How to Make Veggie Sushi

Sharon Palmer

Learn how to make healthy, delicious veggie sushi with brown rice and an assortment of colorful veggies in this easy step-by-step guide.

Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or omnivore, enjoying completely vegan-style vegetable sushi is a real treat for everyone, and it’s a lot easier to make than you might think. I love to make veggie sushi with a variety of seasonal veggies, brown rice, and seaweed for special occasions. It’s also really fun to make this in an interactive meal—just get your rice and veggies together and let everyone make their own sushi roll exactly the way they like it.

If you decide to make hand-rolled sushi a regular habit, then purchase a sushi rolling mat or a sushi rolling kit that comes with a handy box and knife that makes sushi-rolling a cinch. The sky’s the limit with the plant-powered fillings you can add to your sushi rolls! I’ve included my favorites in this step-by-step guide, but you’re welcome to swap them out according to your preferences, season, and what you have in your kitchen now.

Check out the full recipe for Farmers Market Vegetable Sushi, which follows these steps for vegan sushi making.

Step-By-Step Guide:

Follow these easy steps to make 4 vegetable sushi rolls, which makes about 8 servings.

Step 1. Prepare the Brown Sushi Rice
When creating any veggie sushi, start by cooking up short-grain brown rice according to the package directions. You’ll need 3 ½ cups of cooked rice to make 4 sushi rolls. I suggest making the rice the day before to get this recipe done quickly. While it cools, gather together soy sauce, rice vinegar, and agave syrup to make the rice sauce.

Step 2. Make the Sushi Rice Sauce

Mix 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon agave syrup in a microwaveable dish and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. Stir to combine well.  

Step 3. Combine the Sauce with the Rice

Pour the sauce into the rice and combine well. Chill while preparing the remaining ingredients.

Step 4. Prepare Vegetables
Select from a variety of vegetables for your filling, such as the following:

    • Carrots, peeled, sliced into thin matchstick strips
    • Cucumbers, sliced into thin matchstick strips
    • Asparagus spears, thin, sliced
    • Microgreens or sprouts
    • Avocado, sliced thinly
    • Green onion, sliced
    • Mushrooms, sliced
    • Summer squash, sliced into thin matchstick strips
    • Bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • Cilantro leaves
    • Arugula or spinach, small leaves
    • Radishes, sliced into thin matchstick strips
    • Broccoli florets, thinly sliced
    • Snow peas, sliced into thin slivers
    • Red cabbage, sliced into thin slivers

Prepare 2 cups of the vegetables you plan on using into thin slices or small pieces, place them on a clean cutting board or platter, and set them aside to make way for the sushi roll preparation.

Step 5. Prepare the Seaweed

Select a package of sheets of nori seaweed, which is easily found in many supermarkets, natural food stores, Asian supermarkets, or online.

Step 6. Prepare the Sushi Board

Place a sushi mat or a piece of plastic wrap over a clean cutting board.

Step 7. Place Seaweed

Place one sheet of nori seaweed, shiny side down, on your prepared sushi board.

Step 8. Layer Brown Sushi Rice

Spread about 7/8 cup of the cooled sushi brown rice mixture over about three-fourths of the nori sheet, leaving room for the vegetables on the other one-fourth of the sheet.

Step 9. Sesame Seed Topping

Sprinkle the surface of the rice with ½ teaspoon sesame seeds.

Step 10. Add Vegetables

Arrange ½ cup of the prepared vegetables on the empty, right side of the sushi roll.

Step 11. Roll the Sushi
To roll, start with the vegetable side, and press firmly to create a tight, cylindrical roll. Continue rolling until you reach the end of the nori sheet.

Step 12. Repeat

Repeat the process until you have used all of the ingredients to create 4 sushi rolls. Chill for 10 minutes before slicing.

Step 13. Slice the Sushi Rolls.
With a sharp knife, slice sushi rolls into 8 pieces.

Step 14. Make a Creamy Sriracha Sauce.

Combine 3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise, ½ teaspoon sriracha sauce, 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, 1 teaspoon agave syrup, and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice in a small dish.

Step 15. Plate and Garnish Sushi

Place the cut sushi rolls on platters (this platter I brought back from Japan!) and garnish platter with vegetables. Drizzle Creamy Siracha Sauce over rolls, and garnish with herbs, such as cilantro, basil, and green onions.

Enjoy! Try serving sushi rolls with sake for a special treat.

For other plant-based how-to cooking guides, check out some of my favorites:

How to Roast Beets
How to Make Homemade Seitan
How to Make Vegetable Broth

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