What’s sushi without the fish? For some, it’s not sushi. But for those of us who do not eat meat, we know so much differently. Vegan sushi can be amazingly delicious and not boring. Yes, it’s typical to go to a sushi restaurant and have the same, meatless rolls to choose from (cucumber avocado roll and sweet potato tempura roll), but it doesn’t have to be this way if you try your own creation. Here are some steps for how to reinvent your sushi, vegan-style:
1. Try Something Besides Sushi Rice
Forget white rice and sushi rice; use more nutrient-dense brown rice instead. I’m a fan of the quinoa brown rice blend that Whole Foods uses in their avocado-cucumber sushi. This mix gives me healthy, energy-boosting carbohydrates along with a complete protein from the quinoa. Some many argue that sushi rice is just simply made for sushi (in which case, check out this article on How to Make Perfect Sushi Rice,) but brown rice, quinoa rice mix and black rice are healthy and tasty options for the health conscious. You can also omit the rice entirely and make this Raw Carrot Sushi.
2. Look at Seaweed as More Than a Wrap
For sushi lovers, it can be easy to dismiss the seaweed and focus on enjoying and discussing the taste and texture of the main star, the fish. Without having the fish, you can re-focus your thoughts. Seaweed is incredibly important for vegans and vegetarians. Without eating fish that’s full of healthy fats, it’s crucial to look to sea vegetables for that same nutrients. After all, that’s where the fish get it, so why not go right to the source? View seaweed as a necessary vegan food, and use more of it when you are making your sushi, or have a seaweed salad alongside your maki roll to make sure you’re eating enough of that DHA.
3. Use Unique Ingredients
To fill up your sushi roll, re-think your vegetables. Yes, you can use avocado, carrot and cucumber (which are all tasty, of course, and if you want that try this Green Roll). But to go beyond those ingredients, how about some asparagus, tomato, onion, yam, squash, artichoke or celery? These items do not make one instantly think sushi, but you may be surprised by how tasty a veggie roll can be when you allow yourself to step outside of the tradition and make it your own. Take breakfast, for example, and make these Raw Vegan Banana Hemp Seed Sushi Slices.
4. Balance Textures
Inside your maki rolls, you want a nice balance of slightly moist and dry ingredients. If they are all too wet, then the sushi will break at the skin. If the center is not wet enough, then it won’t hold good form. See this article on How to Prep Perfect Veggies for Sushi Rolls.
5. Host a Party
One of the best ways to convince friends and family to stop eating meat is to show them how delicious, filling and satisfying vegan food can be. Make some Vegan California and Teriyaki Tofu Sushi and these Dragon Sushi Rolls. Invite friends over for a party and teach them how to prep veggies, cook rice and make yummy veggie maki rolls. If you’re in the New York area, plan a dinner night at Beyond Sushi. This place does indeed go far beyond regular sushi and makes rolls you would have never thought to make. It’s a sushi paradise for vegans. I’ve been there and would definitely recommend it!
Image source: Dragon Sushi Rolls