Craving for sushi but at the same time maintaining a vegan diet? Get ready to brace yourselves for this Natural Vegan Sushi Roll we have for you! You don’t need many ingredients for this Natural Vegan Sushi Roll recipe. It’s all very basic. You should be able to find all of the ingredients in any regular grocery store.
The key to your success here is choosing the appropriate rice. One way to be sure your sushi rolls hold together is to use white short-grain sushi rice. For this recipe you’ll combine cooked white sushi rice with other whole grains to “boost” it nutritionally. I’ve found that using a percentage of white rice really helps the rolls come together. More importantly, it helps them hold together, especially important for newbie sushi makers or if you’re having kids help out.
No Sushi Mat, No Problem!
You don’t need to have a special sushi mat to make sushi. You can use parchment paper. A clean linen or cotton towel can also work. If you want to make reverse roll (where the rice is on the outside, line your parchment paper with a sheet of plastic wrap. Do a layer of rice, next add the sheet of nori followed by more ingredients and/or rice. You can see my set up for getting ready to roll sushi in the photos below. Basically this is a long way of saying, you don’t need a bunch of specialty equipment to make vegetable or vegan sushi.
Combine the white sushi rice and whole grain rice in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
To make the tofu, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame-chili oil, and 3 tablespoons of water in a wide, shallow bowl. Cut the tofu into four slabs (see photo), and place in the bowl. Flip once or twice to coat. If you have time allow it to marinate for an hour or so. This is more important if you’re grilling the tofu. If you’re using a skillet, cook the tofu over medium-high heat in the marinade liquid. Cook the first side until golden, then flip and cook the second side. Remove from the pan and slice into matchsticks.
Have all of your ingredients ready when you start to assemble your sushi. Place a sushi mat or parchment paper in front of you. Place one sheet of nori on the sushi mat. Spread about 1 cup of the rice mixture across the bottom third of the nori. Pat it down with a (wet) spatula so it holds together. Now add strips of tofu, avocado, sweet potato fries, and kale along the length of rice.
Working from the bottom, use your sushi mat or parchment paper to start gently (but confidently!) guiding and shaping everything tightly into a roll. Use your extra fingers to keep ingredients in place and to pull the roll in toward the sushi mat. The goal is shaping and keeping things tight. Keep guiding and rolling. Once the rice and fillings have been encircled by the nori, compress and pull things tight one more time. You can run your hands along the length of the roll making sure nothing is loose.
Continue rolling to the end of the nori at this point, guiding the sushi mat or parchment paper out of the way as you go. Use your sharpest knife to cut the rolls into pieces. Keep the knife damp with water, and clean as you go if necessary.
Serve with soy sauce spiked with wasabi paste whisked in. The all-natural wasabi paste from Japan at Toiro Kitchen is highly recommended.