All the flavor and texture of sushi without the hassle of making the rolls. These vegan sushi bowls are perfect for a build-your-own weeknight bowl or to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week. Just 10 ingredients required, naturally plant-based and gluten-free, and SO satisfying. Let us show you how it’s done!
These vegan sushi bowls are inspired by the flavors of sushi, but with a plant-based spin made into bowl form.
Sushi is a common dish in Japan and in Japanese restaurants around the world. And it’s thought that it might date back to the 2nd century BC, where it originated from a Chinese dish called narezushi. It’s believed to have then spread to Japan in the 8th century. And by the 18th century, sushi restaurants were wildly popular in Japan.
You can find a more traditional tofu sushi roll recipe from Okonomi Kitchen here.
How to Make Vegan Sushi Bowls
These bowls start with making the rice. We use a Japanese-style, short-grain white rice (sometimes labeled sushi rice) that becomes fluffy with a firm bite. A bit of vinegar adds classic sushi rice flavor.
Next, we marinate slices of tofu in a tamari-ginger-sesame sauce that infuses these bowls with savory, umami flavor.
Then we cook the tofu until it’s golden brown with a slightly crispy exterior.
And to add a tangy element, we used a simple method for quick pickled carrots. Thinly sliced carrots are submerged in a vinegar, water, and ginger brine where they soak up flavor while the bowls are prepared.
With the rice, tofu, and quick pickled carrots ready, all that’s left to do is slice the vegetables and assemble the bowls. We went for an avocado roll vibe with thinly sliced fresh cucumber and avocado plus crumbled nori seaweed.
Optional yummy garnishes include:
- Toasted sesame seeds for crunch
- Sliced green onion, microgreens, or sprouts for more green
- Pickled ginger for a sweet, zingy addition
- and/or Wasabi for a spicy element
We hope you LOVE these vegan sushi bowls. They’re:
These bowls are the perfect meal for warmer weather or anytime you’re craving something light and fresh. While delicious on their own, they would also pair well with Watermelon Sashimi as an appetizer and Mango Green Tea Pops for dessert.
More Vegan Bowls
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Servings 4 (Bowls)
- 1 cup dry sushi rice (or sub short-grain white or brown rice and increase water)
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
- 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp ginger, grated (a 1-inch piece yields ~1 Tbsp or 9 g)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- 14 ounce package extra firm tofu, cut into 2 x 1/4-inch slices
QUICK PICKLED CARROTS
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp ginger, grated (a 1-inch piece yields ~1 Tbsp)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots (using a knife or mandolin // 2 large carrots yield ~1 cup)
- 1 cup cucumber, cut into 3-inch matchsticks (1 large cucumber yields ~1 cup)
- 1 large avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 small package seaweed snack chips or nori sheets, crumbled into a seaweed “sprinkle”
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)
- 1 cup microgreens or sprouts (optional)
- Pickled ginger (optional)
- Wasabi (optional)
RICE: Rinse rice with cold water in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Drain and transfer to a small saucepan. Add water and rice vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until water is evaporated and rice is tender (~20 minutes). Turn off the heat and let rice steam with the lid on for 10 minutes.
MARINATE TOFU: While the rice cooks, make the tofu marinade. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar, grated ginger, and maple syrup (optional). Set aside 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the marinade for serving with finished bowls. Add the tofu to the remaining marinade and gently mix to combine and coat the tofu. Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes, mixing every once in a while to ensure the tofu is marinating evenly.
PICKLED CARROTS: Meanwhile, combine rice vinegar, water, ginger, and maple syrup (optional) in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. This will be a brine to quick pickle your carrots. Place carrots into a medium-sized heat-proof bowl or jar and pour the simmering brine over the carrots. Cover and place in the refrigerator to cool while you proceed.
COOK TOFU: Heat a large non-stick skillet or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, remove the tofu from the marinade and place on the hot pan. Cook the tofu for 2-3 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden brown.
To serve, divide the rice between bowls and top with the pickled carrots, cucumbers, avocado, cooked tofu, seaweed sprinkles, and the marinade you set aside. Option to garnish with sesame seeds, green onion, microgreens, pickled ginger, and/or wasabi. Best enjoyed at room temperature.
Leftovers will keep stored separately in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Not freezer friendly.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1 nori seaweed sheet and without optional ingredients.
Serving: 1 serving Calories: 396 Carbohydrates: 54.8 g Protein: 19.4 g Fat: 11.9 g Saturated Fat: 1.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.7 g Monounsaturated Fat: 4.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 2068 mg Potassium: 601 mg Fiber: 6.8 g Sugar: 4 g Vitamin A: 6633 IU Vitamin C: 7 mg Calcium: 354 mg Iron: 3.7 mg