Avocado and cucumber rolls are good and all, but in my world half the joy of sushi is how pretty it can all look on the plate, and the veggie options are usually just kind of boring and green. So I decided to get serious. I armed myself with a ton of vegetables and decided to just go to town and make sushi until I figured out which ones were good.
Several of the recipes were fun but I am most excited about two discoveries: vegan Nigiri (Nigiri is the kind where there’s a hunk of “fish” on top of a ball of rice wrapped with a thin strip of nori) and vegan California roll! The California roll was definitely my favorite type of sushi, and I know it’s pretty popular amongst a lot of people who can’t quite work themselves up to whole hunks of raw fish, so I definitely missed it once I stopped eating fish. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it’s usually made of a piece of imitation crab (and “imitation” does not mean it’s fake meat, it just means it’s whitefish pretending to be crab), a piece of avocado, and sometimes a bit of cucumber wrapped in a roll of rice and sushi seaweed (nori).
California and Teriyaki Tofu Sushi [Vegan]
- 1/4 cup roasted red pepper (you could probably use un-roasted red pepper, too)
- 2 tsp vegan mayonnaise
- 1/4 c. tofu
- 1 sheet of nori (sushi seaweed)
- 1/2 cup prepared sushi rice
- 2-3 1/2 inch strips of avocado
- 2-3 1/4 inch strips of raw cucumber (optional)
- 4 ounces tofu (about a third of a 12 oz package), sliced into 1 inch strips
- 1/3 c. soy sauce (make sure to get gluten free if you are avoiding gluten)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 inch square of ginger, chopped
- 1 tsp agave nectar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- In a blender or food processor, combine red pepper, mayo, and tofu and blend until smooth. Lay a sheet of nori onto your sushi mat and spread rice over the nori, leaving an inch or two on one side uncovered. Spread a tablespoon or two of your red pepper mixture in a strip down the middle of the sheet, and top with avocado and cucumber. Roll sushi and slice into six pieces.
- Combine all ingredients except tofu in a medium bowl, whisking until smooth. Add tofu and marinate, flipping occasionally, for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour or two. Remove from marinade and slice thin to make sushi roll, or pan fry for a couple minutes per side to make nigiri.
Roasted Mushroom or Roasted Red Pepper Nigiri:
These are so easy I won’t even bother with a formal recipe – roast your mushroom or red pepper under the broiler for 5-10 minutes until nice and browned, then either slice into thin strips or one-inch squares, depending on the look you want. Place a thin strip of nori on a cutting board, add a tablespoon of prepared sushi rice to the middle, and top with your roasted vegetable of choice. Wrap nori around the outside and seal with a bit of water. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.