Vegetarians and vegans rejoice: sushi is back in your diet! This easy recipe for vegetarian sushi wraps crisp veggies, protein-packed tofu and creamy almond butter into delightful rolls that are easy to take on the go for a light lunch.
Who says vegetarians can’t enjoy sushi? Vegetarian sushi rolls like this recipe are just as fresh, crisp and tasty as the real thing.
I love this simple recipe because it’s quick to make, a great grab-and-go meal, and packed with health benefits. I have a feeling that once you taste your homemade sushi rolls, complete with savory almond butter and nori, you’ll be making this healthy recipe for lunch on the regular.
Homemade Plant-Based Sushi Ingredients
The key to nutrition-packed plant-based sushi rolls at home is choosing a variety of fresh veggies balanced out with protein sources. Here’s what I pack my homemade sushi rolls with:
Brown rice forms a whole-grain base to each sushi roll. Full of fiber, brown rice keeps you full and satisfied.
Sushi nori is the necessary, as oh-so-tasy roll wrapper. Nori is pressed seaweed, which packs many nutritional benefits, including calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, and more necessary vitamins and minerals. Nori, and other seaweed, is considered a superfood from the sea. And it’s easy to find in the Asian section of most grocery stores, so eat up!
Tofu or Pumfu, which is tofu made with pumpkin seeds, pack lots of protein into your rolls. Both are low in calories and fat and very high in protein.
Speaking of protein, I like to give my sushi rolls an extra boost with almond butter. If peanut, or another nut butter, is more up your alley, feel free to swap it in!
Sauerkraut is the secret ingredient for vegetarian sushi that’s great for gut health. A fermented food, sauerkraut is packed with beneficial probiotics. Research shows that a healthy gut is a major factor in overall health. Look for sauerkraut, which comes in a variety of flavors and veggies, in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Or make your own!
Crisp carrots and kale leaves add color and crunch to homemade sushi rolls. Not to mention vitamins C, A and plenty of antioxidants.
All of these powerhouse ingredients get rolled into one delicious plant-based package for an easy on-the-go lunch or light dinner.
How to Roll Homemade Vegetarian Sushi Like a Pro
Once you have all of your vegetarian sushi ingredients out and accessible, it’s time to start rolling. Don’t be intimidated. While it may look impressive, you’ll see that rolling your own sushi is easier than you think.
In fact, rolling sushi is a fantastic activity to get kids involved in the kitchen. They can mix and match ingredients to make their favorite roll and then they get to put it all together! I bet you won’t have any trouble getting them to eat their veggies if they made dinner themselves.
To start rolling, I recommend using a bamboo mat. Often, you can find them at Asian markets or online. Of course, if you don’t have a mat, fear not, you can still roll your own sushi.
Then, place a piece of nori on the mat. Add a line of brown rice down the center of the seaweed, lengthwise. Lay the rest of your ingredients on top of the rice. Be careful not to overfill the sushi, which will make it difficult to seal the nori.
When you have all of your ingredients in place, gently roll the sushi closed. If you’re using a bamboo matt, bring it up and over the sushi fillings in the center, pressing the nori down so it adheres to itself. It can be helpful to keep a dish of water nearby. Then wet your finger and brush the edge of the nori with water before sealing the sushi roll closed.
This video offers an excellent tutorial to rolling your own sushi.
Storing & Serving Vegetarian Sushi
This homemade sushi roll is best served right away. To slice it, choose a sharp knife and gently cut the roll into 1-inch pieces.
If you’re not eating the sushi immediately, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or a reusable bag. Slice the roll just before you dig in.
And don’t forget the dipping sauce! Simple soy sauce or tamari is always a great choice, especially if you have a bit of wasabi on hand.
If you’re feeling ambitious, why not try a new dipping sauce recipe? Here is some recipe inspiration:
- Easy Peanut Sauce makes everything taste better. Or use the same recipe and substitute almond butter.
- Classic Ginger Sauce is zesty with just the right amount of spice to complement these rolls.
- If you’re a fan of spice, mix up a batch of Red Chile Sauce to enjoy with your sushi.
More Delicious Plant-Based Japanese Recipes to Try
If you love Japanese food like this sushi recipe, add these other tasty and easy Japanese recipes to your repertoire:
- Vegan Okonomiyaki from Full of Plants transforms the Japanese pancake into a tasty and healthy vegan dish made with jackfruit.
- Vegan Sukiyaki or hot pot from Plants Don’t Bite, is a delicious and comforting noodle dish packed with vegetables
- Vegetarian Japanese Curry from Just One Cookbook is full of flavorful spices, hardy vegetables and condiments.
Easy, fun to make and packed with healthy ingredients like sauerkraut and creamy almond butter, these Vegetarian Sushi rolls are a winning plant-based lunch option.
- 1 carrot, cut into long, thin strips
- 2 cups kale leaves, chopped
- 1 package Pumfu or firm tofu, cut into long strips
- Coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 sheet sushi nori
- 1–2 tablespoons almond butter or peanut butter (I use sprouted)
- 2 tablespoons raw sauerkraut, drained and pressed to remove liquid
- Equipment: bamboo sushi mat
- Set a steamer basket in a small pot with an inch of boiling water. Steam the carrot strips and kale, covered, for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender but still brightly colored.
- Place the pumfu or tofu strips in a skillet with ¼ cup water and 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos or soy sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water has cooked off. Transfer the pumpfu or tofu to a plate to cool.
- Place the nori on a bamboo sushi mat. Cover most of the lower portion of the nori sheet with rice, leaving about an inch border uncovered. Add a horizontal line of almond butter, then add carrots, tofu/pumfu and kale. Using your thumbs, lift the sushi mat up and over the fillings. Tuck the nori and rice over them and roll forward, pulling out the mat. Tightly tuck the roll, then roll all the way forward and tuck again. Using a sawing motion, carefully slice the sushi roll in half, and then into about 8 pieces. Serve with coconut aminos or soy sauce.