Enjoy restaurant-style sushi rolls from the comfort of your home while also saving some money!
Sushi has always been a food that I could only eat when I ate out because it seemed extremely complicated to make, but I was so wrong all along! Sushi is also an expensive food at restaurants, but a very affordable dish to make at home. Besides saving money, making sushi at home is also more practical because you can customize it in any way you would like, especially for anyone with specific dietary restrictions. These are not traditional sushi flavors in any way, but you may use fried tofu, roasted eggplant, or even chicken, etc.
Many restaurants offer vegetarian sushi rolls, but usually the filling is only avocado or some cucumbers with cream cheese. Luckily, you can make your own vegetarian sushi roll at home using imitation sashimi! I have been eating imitation sashimi since I was young and am surprised at how unknown it is to people. Since it still is not popular, it can only be purchased in select health stores, select Asian stores, or online. Some of the products are vegetarian and some are vegan so be sure to read the ingredients label. Most imitation sashimi is made from Konnyaku from the Konjac plant. Konjac is an East Asian plant whose tubers can be made into a powder, which in turn can be made into a jelly-like substance. Because of this, the imitation sashimi can be entirely plant-based. Konnyaku is essentially unknown in the Western world. It looks extremely odd at first sight because of it’s jelly-like appearance, but this food is a real game changer for plant-based eaters!
The imitation sashimi I used is vegetarian (not vegan) since it contains whey. I purchased it from Taiwan, but it can be purchased in select stores in the states. This is the product I used:
The imitation sashimi looks insanely realistic. The texture and flavor are pretty accurate as well. The product does not have a strong “fishy” flavor which is good for anyone who dislikes a strong seafood smell and taste. This product is gluten-free as well.
Vegetarian “Salmon” Sushi Roll (GF)
yield: 4-5 rolls
For sushi rice (Rice recipe from TheFoodieEats):
- 2 c. short-grain rice
- 2 c. water
- 1/4 c. rice vinegar
- 1/4 c. white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4-5 sheets seaweed (nori)
- 8-10 thick slices of imitation sashimi, each slice approx. 2.5″ in length
- 8-10 slices thick strips cream cheese (use vegan if needed)
- 8-10 thick strips of avocado
- white sesame seeds to sprinkle on rice (optional)
- Wash the short grain rice 3 times, using hands to scrub the rice to release excess starch. Allow rice to drain for 15 min.
- Combine the rice and water in a rice cooker and cook using normal rice cooker instructions. You can also cook this in an instant pot by combining the rice and water and cooking on high pressure for 10 min. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 min.
- Transfer the rice to a large bowl and allow to cool for at least 10 min. Add in the remaining sushi rice ingredients and mix together until all ingredients are incorporated.
- To assemble the sushi, place one sheet of nori on the bamboo mat. Spread on a thin layer of rice (about 1/3-1/2 c.) until the nori is completely covered. Lay cream cheese, avocado, and imitation sashimi in the middle of the roll as shown below:
- Roll the sushi up tightly by first rolling over the filling. Tighten the roll using the bamboo mat, then continue rolling until the sushi is tightly sealed. It is important to roll the sushi tight, but do not oversqueeze otherwise the nori may break! (Rolling sushi requires a bit of practice as my first few rolls were quite ugly.)
- Refrigerate the roll for at least 5 min. Slice slices with a sharp knife and enjoy with soy sauce and wasabi!
Sushi is best eaten when fresh. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days in an airtight container.