Vegan Sweet Potato Sushi
If I were on my death bed or in some other dire and macabre position that allowed me a limited number of meals, my top food request would probably be maki sushi. I’m not sure if it’s the customizability or the fact that practically any food becomes better with the addition of rice, but once I get started, I can’t stop my sushi consumption. While I would love to spend all my coins on these precious little rolls, the reality is that sometimes I just need to chill out at home and take a stab at it myself. Luckily these vegan sweet potato sushi rolls are simple to make and satisfy my sushi crazed soul.
The key to success in this recipe is the shaved sweet potato. Because sushi is traditionally a fish and rice dish, creating a vegan version with the consistency of real fish can be difficult. To replicate the texture and look of fish, shaving the sweet potato with a potato peeler creates thin strips, which you can then bake for a soft, chewy fish-like texture. I’ve tried creating this dish with exactly the same ingredients, but used cubed sweet potato instead of peeled, and it just doesn’t work. The most difficult part about this is trying not to eat all the shaved sweet potato when it’s fresh out the oven. It’s so good!
While you can stop right there with just rice, shaved sweet potato and a seaweed wrapper, I like to add a bit more filling. The options are limitless but for an easy, simple starter, I used julienned cucumber, carrots, sliced avocado, green onion and a dab of wasabi paste. With all my recipes, I encourage exploration and creativity, so if you try some other fillings that you think are amazing, let me know in the comments!
These vegan sweet potato sushi rolls are incredibly easy to make, but I know that preparing sushi at home can be daunting or inconvenient if it’s your first time or you don’t have a rolling mat. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I don’t use one!
If you place the nori sheet first and then apply the toppings, you can easily skip a trip to the store for a sushi rolling mat. Here’s a quick video on how to roll sushi if you need a little help.
Vegan Sweet Potato Sushi
- 1 sweet potato, shaved with a potato peeler
- ½ cup of sushi rice
- 2 sheets of nori
- ½ cucumber, julienned
- 1 carrot, julienned
- ½ avocado, sliced
- 2 green onions
- 2 tsp wasabi paste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp sesame seed oil
- 1 tsp black bean garlic sauce (optional. If omitted, replace with 2 cloves of minced garlic)
- Preheat oven on 400 degrees. Mix soy sauce, hoisin, brown sugar, red chili flakes, sesame seed oil and black bean garlic sauce together in a small bowl.
- Pour sauce mixture over shaved sweet potato, making sure all shaved pieces are coated with the sauce.
- Place coated, shaved sweet potato slices into a roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil. Place the sweet potatoes into the oven and allow them to cook for about 10-15 or until they are soft.
- Once the sweet potatoes are soft, remove the aluminum foil and allow them to cook in the oven for another five minutes so that they are slightly crispy and glazed.
- Cook ½ cup of sushi rice according to your brand’s instructions. Once soft, transfer to the refrigerator and allow it to cool. The rice doesn’t have to be completely cold, just chilled enough so that it won’t melt the nori sheet.
- Once the rice has cooled a bit, mix in a tablespoon of rice vinegar with the sushi rice.
- Lay out a nori sheet and spread a thin layer of rice across it with a wooden spoon or cake spatula. Spread a thin layer of wasabi paste down the line where you will place the rest of the toppings. Layer avocado, carrot, cucumber, 1 green onion and several slices of the glazed sweet potato strips and roll all ingredients into a long, thin burrito-like roll.
- With a very sharp knife, slice the roll into bite sized pieces.
- Repeat steps 7 and 8 with your other nori sheet. Serve with soy sauce and your favorite condiments.