Let's Make Vegan Sushi


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Sushi for All

There are days when I crave sushi.  I mean craaave.  There's something about the seaweed/grain/avocado combo in particular that does it for me.  Plus, I love that I can add any veggie I'd like and it turns out.  It's fun to experiment and a great way to get a variety of vegetables in.  Add tamari and wasabi, and I'm as happy as can be.  So I'm making it.  Like, now.  

You too?  The kids can help and it'll be fun!  Once your kids are cool with seaweed, they'll likely love this sushi.  And if they aren't into the seaweed, try using a big romaine or kale leaf to roll it all up in.  Messy?  Yes.  Fun?  You bet.  Especially when you let them choose their own fillings and make it themselves.

Quick and Easy Vegan Sushi

Did you know that making sushi is really pretty easy?  If you have the quinoa made and veggies chopped, it's super quick, too.  When I made those pictured, I randomly chose fillings for different rolls, rolled them too fast, made some mess, and still liked how they turned out.  Actually pretty!  

Sushi Filling

Here are the veggies I chose for today, mostly based on what I happened to have on hand (also pictured below):  

Green and red cabbage
Shiitake mushrooms

While you can use different veggie combinations in each roll, I was pleased to discover that it's possible to make rolls using every single ingredient on my list!  It's surprising how much can be stuffed in a roll. 

When slicing the veggies, the key is to think long and skinny so the roll can be, well, rolled.


Have a sushi party and make a huge platter with friends!

Wasabi can be found in a powdered form in most large grocery stores.  Add enough water to create a ball.  Remember, a little wasabi goes a long way!


Have leftover veggies?  No problem!  Add torn nori and any leftover quinoa and you've got a great salad for tomorrow.

How to roll your roll, quick view:

Vegan Sushi Recipe

Makes 5 sushi rolls within about an  hour.


  • 1 1/4 cups dry quinoa
  • 2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider or rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon tamari
  • 5 sheets of nori (1/2 a bag)
  • 5 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • Vegetables of choice sliced in long thin pieces (julienne and/or batonnet if you want fancy), such as (as pictured):
    • 1/2 small head of green cabbage
    • 1/2 small head of purple cabbage
    • 4-5 shiitake mushrooms (raw or you can sautee in garlic first)
    • 1 jalapeno
    • 2-3 radishes
    • 1 large avocado
    • 1/2 cucumber
    • a handful of cilantro sprigs

Serve with condiments such as tamari, wasabi, pickled ginger, sesame seeds, etc.

Extra Tools

Sushi mat
Paddle (optional)
An inexpensive set can be found here.


1.  Make the quinoa "rice":  Bring the quinoa and water/broth to a boil in a pot on the stove, reduce to simmer and cover for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, prep all vegetables.  Let cool for about 10 minutes.  In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, maple syrup, and tamari.  Add this mixture to the quinoa, stirring until well combined. 

2.  Lay a sheet of nori onto the sushi mat.  Some nori has markings for for cutting the sushi.  If yours does, make sure the lines are pointing vertically.  Place about 3/4 cup of the quinoa mixture on the nori and, with your hands or a sushi paddle, spread it to all the edges except the top.  Leave an inch at the top for sealing the sushi roll.

3.  Sprinkle sesame seeds horizontally across the quinoa, anywhere is fine.

4.  In the lower third of the roll, lay pieces of vegetable horizontally as pictured below.  Let some overhang the edges - that's how the pretty end pieces are made.

5.  Lift the bottom of the sushi mat and carefully begin rolling the lower third of the roll.  Help the veggies stay in place with your fingers.  When the lower edge of the nori reaches back down to the mat, pause to squeeze the round, ensuring a secure center.  Then, carefully lower the mat away from the rolled nori and take over for the mat, tucking in stray veggies as you roll.  Once you reach the end of the quinoa, dampen the remaining nori edge with a wet finger and finish rolling.  Use more water to seal once rolled, if necessary.  

6.  Using a chef's knife and cutting board, cut your sushi pieces from the roll, about one- to one-and-a-half-inch thick.

7.  Place on a platter or individual serving dishes with chosen condiments.  Enjoy!