Sushi isn’t just for fish eaters with this delicious plant-based version of the Japanese classic. With quick pickled onions and spicy vegan mayo, they’re decadent without being a load of work! Follow our recipe below.
If you’ve shied away from making sushi because it seems like too much work, this recipe is for you. We built it to be completely vegan so that all your plant-based friends and family can enjoy it, too!
With some quick pickled onions, crispy-fried tofu, nori, fresh rice, crunchy cucumber, and carrots, this is a meal that isn’t just delicious - it’s full of lean vegan protein and nutrient-dense ingredients!
They’re not strictly authentic, but they are 100% delicious.
Vegan Tofu Sushi - Nutrition Information
Per 1 roll serving, without spicy mayo
Calories: 390 kcal; Fat: 10.2 g; Carbohydrates: 55.7 g; Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 15 g.
Vegan Tofu Sushi Recipe - FAQ
Can I use other types of rice?
Sushi is usually made with “sushi rice,” also known as short or medium-grain white rice. You can try other types of rice in your sushi, like brown rice, but its lack of stickiness may make your roll fall apart. For the best results, use sticky white rice.
Can I use other types of tofu?
Firm or extra firm are the only types of tofu that work here. Since they contain less water than soft and regular tofu, they won’t fall apart in the pan. Firm tofu also stays together in the roll better and won’t leave your sushi soggy.
Do I need to press the tofu?
Yes, the tofu needs to be pressed before you cook so it can get nice and crispy in the pan. Even firm and extra firm still contains water that needs to be removed. Simply place your tofu block in a tofu press for 15 mins, or wrap it in some paper towel and press between two heavy plates for a few hours.
Is this recipe vegan?
This recipe is 100% plant-based and contains no animal products. You can use regular mayo instead if you’re making it for vegetarians, though the vegan kind is just as good!
You can save any leftover vegan tofu sushi rolls in an airtight container in your fridge for 3-4 days, and the pickled onions can stay sealed in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Final Notes: Tofu Sushi Rolls Recipe
These tofu sushi rolls make an excellent dinner for the family and even a great leftover lunch the next day at work!
We hope you enjoy!
Vegan Sushi Rolls with Crispy-Fried Tofu + Spicy Vegan Mayo
2 c. medium or short-grain white rice, rinsed
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, divided
1 14-oz package firm or extra firm tofu
1/2 c. + 3 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar, divided
1 red onion, peeled, halved, and sliced thin
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 Tbsp avocado or canola oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 c. vegan mayo
Favorite hot sauce, to taste
2 small carrots, peeled and shopped into 1/4-inch batons
2 small cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch batons
6–7 large nori sheets
Soy sauce, for serving
Combine rice with 4 c. water and ¼ tsp salt in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce to low and simmer the rice until all the water absorbs, ~15 to 20 mins. Do not stir the pot.
While the rice cooks, press your tofu. Remove the tofu block from the package and place it in a tofu press for 15 mins.
While the tofu presses, you can make the pickled onions. In a medium-sized shallow bowl or canning jar, combine ½ c. rice vinegar with ⅓ c. water. Add the onions and push them down with a spoon until fully submerged, then let the bowl stand at room temperature for a minimum of 30 min. Set aside.
Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and let the rice sit, covered, for another 10 mins in the pot. While the rice is still hot, add 2 tsp of sesame oil and the last 3 Tbsp of rice vinegar. Use a large wooden spatula to gently toss the rice, then let it stand uncovered until it is cool enough to touch.
In the meanwhile, cook your tofu. Remove it from the tofu press and cut it lengthwise into 8 slabs. Lay the tofu slabs in a single layer on a large cutting board and season them with salt and pepper.
Heat 3 Tbsp of avocado oil in your large, non-stick skillet or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Place the tofu slabs seasoned side down in the skillet in a single layer; then season the top. Cook the tofu slabs until crispy and golden brown on the bottom, ~10 mins, then flip and cook the other side of the tofu for another 10 mins. Remove from the heat and transfer the tofu to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil.
Make your spicy mayo by scooping ½ c. of vegan mayo into a medium-sized bowl and stirring with 1 to 2 tsp hot sauce, adding more to taste.
Once your tofu cools, slice the slabs in half for a total of 16 batons.
It’s time to assemble your tofu. Lay 1 nori sheet on a clean working surface or bamboo sushi mat, shiny side down. Place ¾ c. rice in the center, then use wet hands to gently spread it out to the edges, leaving a 1-inch border along the top edge.
Place 2 tofu batons on the bottom third of the sheet, along with a few carrot slices, cucumber, and pickled onions. Take the bottom edge of your sushi mat and roll upward tightly around the filling. Use a wet finger to brush water along the bare seam, and use it to seal the roll.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Use a sharp chef's knife to cut each roll into 8 sushi pieces.
Drizzle with spicy mayo and serve with soy sauce for dipping. Enjoy!