Vegan Sushi Night ~ Smoky Tofu Nigiri & Vegan Crab Roll

One of the things I love about our Tokyo Diner Night meals is that inspiration can come from just about anywhere. For example, in my pre-vegan days I had a love-hate relationship with sushi. As a girl I would read about sushi was “all the rage” and the moment there was a sushi restaurant in my small town, I pounced. I loved it and ate it often, thinking myself the height of sophistication.

And then one dark day, I succumbed to food poisoning from a batch of bad–though not discount–sushi, and thus my wariness began. Spending almost a decade in Los Angeles gave me a renewed appreciation for the dish but now, as a vegan I steer clear of it altogether, mostly because I still have an iffy relationship with nori.

But still, I’ve had some pretty decent vegan sushi over the past three years. So when I was binge watching YouTube last week and saw a brief glimpse of an eel roll, it gave me an idea and that idea became my next dinner request.

Before you begin, you’ll need a few tools: Sushi Mat, Plastic wrap, Sharp knife.

If you’re a committed vegan sushi lover, consider a sushi making kit.

My partner and I watched a few vegan sushi videos online to figure these out and if you’ve done the same, you’ll know that a wide variety of rice is used. For both types of vegan sushi, he used sushi rice. It’s nice and sticky and if this is your first time, it’s better to do it right so that later, when you’re comfortable, you can make changes.

Let’s start with the Nigiri because preparation is so simple. Mix the mirin, soy sauce, agave syrup and rice vinegar in a bowl and brush the smoked tofu or simply let it soak and set it aside while you prepare the other roll.

For the vegan crab roll, you only need three simple ingredients: smoked tofu, vegan mayo or veggiegurt and Sriracha. I’d recommend adding some salt, pepper and maybe even garlic granules but those are optional and totally up to you.

Grate the tofu using a box grater and then add Sriracha and mayo or veggiegurt, stir until combined.

Now the hard part, rolling up the sushi. I wish I could give you some pointers but I’ve yet to even perfect my vegan Vietnamese rolls, but I think my Hubs did a pretty good job, don’t you? It’s a vast improvement over the last homemade vegan sushi dish I posted.

You will, of course need proper vegan sushi accoutrements such as pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce. All are optional but if you want the whole experience, go all the way with it!

Overall this was one of my favorite sushi meals, even with the nori, because the flavors were unexpected and totally delicious. If you thought your days of eating sushi were over since you adopted a cruelty-free diet, think again my friend.

And stay tuned, more vegan sushi recipes to come!

The vegan sushi set I bought didn’t arrive in time, but next you’ll see these babies on a pretty blue-green set that’ll make you totally jealous!

Homemade Vegan Sushi

One of the few restaurants in Ploiesti with vegan options is a sushi restaurant and we love it. I mean, I love it a lot, which is weird because I was never a big sushi fan in my meat-eating days…no matter how hard I tried. But now? Now it’s my jam.

My absolute frickin’ jam.

So of course we were visiting one of those giant stores that sell everything from pots & pans to school supplies and shoes. You know what I mean and some days this place looks so much like the town I grew up in that it reminds me just how alike we all are really are. Anyway, we came across sushi ginger, nor sheets, wasabi and sushi rice–in one place, no less!–and I turned my husband and said, “You should totally make sushi.” He shrugged and said, “Okay.”

So…homemade vegan sushi.

The most difficult part of this recipe is spreading the rice and cutting the roll, at least according to the Hubs, so the person in your house who’s best at delicate work should do those tasks.

The rolls were filled with bell peppers, smoked tofu, daikon radish, scallions, mushrooms, artichokes, sundried tomatoes and tomatoes. There were three different types of rolls that we split and they were pretty darn good. Mostly. And that’s because I have a love-hate relationship with nori. Mostly I hate it, but the sushi place we go to must have different sheets because they are beyond tolerable, they’re almost easy to ignore because the taste is so mild. These were not mild.

All you need is small dishes for soy sauce and you can pop the wasabi and ginger right in the center.

And if you’re feeling thirsty from all that wasabi, wash it down with an ice cold Japanese beer like Asahi, to keep with the theme of course.

Or just grab your favorite cold drink and enjoy!