After 5+ years of being vegan there are few foods that I miss. Even seeing the imitation meats are displeasing at this point. However, my husband and I were huge fans of sushi. It was a fun date night and we were missing it after our move to a small town, where veganized sushi wasn’t accessible. So, we learned a new skill- Sushi making! And we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it can be. When made at home the ingredients are fresh, vibrant, and ethically sourced. The pride we felt biting into our first sushi roll was thrilling! We were hooked. There are plenty of fantastic tutorials on youtube.com on how to roll the sushi. Here I’ll walk you through our process, but have fun at home finding what works for you and your family’s taste buds.
While we try to stick with a low-oil diet, this recipe does use vegetable oil for frying the tofu. I did not have luck using air-dryer tempura recipes, but if you find one that works for you- comment and let us all know! If you decide to try the tempura tofu, which I highly recommend- throw a can of sparkling water into the refrigerator the day before to ensure it is ice cold. If you forget, it happens, you can chill it quickly by pouring a can of sparkling water into a small metal bowl and submerging it into a slightly larger bowl with ice cubes. Spin the smaller bowl around in the ice and viola- chilled sparkling water.
I like to use my Instapot for the sushi rice. It is easy, fast, and effortless. I found sushi rice at our local grocery. Because we like to make 6 rolls total, saving 2 for lunch the following day, I cook 2.5 cups of rice. Equal parts water to rice. I set the Instapot for 5 minutes on HI and 5 minutes of natural release followed by quick release. I must say it comes out perfect every time! While the Instapot is doing its thing, I prep a 9″ square casserole dish for the rice by mixing 1/4 c. white wine vinegar, 1/4 c. rice vinegar, 2 T (vegan) granulated sugar, and 1 tsp fine salt. After combining that mixture I start on my tempura tofu (see below). Once the rice is done cooking I add it to the mixture in the dish and stir carefully using a wooden spoon. I set that aside to cool.
The crispiest and most delicious tempura tofu. While the rice is cooking I use a gram scale to measure out 125 grams of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp potato starch, 1/8 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp fine salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and mix. Prep a block of super firm tofu by pressing out all liquid and cutting it into 1/2″ cubes. Heat a wok or large skillet with a few inches deep of vegetable oil. Once your oil is hot, add 230 grams of ice cold sparkling water (I like to use La Croix lime) to the dry mixture and stir. Add the cubed tofu into the mixture ensuring each piece is nicely coated- gently fry the pieces in the oil. I like to use extreme caution when frying foods. We keep the little ones and pets out of the kitchen and away from potential harm. I use long tongs to gently place the battered tofu into the oil, and use a ___ spoon to retrieve the golden brown cooked pieces. Makes my mouth water just thinking of the delicious deep fried tofu. If you aren’t a tofu fan, you can substitute for sweet potato, cauliflower, or broccoli. This ingredients adds an amazing level of unami to the sushi rolls and fools you into thinking you are eating take-out!
Raising Vegan Tip- Let’s help the planet! The most eco-friendly way to dispose of vegetable oil is to put it right back into the ground. Find a place on your property that you would like to keep weeds or grass from growing and dump the cooled discarded oil into the soil. It will degrade over time. Next, the cling or plastic wrap- we know it is terrible for the planet. It will literally last for hundreds of years in your pantry. What’s the solution? Use 100% compostable cling wrap. We compost at home and it feels wonderful to know that the cling wrap will degrade and help feed our garden.
Now you are ready to start building your rolls! The key is less can be more if you are having difficulties getting the roll to stay together. The sticky rice is your friend. And remember, fresh seaweed sheets are key.
The obvious condiments to serve with the sushi rolls are soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. We found Ginger People‘s pickled ginger at our local grocer. I really appreciate that this brand doesn’t use any food dyes in their ginger. Can you believe that some other brands actually use known carcinogens, red no. 40, just to give their ginger a pinkish tint. You can make your own, but I have not given it a try. For the wasabi, I love Eden‘s wasabi powder. You reconstitute it in hot water per the directions on the tin. It is delicious and not overly potent. I get our Eden products from Thrive Market . Some of the tube wasabi will have dyes in them, so be sure to check out the ingredients when shopping.
Links to purchase mentioned products: