Before I became vegetarian, I loved sushi.
Not vegetarian sushi, either. My absolute favorites were salmon and tuna nigiri, unagi (eel) rolls, and anything with tobiko on top (those little orange fish eggs).
Sushi was definitely one of my favorite foods growing up.
Ever since I announced to my mom that I was going vegetarian nine years ago, I have relied on cucumber and avocado rolls to get me through my sushi cravings.
While regular cucumber and avocado rolls are absolutely delicious, I recently got a craving for an even healthier option.
Seeing as I’m currently following a raw vegan diet, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to make yet another replacement for an old favorite.
So, I went to the grocery store and bought myself a pack of nori sheets.
And thus, this recipe was born!
It took me about fifteen minutes to make, and the hardest part was chopping the veggies.
Feel free to switch it up and add whatever you like in the middle!
Fresh marinated coconut meat, carrot, bell pepper, jicama, sprouts, even mushrooms. Whatever floats your sushi boat!
In place of rice, I made a sunflower seed pâté seasoned with a little miso paste and rice vinegar.
In my opinion, the main flavor components in a veggie sushi roll are usually the soy sauce, seaweed and wasabi, so I just needed a mild base to compliment the primary flavors. It works perfectly and it’s so easy to make!
There’s one thing I just need to throw out there before we get started:
I’m terrible at rolling sushi.
And you know what? It’s OK if you’re terrible at it too! All we can do is try our best. We can be terrible at it together, united as one uncultured sushi-craving health-nut. (I’m kidding)
But seriously, it’ll still taste delicious no matter how perfect or imperfect it is. I promise.
(If you do have sushi-rolling skills, hit me up. I would love to learn how to not suck at it!)
Here we go.
Sunflower Seed “Rice”:
2 cups sunflower seeds
1 tsp miso paste
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/8 tsp organic monk fruit or stevia
1 tbsp sesame seeds
5-6 tbsp filtered or spring water, to blend
For Everything Else:
1 ripe avocado
1 medium organic cucumber
1 package raw or toasted nori sheets
3 tbsp tamari or nama shoyu
1 tsp wasabi paste
1 tsp sesame seeds or gomasio for garnish
- In a high speed blender (or food processor) blend the sunflower seeds with the rest of the rice ingredients, adding two tbsp of water at a time until emulsified, but still very thick. I used a Vitamix plunger to really work the mixture into a paste.
- Once blended, smear 3 tbsp pâté onto a nori sheet, about an inch off-center to one end of the sheet.
- Add thinly sliced matchsticks of avocado and cucumber into the middle of the roll.
- Using both hands, begin rolling the sushi tightly beginning at the end closest to where you smeared the pâté.
- Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut the roll into individual pieces of sushi. I like dipping the knife into a bit of water after each slice to keep it from sticking. (You can also take this opportunity to clean up the less desirable sushi roll ends by eating them. hehe.)
- Serve with a side of tamari and wasabi, or mix the two together to make a sauce like I did to drizzle over top. You can even add some pickled ginger to the party if you like.
- Top with gomasio or sesame seeds.