To me sushi makes an ordinary day feel special somehow. I’ve never quite figured out why, it just feels like a celebratory food to me. Maybe because it used to be something quite exotic and expensive, while these days it’s readily available in every supermarket. Vegan sushi has been around for a little while now and I’m definitely not re-inventing the wheel here, but since it’s been such a hit in my house lately I felt like sharing my favourite plant based sushi fillers. It’s so easy and utterly delicious, the kids can get involved and make their favourite versions for their lunchbox or a simple – yet special – family dinner. Although I have used white rice in these pictures (which I tend to do when we have guests, so the colours pop even more), I usually go for the whole grain option whenever it’s just the four of us. White rice has a high glycemic index, meaning it can cause spikes in blood sugar, while brown rice is high in fibre and nutrients. As for the fillers, my ingredients are really just a selection of things that I think work particularly well, you might want to freestyle with other ideas too. Add a little vegan mayonnaise for extra creaminess and flavour.
What you need/ what I used:
300g sushi rice
Smoked tofu – approx. 250g
2 avocados – halved and sliced the long way
4 medium carrots – peeled and sliced in thin sticks
1 pepper – washed and thinly sliced
½ cucumber – washed and thinly sliced
2 medium cooked beetroots – cut into halves or thirds and sliced (hang on to any excess juice)
A handful of washed spinach leaves
2-3tbsp vegan mayonnaise – I use Vegenaise
Approx. 11 sushi nori (toasted seaweed sheets)
Sushi ginger (optional)
Wasabi paste (optional)
How you do it:
Cook your rice according to the instructions.
Meanwhile cut all the veggies (apart from the spinach leaves) and the smoked tofu into thin slices, make sure to save the juice from your beetroots.
Once the rice has cooked and cooled down transfer roughly a quarter of it to a bowl and mix it with the excess beetroot juice to create a gorgeous pink colour.
Mix another quarter of the rice with sesame seeds (optional), black sesame seeds look particularly nice, but white ones work just as well.
Start making your very own sushi creations by spreading a thin layer of rice on a nori sheet (go all the way to the edge on both sides, but leave approx. 5cm of seaweed uncovered on the top and the bottom).
I find it works best to use a tablespoon to press the rice down, but it can get a little sticky nonetheless.
Spread a little vegan mayo over the rice (be sparse as it will smudge when you cut the rolls otherwise).
Now place your choice of roughly 3 ingredients per nori sheet on top of the mayo along the middle of the rice, when using spinach leaves place those on the rice/mayo first, before putting the rest on top.
Gently roll the whole nori sheet into one long sushi roll, then cut into individual sushi pieces.
Repeat the process with all the remaining nori sheets, alternating between pink-, sesame- and plain rice, using slightly different fillers for each roll.
Serve with soy sauce and sushi ginger/ wasabi paste for those who like it.