Back in the days when animal products could be found in pretty much every facet of my life, I wasn’t a huge fan of sushi. Okay, that’s not entirely true. As a pre-teen girl in love with romance novels that featured women in expensive suits who ate sushi for lunch, I was obsessed with it and whenever I made a trip from the suburbs to Chicago, I would take advantage of all the sushi offerings.
Eventually sushi made its way to the burbs and I could eat it more often and I did, and I enjoyed it. Immensely.
Then one day in 1997, as it happens with so many animal consumers, I got sick. Really, disgustingly sick within hours of eating (allegedly) fresh sushi. That was the last time I ate sushi until I went vegan.
Now, I can safely say that I’ve developed or re-developed a fondness for the vegan sushi.
Full disclosure: as much as I wish I was responsible for this incredible vegan meal, the kudos belong to my husband who is our resident sushi expert. I may be a pro at rolling some things, but not sushi, so whenever we have it, he’s the vegan sushi chef in our house.
So if you’re impressed, it’s with him. Not me.
For these vegan tuna rolls, we used Unfished tuna because who doesn’t love a good tuna roll? It was the perfect consistency, flaky and oily. What’s your preferred brand of vegan tuna?
When it comes to making vegan sushi, prep work is crucial. If everything isn’t ready–cleaned and chopped–when you need it, this will become the most arduous sushi ever put together. Make sure the rice is cooked and cool enough to touch, which means making it at least a few hours before you plan to eat.
Season the tuna and add whatever else you need to it, soy sauce, thinly sliced shallots, vegan fish sauce or whatever, and refrigerate it until you’re ready to roll the sushi.
But first, gather your ingredients.
Slice all the vegetables, pepper, cucumber, carrots and scallions in uniform strips so you get some of each with every bite.
Mix the rice vinegar, brown sugar and soy sauce and then set aside.
Now it’s time to grab your nori sheets, spread the rice across it and roll your vegan sushi.
That’s it. Pretty simple, right? I wish.
My recommendation? Watch a few YouTube videos to get tips and tricks for spreading the rice across the nori, tips for how to get a tight roll that won’t fall apart when you’re ready to slice into it, which is my particular problem.
As you can see in the photos above, he rolled the nori on the outside and the inside. The rice on the outside was my favorite of the two because I have a long standing love-hate relationship with nori…or I did at one time. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds, white or black, for decoration and an extra boost of nutrients.
Garnish with pickled ginger and wasabi paste, and you’re ready for a world class vegan sushi night.
You can add tomatoes or cucumbers, bell peppers, kohlrabi, cabbage or any other vegetables that you prefer. You can make a vegan eel roll with smoked tofu too. There are many ways you can create delicious vegan sushi rolls to fit your tastes.
And there you have it, quick (ish) and easy (ish) vegan sushi for two. Adjust the recipe above if you want/need more than four rolls.
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