Home Editor's Picks Fresh & Simple Raw Vegan Sushi Rolls Recipe

Fresh & Simple Raw Vegan Sushi Rolls Recipe

by jkapeed


You don’t need many ingredients for my sushi recipe. It’s all very basic. You should be able to find all of the ingredients in any regular grocery store.

You need:

  • short-grain Japanese rice
  • rice vinegar
  • sugar
  • salt
  • nori sheets
  • carrots
  •  cucumber
  • avocado
  • firm tofu
  • soy sauce
  • sesame seeds

You also need a bamboo rolling mat, which you can either buy at the grocery store, in an Asian market, or online.

As always, you can find the full ingredient list in a separate recipe box at the end of this post.

a hand holding two vegan sushi rolls


Making these vegan sushi rolls is pretty easy if you follow the instructions. I used to suck at rolling sushi, but if I can make it I’m sure you can as well! I included lots of step-by-step photos for you, which are great if you are new to making sushi.


STEP 1: Rinse the sushi rice in a fine mesh colander under cold water.

four photos of step-by-step preparation of sushi rice

STEP 2: Either cook the rice in your Instant Pot or cook it on the stove top. If you are using an Instant Pot use the rice setting (low pressure for 12 minutes). Allow the pressure to release naturally. The rice should be tender and the water should be completely absorbed. If you are cooking it on the stove top, bring the rice with the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. I usually prefer to make sushi rice in my Instant Pot.

STEP 3: Combine the rice vinegar, the sugar, and the salt in a small bowl. Add the cooked rice to a large bowl and stir in the vinegar sugar mixture until well combined. Let it cool down. Cover the bowl of rice with a damp napkin or kitchen cloth until it’s ready to use.

the rice vinegar and sugar mixture is added to the sushi rice and stirred with a wooden spoon


STEP 4: In the meanwhile, cut the cucumber, the carrots, the avocado, and the tofu in thin strips. Heat some oil in a flat pan and cook the tofu strips for about 4 minutes on high heat until crispy. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce while cooking.

a step-by-step collage that shows how sushi rice is being put on a nori sheet on a bamboo mat


STEP 5: Place a nori sheet lengthwise on a bamboo rolling mat with the shiny side down. Fill a shallow bowl with cool water and wet your hands. Take a handful of rice and place it in the center of the nori sheet. Spread evenly, leaving a 3/4 – inch strip of the nori sheet uncovered on the top.

thin strips of carrot, cucumber, avocado, and tofu are being placed on a nori sheet with rice

STEP 6: Place some thin strips of cucumber, carrot, tofu and avocado in a line on the near edge of the nori sheet. Make sure not to overfill the nori.

a nori sheet with filling is being rolled on a bamboo mat

STEP 7:  Tuck your thumbs underneath the bamboo mat and hold the ingredients with your fingers. Then roll the bamboo mat and the nori sheet towards your fingers with slight pressure. Make sure that the ingredients are fully covered with the rice and the nori sheet. Roll slowly to ensure that the sushi is rolled evenly.

a vegan sushi roll is being rolled on a bamboo mat

STEP 8: Wet your fingers again in the shallow bowl of cool water and moisturize the uncovered strip of the nori sheet. Then completely roll up the nori sheet with the bamboo mat.

a vegan sushi roll is being rolled and cut into pieces on a wooden board


STEP 9: Place the sushi roll on a cutting board and carefully cut it in half with a sharp knife. Put the knife under cold water before and after cutting. Put the sushi halves beside each other and carefully cut them into small slices.

a close-up of vegan sushi on a wooden board


STEP 10: Sprinkle the vegan sushi rolls with sesame seeds and serve with soy sauce. If you want you could also add wasabi and pickled ginger.


There are so many choices to fill vegan sushi. You don’t necessarily need fish or seafood to enjoy sushi!


  • cucumber
  • carrot
  • avocado
  • tofu
  • tempeh
  • sweet potato
  • fried asparagus
  • caramelized onion
  • jackfruit
  • mango
  • baby spinach
  • beets
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • marinated eggplant


  • It’s important to have a bamboo mat, also called masiku, for rolling the sushi. You can buy it at an Asian market or order it online. Sometimes you can even find it in the supermarket.
  • Roll the sushi rolls slowly to ensure that the sushi is rolled evenly.
  • Put the knife under cold water before and after cutting the sushi rolls. Make sure to use a very sharp knife.
  • For a gluten-free version you can substitute the soy sauce with tamari.
  • Make sure not to overfill the sushi rolls.
  • You could also use maple syrup instead of sugar for the rice vinegar, salt, and sugar mixture.

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