How to Make Vegan Sushi (Surprisingly Easy!)


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Have you ever wondered how to make vegan sushi? Let me show you how in a few easy steps with this easy vegetarian sushi recipe. It’s so simple and so delicious!

Two images of vegan sushi.
Vegan sushi filled with red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, and avocado on a board.

Of all the foods in all the world, there’s one food that I’ve never gotten tired of. That, my friends, is avocado sushi rolls. I could easily eat it everyday (and honestly would if I could always find avocados that were perfectly ripe at an affordable price). Since I love vegan sushi so dearly, I knew it was something I had to learn to make myself (because nobody wants to keep paying $8 for a roll of vegetable sushi). Lucky for me, it’s actually super simple to make!

Vegan sushi filled with red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, and avocado on a platter.

How to make sushi:

To make sushi, you’ll need a bamboo sushi rolling mat, a sharp knife, short grain glutinous rice, and vegetables cut into strips. If you prefer your rice rolled on the outside of your sushi roll, you’ll also need cling film (or saran wrap). Optional, but recommended, are chopsticks, soy sauce, and wasabi.

One of the hardest parts of making sushi is slicing the rolls into bite-sized pieces. Aside from using a sharp knife, there’s one important tip that will make all the difference.


It sounds weird, I know. It works because it helps stop the sticky sushi rice from sticking to the knife.

Also, clean your knife after every second cut. It might feel like a pain to clean your knife so often, but it’s so worth it when you get perfect cuts through your sushi roll.

I have two more tips for successfully making sushi.

  1. Don’t overfill your roll.
  2. Squeeze the sushi into a tight roll as you’re rolling it.

What to put in vegan sushi:

Use your favorite vegetables! Some fruits even work well for sweeter sushi rolls (think things like mango that are firm, tropical, and can be cut into a strip).

My favorite vegetables for sushi are carrot, red bell pepper, avocado, and cucumber. I also love adding vegan cream cheese in sometimes. Topping it with black sesame seeds gives it a great nutty flavor and satisfying crunch.

Vegan sushi filled with red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, and avocado in a bowl.

What You’ll Need:

There are three ingredients and two tools that make all the difference when you’re making perfect homemade sushi.

Sushi Ingredients:

The first ingredient is good quality nori. Nori is the roasted seaweed sheets that you roll your sushi in. The quality of the nori makes a big difference in the taste. I’ve found that whenever I use lower quality nori it has kind of a fishy taste. This is the brand I recommend, and I’m always so happy with the results.

The second ingredient is sushi rice. Sushi rice is also commonly referred to as Calrose Rice in the United States. It’s a very short grain rice with a higher concentration of starch than other varieties of rice. The higher concentration of starch is what makes sushi sticky and easy to roll.

The last ingredient is rice vinegar. Rice vinegar is what gives sushi rice it’s classic sweet and tangy flavor.

Sushi Making Tools:

The first tool is a bamboo rolling mat. This tool is essential when making sushi, and I wouldn’t recommend trying to make sushi without it.

The second tool is a sushi knife. Sushi knives can be an affordable and great way to get clean slices when you’re cutting your sushi. They’re easier to use because they have a non-stick coating and holes in the knife. Both of these elements make for reduced friction when cutting, which makes a big difference when you’re slicing something sticky (like sushi).

Bonus: I like this very affordable sushi making kit because it comes with two rolling mats, a sushi knife, chopsticks, and a rice paddle. It’s a much better price than buying the pieces separately, and as a bonus you get the rice paddle which helps you spread the rice across the nori more tightly and evenly.

Vegan Sushi

Vegan sushi filled with red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, and avocado on a platter.

Have you ever wondered how to make vegan sushi? Let me show you how in a few easy steps with this easy vegan sushi recipe. It’s so simple and so delicious!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


Sushi Rice:

  • 2 rice cups uncooked short grain glutinous rice*
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil (optional, it helps to separate the rice)


  • Your favorite vegetables cut into thin strips (I most commonly use avocado, cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, baked sweet potato wedges, and lettuce)
  • Nori Sheets
  • Roasted black sesame seeds
  • Wasabi
  • Soy Sauce


Sushi Rice:

  1. Cook the rice per the instructions from your rice cooker.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan.
  3. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Once the rice is finished cooking, pour the seasoning mixture into the rice and stir gently with a rice paddle until all grains of rice are separated and evenly coated.
  5. Let sit covered for 15 minutes (the rice will absorb any extra liquid during this time). 


  1. Place your nori sheet shiny side down on the bamboo mat.**
  2. Cover all but the edges of your nori sheet with an even layer of sushi rice.
  3. Place a few pieces of your chosen veggies in a row about an inch in from the edge closest to you.
  4. Roll the close edge of your nori sheet over the filling.  Be sure to squeeze as you roll, tightening the sushi roll as you go.
  5. If needed, wet the far edge of the nori sheet to make it sticky to hold the roll together.
  6. Cut the sushi roll into 8 evenly sized pieces.***
  7. Top with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.


*2 rice cups is measured using the measuring cup that accompanies your rice cooker.  This is equivalent to 1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice using regular measuring cups.

**If you’re rolling your sushi with the rice on the outside of the roll, be sure to have a layer of saran wrap between the rice and the bamboo mat.

***Pro tip – use a sharp wet knife to cut your sushi, it makes it much easier.  Clean your knife after every second cut.


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Three images of vegan sushi filled with red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, and avocado.

Did you know that the vast majority of wasabi on the market is mostly made up of horseradish and mustard? Real wasabi is very hard to grow, and therefore much more expensive.

Many people are surprised to find out that real wasabi tastes floral, aromatic, sweet, and pungent. If you’re out at a sushi restaurant and you don’t see the wasabi grated fresh in front of you, chances are you’re eating imitation wasabi.

If you’d like to learn more about this, here’s a wonderful short YouTube video.

The next time you’re craving vegan sushi, try making it at home!

Vegan sushi filled with red bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, and avocado on a platter.

4 thoughts on “How to Make Vegan Sushi (Surprisingly Easy!)”

  1. I gained a full 23 lbs. over the last 6 months and decided rather than going on a “diet” I would just try eating new and smarter dishes. Soooo, it’s fresh fruits and veggies, but I’ve learned now to make kimchi and this recipe is wonderful for sushi that I love! Amazing with avocado! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Hi Renee, So happy to hear you enjoyed the sushi recipe! I agree, avocado sushi is my all-time favorite and it’s great to make at home. -Alexa


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