain brown rice according to package directions. You will need 3 cups of cooked rice to make 4 sushi rolls. I suggest making the rice the day before to quickly get this recipe done. While it cools, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and agave syrup to make the rice sauce.
Step 2. Make the sushi rice sauce
Mix 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of agave syrup in a microwave-safe dish and heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Stir the mixture well.
Step 3. Mix the sauce with the rice
Pour the sauce into the rice and mix well. Cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Step 4. Prepare the vegetables
Choose from a variety of vegetables for the filling, such as the following:
- Carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips of matchstick
- Cucumber, thinly sliced from a matchstick
- thinly sliced asparagus spears
- Microgreens or sprouts
- Avocado, thinly sliced
- Sliced green onion
- sliced mushroom
- Summer squash, thinly sliced from a matchstick
- Bell pepper, thinly sliced
- coriander leaves
- arugula or spinach, small leaves
- radish cut into thin slices of matchstick
- broccoli florets, thinly sliced
- Snow peas, thinly sliced
- Red cabbage, thinly sliced
Prepare 2 cups of the vegetables you plan to use in thin slices or small pieces, put them on a clean cutting board or plate, and set them aside to make room for the sushi rolls.
Step 5. Prepare the seaweed
Choose a package of nori seaweed leaves, which can be easily found in many supermarkets, natural food stores, Asian supermarkets, or online.
Step 6. Prepare the sushi board
Lay a sushi mat or piece of plastic wrap over a clean cutting board.
Step 7. Put the seaweed
Place one sheet of nori seaweed, shiny side down, on the prepared sushi board.
Step 8. Layer brown sushi rice
Spread about 7/8 cup of the cooled brown sushi rice mixture over about three quarters of the nori sheet, leaving room for the vegetables on the other quarter of the sheet.
Step 9. Sesame seed topping
Sprinkle the surface of the rice with half a teaspoon of sesame seeds.
Step 10. Add vegetables
Arrange 1/2 cup of the prepared vegetables on the empty right side of the sushi roll.
Step 11. Roll the sushi
To roll, start with the vegetable side, pressing firmly to create a tight, cylindrical roll. Keep rolling until you reach the end of the nori sheet.
Step 12. Repeat
Repeat the process until you have used all the ingredients to make 4 sushi rolls. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Step 13. Cut the sushi rolls into strips.
With a sharp knife, cut the sushi into 8 pieces.
Step 14. Make the creamy sriracha sauce.
Combine 3 tablespoons of vegan mayonnaise, ½ teaspoon sriracha sauce, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon agave syrup, and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice in a small dish.
Step 15. Plate and decorate the sushi
Place the sliced sushi rolls on plates (this is the one I brought from Japan!) and garnish the plate with vegetables. Spread a creamy siracha sauce over the rolls and garnish with herbs such as cilantro, basil, and green onions.
Enjoy! Try serving sushi rolls with sake for a special taste.
For other vegan cooking guides, check out some of my favorites: