Sushi. Is there anything better? I have loved veggie sushi as long as I can remember, and am fairly certain I used chopsticks before I started using a fork. (Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the point).
While people normally associate sushi with raw fish, it actually lends itself really well to a variety of vegetables, most notably the humble avocado. There is something so delicious about the combination of sushi rice, seaweed and avocado with a little soy sauce to dip it in. There are so many other choices besides just avocado that you can use too, and it’s really just a matter of what you like.
My favorite combination is avocado, tofu, cucumber, carrot and asparagus. And that’s exactly what’s in my vegan dragon roll. Dragon rolls are typically made with some type of fish (usually eel or shrimp), but this version uses tofu to get that meaty texture instead. They are always served inside out with the rice on the outside and topped with sliced avocado and a spicy mayo sauce.
If you’ve never made sushi – don’t be scared! It can take a little practice and a bit of fiddling around, but it’s really not as hard as it looks. If it is your first time, be sure to check out Youtube for tutorials on how to wrap a roll. I find that watching a video really helps when trying something new and unfamiliar.
For the sushi rice
- 250g sushi rice, cooked according to the package
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
For the roll
- 2 nori sheets
- 1 cucumber, cut into thin strips
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 package smoked tofu, cut into strips
- 4 asparagus spears, blanched in hot water for a couple minutes
- 3 avocados
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- 1 tbsp sriracha (adjust to desired heat)
- 1/2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1-2 tsp of non-dairy milk
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Pickled ginger
- Tamari or soy sauce
Before you begin, you will also need a bamboo rolling mat, sharp knife, cling film and a bowl of water to dip your hands into.
- Add the vinegar, salt and sugar to a small bowl and mix well until combined.
- Cook the rice according the instructions on the package. Make sure you buy rice made specifically for sushi – if you get plain white rice it won’t be sticky enough. Once the rice is cooked and has cooled slightly, add it to a large bowl along with the vinegar dressing and mix.
- Make the spicy mayo by combining all ingredients and mixing well. If your sauce is a bit thick, add a little non-dairy milk until you get the consistency you want.
- Take your bamboo rolling mat and cover with cling film on both sides, so that it is entirely covered. The cling film should stick to itself easily.
- Place a sheet of nori on the bamboo mat and add a handful of the sticky rice to the top, making sure you spread the rice out evenly to the edges. Don’t add too much as you could end up with a monster roll. Use the bowl of water to rinse off any rice that has stuck to your fingers.
- Now place some of your veggies at the end closest to you. Using the mat, start to roll the sushi up. Rolling away from you, make sure you give the roll a little squeeze each time to press the rice and vegetables together. Continuing rolling until you get to the end of the sushi (the roll will stick to itself).
- Take half an avocado, peel it and and slice it thinly. Using the back of your knife, press down on the avocado to flatten it out slightly. Then, using the knife again, scoop up the sushi and place on top of your roll.
- Take a piece of cling film and place it over the top of the roll. Using the bamboo mat, press down firmly on top to squish the avocado into the rice. Leaving the cling film in place, cut your roll into 6-8 pieces (the cling film helps the avocado stay in place).
- Transfer the sushi roll to a plate and top with dollops of the sriracha mayo and sesame seeds and serve with tamari or soy sauce, ginger and wasabi. Enjoy!
The ingredients above are for 2 dragon rolls – but keep in mind you will have some rice, nori and veggies leftover, so I would suggest making additional rolls to go with them. Just experiment with mixing them up and have fun!