Sushi is a delicious and nutritious Japanese food. Many varieties of vegan sushi can be created using ingredients such as carrot, cucumber and beetroot matchsticks, beansprouts and dairy free cheese.
Vegan sushi rolls can be prepared at home. They can be customised with a variety of fillings to suit your tastes and require very little in the way or special equipment and ingredients. A sushi rolling mat can be bought cheaply online or from some supermarkets even if you do not have an Asian foods shop nearby. It is also possible to buy moulds for making sushi .Or you could have a try at making it without either as shown in this post from The Minimalist Baker (http://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-sushi-without-a-mat/).
There are several types of rolled sushi including:
• Hosomaki – “thin roll” – rice on inside, nori on the outside
• Chumaki – “medium roll” – rice on inside, nori on the outside
• Futomaki – “thick roll” – rice on inside, nori on the outside
• Uramaki – “inside-out roll” – rice on outside, nori on the inside
• Temaki – “hand roll” – cone-shaped roll)
Vegan Sushi Recipes
I have included a selection of vegan sushi recipes. These can also be made gluten free by using tamari instead of soy sauce.
Nori Maki (Nori Rolled Sushi)
Su-meshi (vinegared rice) is used to make this tasty and increasing available food. It is essential to use sushi rice as other types of rice such as basmati and long grain are not sticky enough to properly hold the rolls together. Sushi rice can be purchased from specialist food stores and some supermarkets. It is often in the world found isle or in the specialist ingredients section.
A bamboo sushi mat (Makisu) is used to roll the rice and filling covered nori (seaweed sheets) into tubes. It is then sliced into pieces. Fillings can essentially be anything you choose that can be sliced into sticks or strips.
These small sushi rolls are easy to make and are ideal for people unfamiliar with sushi making or for party food.
½ cup sushi rice
2 tbsp soy sauce
½ cucumber (1 cup) peeled, seeded and cut into matchsticks
3 tbsp sesame seeds
4 sheets of toasted nori
Small amount of water in a cup
1. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Allow the rice to cool, covered in the saucepan.
2. Toss the cucumber sticks in the soy sauce and set to one side.
3. Cut each of the sheets of nori into 3 strips.
4. Place one strip of nori in front of you on a flat dry surface. Place 1 tbsp of rice onto one end of the nori strip. Flatten the rice a little and add 5 or 6 cucumber matchsticks and sprinkle over a pinch of sesame seeds.
5. Pick up the corner of the nori underneath the rice. Roll the strip tighly until it has all been wrapped around the rice and cucumber. Use a little water to join the nori strip and hold the sushi together.
These rolls could also be made using other vegetables such as carrot matchsticks, beetroot, beansprouts, Enokitake mushrooms or sliced onion. A combination of vegetables could also be used. Vegan cheese spread can also be used as a filling, with or without vegetables.
Futomaki (Thick Rolled Sushi)
Futomaki are wider rolls made in the same way as Su-meshi. These generally contain more than one filling but can also be made using a larger amount of one filling if preferred.
4 cups of sushi rice, cooked according the packet instructions
4 nori sheets
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, cut into matchsticks
Cucumber, cut into matchsticks
Carrot, cut into matchsticks
Soy sauce and/or wasabi, optional to use as a dipping sauce.
1) Lay the bamboo mat on a flat surface and then place one sheet of nori on top.
2) Spread a quarter of the rice evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a margin of approximately 1cm at the edge furthest from you. The rice should be about 1cm thick.
3) In the centre of the rice make a shallow indent all the way across horizontally.
4) Fill the indent with the sliced mushroom, carrot and cucumber matchsticks
5) Lift the bamboo mat at one end and use it to roll up the nori sheet around the rice and fillings. Gently roll the completed futomaki roll in order to firm it.
6) Slice the completed roll into 8 pieces with a sharp knife. This can be spaced easily by cutting the roll in half, then cutting each half into half and then half again.
Vegetable sushi – anokarina, [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr
Vegetable futomaki – Alpha [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons