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Vegan Sushi

Vegan Sushi

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 8-piece rolls 1x


Here’s how to make the best vegan sushi! Crunchy veggies and marinated tofu make a flavorful and satisfying filling.



For the sushi rice

  • 2 cups uncooked sushi rice
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the marinated tofu

  • 12 to 16 ounces block of extra firm or firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated

For the sushi

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced into strips
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 sheets sushi nori
  • Japanese BBQ Sauce, to drizzle (or Spicy Mayo or another sauce, required!*)
  • Soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger, for serving


  1. Make the sushi rice: Rinse the sushi rice in cold water. Add it to a large saucepan with 2 1/2 cups water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. (While the rice cooks, prepare the marinated tofu in Step 2.) Once the rice is done, remove the heat and allow it to stand covered for 10 minutes. Stir together the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until it dissolves. After the rice stands, pour it onto a baking sheet, drizzle with the vinegar mixture, and mix it with a spatula until combined. Spread the rice in an even layer and let it cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Then use immediately for the sushi rolls.
  2. Make the tofu: Remove the tofu from the package and drain the liquid, saving the tofu container to use for the marinating. Slice the tofu into half lengthwise and place it in a glass bowl, stacking the slices. Microwave on High power for 2 minutes, which helps to extract the liquid from the tofu. Drain off excess liquid and pat the tofu dry with a towel. Cut each rectangle into 6 long strips. 
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, maple syrup or sugar, Sriracha and grated ginger. Place half the tofu strips back in the tofu container and pour half the marinade on top, covering all the strips. Stack the remaining strips on top and pour over the remaining marinade. Place in the refrigerator to marinade for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Prep the veggies: Slice the vegetables as instructed. Place the carrots and red onion in a bowl with the rice vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Allow to rest until using. 
  5. Make the sushi: Place a sushi rolling mat or other flat roll-able item (like a towel) on a clean work surface, then place a piece of plastic wrap on top. Add a sheet of nori, shiny side down, and align the bottom edge with the edge of the rolling mat. Use a spatula to spread the sushi rice in a layer about 1/2-inch thick, leaving a 1-inch margin on the end farthest from you and a 1/2-inch margin of rice on the end closest to you. Arrange the fillings in a row on the edge closest to you, with about 1/2 inch of rice margin at the edge (see the photo). Resist the urge to overstuff the rolls. Carefully roll the sushi away from you, using the mat to apply pressure. Use one hand to keep the filling in place until you get to the point when the mat touches the rice. At this point, lift the mat away from the rice so that you can continue until the sushi is completely rolled. Repeat this process until all the rice has been used. (Reference this sushi rolling video!)
  6. Serve: Use a very sharp knife to cut the rolls into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place them on a platter and drizzle with the Japanese BBQ Sauce (to provide the final flavoring), or another sauce of your choice. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi. Store leftovers refrigerated in a sealed container for 3 to 4 days.


*The Japanese BBQ Sauce adds the final flavoring; we used Bachan’s. You could also drizzle with Spicy Mayo (using vegan mayonnaise) or another sauce of your choosing.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Japanese Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan