Monday, June 28, 2010

Vegan Sushi

It is one of the most common questions we get as vegans: is there any kind of food you miss? While becoming vegan has actually broadened our culinary horizon and inspired us to become more creative in the kitchen, the answer, for me anyways, is yes. Quite simply, I miss sushi. It just hasn't tasted as good without the raw fish and cream cheese.

Being vegan isn't always easy. Sometimes we find ourselves craving some of the things we have given up because of our ethical eating. However, when this happens we don't simply give in to our cravings. No, we are simply forced to rethink our old favorites. Here is our ethical sushi.

1 package of Nori sheets
1 Large cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
1 tomato, peeled and sliced
1 avocado
1 summer squash, grilled and sliced
1/2 head of romaine lettuce
1 package Publix brand Gourmet blend mushrooms
1 carrots thinly sliced
Balsamic vinegar
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Garlic powder

The Nori, or seaweed, is a sushi classic. I think it kind of has a fishy taste, which makes it great for replacing the raw fish. In an effort to replace the look and texture of our favorite fish, tuna, we decided to peel and slice a tomato. It occurred to me that preparing the tomato in this fashion would make it look a lot like sashimi.

The grilled squash and avocado add a rich, creamy consistency that helps to fill the void left by our old favorite, the cream cheese. Along with avocado, cucumbers and carrots are typical of most sushi rolls so we decided to include these staples along with our more creative elements.

We simmered the mushroom mix in the balsamic vinegar and Bragg's, added a pinch of garlic powder and sugar, and let it reduce. The mushrooms also add an interesting, meaty texture with a great flavor.

After watching an episode of Iron Chef America, in which the challenger used thinly sliced green papaya to wrap a sushi roll, we were inspired to try something similar with cucumbers. As you can see from the pictures, our slices were not quite thin enough, but I think this was due to a lack of technical proficiency and the absence of good, sharp knives. We were able to keep the rolls closed with toothpicks.

Served with soy sauce this light and crispy take on a summer favorite left us feeling pretty satisfied. What are your favorite vegan sushi ingredients?

*Hijacked by Chris (Golden's husband)


  1. Awesome and awesome and awesome all over the place! This sushi looks amazing! But if you miss cream cheese so much, why not just just use Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese? It's just like the real thing. Oh man I want to make sushi right now...

  2. ive never been attracted to sushi in any way shape or form until now... this looks really really good.

  3. Yes Toffutti better than cream cheese is so amazing! Good point!

  4. I guess the advantage of using fresh veggies over Tofutti is that you can really feel good about what you're eating. Tofutti has partially hydrogenated oil, maltodextrin--usually a corn derivative, and a few other not-so-appealing ingredients. For the vegan health nuts out there --myself NOT included :)-- Tofutti isn't really any better than cream cheese. Just a thought.

  5. That's it guys, Chris won the blog. Time for me to go home. D:

  6. Oh right on. Yeah, it's certainly not good for you, but if cream cheese is what you're after it's just the thing. But in my opinion, fresh veggies when every time :)

  7. Very true, Elizabeth! Theresa, I only collaborated with Molly. Most of that was her idea. :D By the way, I loved the "sausage" And biscuits post.

  8. Molly and Chris won the blog! :D

  9. Oh and P.S. I meant "win" not "when." A side effect of being a professional writer is that I have become pretty crappy at it.