Once you have practiced a few times, this vegetarian sushi recipe (also vegan) is an incredibly easy dish to make for afternoon snacks or dinner. It is also one of my favorite healthy vegetarian recipes to bring to a pot luck.
Sea vegetables are an incredibly rich source of minerals, and nori sheets made into sushi are a very yummy way to eat this highly nutritious food. Experiment with different fillings, make a variety and have fun sharing them with friends and family!
Disclaimer: I am not actually Japanese, and am not qualified to teach sushi making as the art form that it is. I am going over the basics here, from a white girl’s perspective.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Time from start to eating: 1 Hour 15 minutes
Makes enough for 4 people as a main dish, or 8 as an appetizer. They look small, but are quite filling!.
Click for video transcription
This transcription will have some mistakes because it is partially automated.
Hello and welcome! This is Freshly Served, the healthy vegan cooking show. I’m Heather and tonight we are making sushi which if we choose the right ingredients can be both delicious and nutritious.
So the first thing I will serve with, you can see I’ve got my rice going over my back here and I’ve already cooked this and let it cool. There was some salt in the cooking water and I’ve added some vinegar and I use apple cider though I do have a friend who’s Japanese and she was asking me about using apple cider.
You can also use brown rice vinegar, its lovely! I just choose to use apple cider. Ok! So that’s all set to go and then I’ve got my nori sheets here and I have a rolling mat which is not necessary but it makes things a lot easier especially when you’re first starting to try to roll.
So I got all my ingredients chopped up, I’m using carrot, green onion, zucchini and mushrooms. And the key to sushi is to get them in a julienne cut which is this nice small. The key to your julienne cut is making sure you have a good knife and making sure that it’s properly sharpened.
Ok! So let’s get in rolling and I’ll show you how to do that. So we start with the nori which being a seaweed is a pretty important part of a vegan diet because its full of minerals that you won’t find in other types of foods and this is probably my favorite way to eat a sea vegetable.
Ok! So let me get that rice, put it on the nori. And brown rice is nice because it’s not as fragile as the white sticky rice so when you stir it you don’t have to be as careful of mashing the grains.
Ok! So get just enough here so that we can roll it out. I don’t like to use a whole lot of rice in a sushi because I like to have a lot of vegetables and the trouble of most people have with sushi is that they try to put too much in the roll and then it doesn’t come together and it’s really hard to put it in your mouth and eat.
Ok! So I’ve got that rolled out and then the next key is to get your hand wet so that your fingers don’t stick to the rice. So I’m just gonna get my hands wet here.
And just flick off any extra water because you don’t want it, you don’t wanna be getting the nori wet, you just want to make sure that the rice doesn’t stick to you.
So I’m just gonna mush this down a little bit and make a somewhat consistent layer of rice here and if you notice where I’m putting the rice, I’m going right to the edge here but I’m leaving a little strip blank at the top here because that’s going to seal off the roll. You don’t want rice sticking out on the side of your rolls.
Ok! So that’s all good and then I’m gonna rinse my hands off again now that it’s all sticky with rice. And then doing a really simple roll today, I’m using carrot which I like in sushi because it’s crunchy.
And you just gonna do, that’s about how much is gonna fit. And then I always like to put green onions in makes flavor. And it’s always nice. And I’m using zucchini today as well, most people use cucumber that’s kind the most common one. I like to use the zucchini because its soft and sometimes I don’t find a good cucumber at the store.
And then I’ve also got mushrooms which I marinated and I think I’ve shown you before what I do is I put the mushrooms in a covered container, sprinkle some sea salt on it and shake it up until it gets soft and these ones I’ve also marinated with tamari because that will go with the flavor of the sushi and when I finish them I like to dip the sushi in tamari so putting the mushrooms in it to begin with just adds to the flavor.
Ok! Now when you roll, you wanna make sure your hands are good and dry because the nori doesn’t want to get wet. It wants to stick together but if it gets wets, it’s kinda gross.
Ok! So we’re gonna start to roll now and what you do is lift up the back, end of the mat and see where I placed the vegetables, leave me just enough room to press them in and roll it over.
And then what I’m gonna do is squish this like this and push it down just a little bit. The shape that you’re trying to get is kinda like a square. So this is one side of the square, this is the next side, this is the other side and the counter is the bottom side.
And then you gotta lift the bamboo part out otherwise you’ll gonna be eating bamboo which probably won’t be so good and roll it over one more time, I’m doing the same thing.
You just squeeze it down gently, this is gonna press the nori to the rice. There’s number three and then the last one is gonna get this portion that I have not put rice on yet and what happens there is the moisture from the rice is gonna stick this all together but it needs a good press towards the counter as well as in from the sides.
Ok! And there you go! See how’s there’s no rice sticking out here because we left that extra strip and then the easiest way to cut it is to let it sit for a couple of minutes and let the nori from the outside soften.
And then it will be really easy to cut so what I do is I put this over here and then I start my next roll, by the time I finish the first one that I rolled is gonna be ready to cut and then I cut in order of when I did them.
Ok! So I’m gonna finish rolling these and then I’ll come back to show you how to cut them.
Ok! So I got my sushi rolls ready to go over here and I’m gonna pick the one on the front which is the one that I rolled first and cut that one first. Sharp knife is essential and it will start getting sticky from the rice so you can wet it every so often to make it not sticky and I’m just gonna wet it.
Ok! Alright! I usually cut the ends off, to get really good in making sushi you can actually make your ends pretty like have some lettuce stick out of them and such. But in the meantime I just collect them on the side and have a little snack for myself.
And I usually cut too much vegetable, better to leave the vegetables out and just eat it than to over stuff your sushi coz like I said earlier it will be very difficult to eat.
Now I like to make a very thin slice sushi so that I can actually fit it in my mouth. I don’t a have very big mouth so our son might disagree. So I’ll like to keep them small.
Ok! And the great thing about sushi is that you can make whatever variety of ingredients you feel like or have on hand at the time. Mushroom are one of my favorite because they have a texture when they’re marinated that’s somehow reminiscent of a fishy kind of texture.
So for people who aren’t use to vegetarian sushi that’s kind of a nice one to put in there. But the key of course is to keep things buried so with my zucchini I do sometimes do cucumber as well, different nutrients, different flavors, great to get variety.
Alright guys! We have a wonderful plate full of sushi ready for snack, for dinner, for taking to a potluck. Great way to get some essential nutrients into your diet with the seaweed roll and some vegetables as well and make things delicious with some pickled ginger, some wasabi if you’re into that.
I tend to stick just with the tamari and the pickled ginger but its delicious anyway you have it so enjoy and I’ll see you guys next time on Freshly Served.
A sushi rolling mat is not necessary, but will make things much easier for your first few times. They are sold individually for a few dollars, or in a kit with some other fancy sushi stuff for a lot more. Check your grocery store or Chinese food store.