Sushi is one of my favorite things in the world! However, due to decimation of fish populations thanks to commercial fishing (not to mention the levels of mercury and other toxins found in most fish) we no longer eat traditional sushi or other Japanese animal products. Fortunately if you aren’t that intersted in rolling-your-own (although I promise it’s not that hard!) there are still quite a lot of options you can enjoy at sushi restaurants. Vegetable tempura (just ask if the batter includes eggs) and avocado rolls are amazing! Yam rolls, mango rolls, veggie hand-cones, noodle dishes, spring rolls (just ask if you’re not sure what’s in them) tofu-anything, and other popular, tasty items can easily be vegan or vegetarian.
Now, it’s also not that difficult to make your own sushi at home, and you can be totally in-charge of what goes in them! Some of my favorite roll fillings include:
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Crispy baked tofu (plain and smoked)
- Cooked yam
- Lotus root
- Enoki mushrooms
- Vegetarian “meats”
- Tempura-battered anything
Recently I saw a recipe for Spicy Vegan Scallop Rolls on Olives for Dinner and I knew I HAD to try it. I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and during a trip to our local Asian market over the weekend I bought some king oyster mushrooms so that I could finally make it!
I also prepped some fillings for rolls, cooked a mess of sushi rice, and then got to it. In addition to making the scallop rolls for the first time, I also tried my hand at making onigiri (a ride ball, essentially). These are soooooo easy, and very versatile. I wasn’t very creative and just mixed some rice seasoning (furikake) into mine. I didn’t even think of putting filling inside, even though I had some lovely vegan mushroom-flavored soy meat all prepared. Fail. Oh well, next time. Anyway, rice seasoning often contains fish, so you might have to search a bit to find a vegan version, or make your own (it’s not that difficult).
I could write many words about how to make rolls (maki) but other people have already done a far better job of it than I could (and they have pictures!) so here are some links to instructions. If you are more of a visual learner a quick search on YouTube will give you tons of videos to chose from. You can keep it basic or get really fancy!
How to make maki sushi (SushiFAQ)
How to make maki sushi (WikiHow)
Sushi making explained (Make My Sushi)
Everything turned out super yummy, and was way cheaper than going out. The first time you make sushi I highly suggest doing so on a weekend afternoon. Give yourself a lot of time, because it isn’t any good making it in a rush. Also the rice needs time to cool after you cook it, and since sushi is not a “hot” food you can really take your time preparing all of the ingredients. Another fun thing I’ve done is made a ton of rice and fillings, and then had a roll-your-own party with a few friends. It’s basically like a DIY maki buffet! This is also awesome for older children (who will probably still need help with rolling, but make it fun and not stressful). Get really creative with ingredients, and the options are pretty much limitless!