Veggie Sushi Rolls Recipe

Published on August 18th 2022 by Jennifer Dodd.
Last updated on March 20th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Top View of Veggie Sushi Rolls on a wooden cutting board

In Japanese culture, sushi plays an essential role in its cuisine and has been around for centuries. Sushi was originally made to preserve fish by wrapping it in rice soaked with vinegar to make the fish last longer without refrigeration. The rice was then discarded, and only the fish was consumed. It took a while, but in the 15th century, versions of the sushi we now love today were born. Sushi wasn't very popular or even in existence in America until the 60s. Still, it became a popular trend in the late 80s and 90s, with sushi bars opening up on every block. 

Most of the population refers to "sushi" as a roll that consists of rice wrapped in Nori with a variety of fish and vegetables wrapped together and sliced into bite-sized pieces. The proper term is called Maki and translates to true in English. Typically, you could add almost any filling inside Maki. This Maki is for those who enjoy eating their veggies. In these Veggie Sushi Rolls or Veggie Maki, keeping the ingredients pure and straightforward to preserve Japanese tradition is essential. Cucumbers, lightly blanched carrots, and avocados are used in the filling. The key to any great sushi is rice. Under or overcooked rice or rice that was not rinsed enough or under-seasoned rice can make the best sushi the worst sushi. So, take your time and rinse the rice four times in a bowl of water using a strainer until the water runs completely clear. Then, choose the freshest ingredients to make your Maki shine.  

Are vegan sushi rolls healthy?

Yes, vegan sushi rolls are healthy, by adding vegetables to sushi you're adding vital nutrients to your diet. Just watch how much soy sauce you're using as even light soy sauce contains a high amount of sodium.  

Does vegetarian sushi taste fishy?

There is a very slight "fishy" taste due to the Nori or Seaweed Paper that is used in a sushi roll. Sushi can be made using rice paper or leaving out the Nori altogether.  

Is sushi healthier than pizza?

Yes, sushi is a healthier choice than pizza. Sushi is made with minimally processed foods and contains fresh fish and vegetables. There are some unhealthy sushi rolls out there. Some rolls are made with fried tempura protein or vegetables and covered in a sugary soy sauce and loads of Kewpie mayo. It's best to eat these types of rolls in moderation. 

Can I eat sushi everyday?

While technically you could eat sushi every day, it's best to maintain a healthy diet with a variety of different food groups for your body to function at high levels. 

Author: Jennifer Dodd
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Time & Serves

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Serves
4 persons

Ingredients

Sushi Rice
  • 2 1/4 cups Sushi Rice, rinsed 4 times until the water is clear 

  • 3 cups Water

  • 1/4 cup Sushi Vinegar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sea Salt 

Sushi Filling
  • 4 sheets Nori, cut off 1/4 from the top of the sheet 

  • 1/2 Avocado, sliced into 8 small wedges 

  • 1 small Carrot, peeled and cut into 8 small sticks, blanched and cooled 

  • 1/2 small Cucumber, cut into 8 small sticks with the seeds removed

  • 1 recipe Cooked Sushi Rice 

  • 1/2 teaspoon Sambal *Optional 

  • 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise *Optional  

  • 1 Green Onion, sliced * Optional for Garnish 

  • 2 teaspoons Toasted Sesame Seeds * Optional for Garnish 

Optional Sushi Accompaniments
  • Soy Sauce 

  • Pickled Ginger 

  • Wasabi 

Instructions

Sushi Rice

After the sushi rice is rinsed, strain it through a fine mesh strainer and let stand for 30 minutes. 

Overview of sushi rice in a fine mesh strainer overtop of a bowl

Heat the water and salt on high heat in a small pot until starting to boil, add the sushi rice, stirring with a wooden spoon until it comes back up to a boil.

Overview of a pot filled with sushi rice and boiling water

Turn the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the heat off and leave the rice in the pot with the top on for 15 minutes. If you have a rice cooker, you can use it instead. 

Overview of sushi rice with a lid next to it.

Uncover the lid and let the rice rest in the pot for 5 minutes. 

Overview of sushi rice resting in a pot on a countertop

Add the rice to a large wooden, glass or plastic container, avoid using metal containers as it reacts with the vinegar.  

Overview of sushi rice being added to a wooden bowl

Using a rice paddle or wooden spoon in a slicing motion to cool and separate the cooked grains of rice. The slicing motion is to ensure the grains of rice are kept whole and not broken up when cooling. 

Sushi Rice being cut with a wooden spoon

Once the rice has cooled and the grains are separated, slice in the sushi vinegar using the same slicing method as in the previous instructions. 

Rice vinegar being cut using a wooden spoon.

Cover the rice with a damp kitchen towel until you are ready to build your rolls. 

Sushi rice being covered with a kitchen towel
Building the Veggie Sushi Roll

Organize an area in the kitchen with the sushi filling, a cutting board, small bowl filled with water, a chef's knife, an empty plate and a sushi rolling mat. Covering the sushi mat tightly with plastic wrap will help keep the rice from sticking to the mat while rolling. 

Overview of a sushi ingredients together on a countertop

Place the sheet of Nori onto the sushi mat. 

Overview of a sheet of nori on a cutting board

Wet your hands in the bowl of water, so the rice doesn't stick to your skin, and grab about 3/4s of a cup of cooked sushi rice and place it onto the Nori. 

Sushi rice being added to a sheet of nori

Using your fingers, lightly spread the rice across the sheet of Nori. Avoid pressing too hard as it will crush the rice. Leave a 1/2 inch of rice hanging off the top lip of the Nori.  

Sushi rice being spread onto a sheet of nori

Flip the sheet over so the rice touches the sushi mat, and the Nori faces you. 

Sushi rice on a sheet of nori being flipped over

Line up each type of vegetable filling, and keep a little hanging out of the sides. These will be your snacks for later.  

Vegetables being lined in on a sheet of nori and sushi rice

Grab the bottom of the sushi mat closet and fold it over the sushi roll. 

Sushi mat being folded over a veggie sushi roll

Use your fingertips to gently curl and roll the mat into the sushi. 

Sushi halfway rolled using a bamboo rolling mat.

Then roll the sushi and mat using the palms of your hands until reaching the end of the mat. 

Sushi being rolled using a sushi mat

Set the first roll aside on a plate and repeat the process with the rest of the rolls. 

a completed sushi roll on a plate next to veggie sushi ingredients

Using a sharp knife, lightly wet the knife with water and cut the ends off the rolls to make them clean and even (this is where the snack part comes in). Then cut the rest of the rolls into eight even pieces. 

Ends of a veggie sushi roll being cut

In a small bowl, mix together the sambal and mayonnaise to make an optional spicy sauce for the rolls. 

Overview of a bowl with mayonnaise and sambal being mixed

Arrange the sushi onto a plate and garnish each piece with a drop of spicy mayo, green onion and toasted sesame seeds. Grab a pair of chopsticks and dig in! 

Veggie sushi roll on a plate with chopsticks, wasabi, ginger, scallions, spicy mayo and sesame seeds on it
Jennifer Dodd
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Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

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