Japanese Maki Sushi

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Japanese Maki Sushi

Today we cooked something very special: Homemade vegan maki sushi! We love sushi! Unfortunately, the restaurant or the delivery service are quite pricy in the long run. That’s why since a few years, we just prepare it ourselves at home.

The classic sushi rolls, nori algae stuffed with rice and filling, are called maki sushi. Therse Japanese Maki-rolls are divided into two types. Hoso-maki are thin and filled with a maximum of three ingredients.  Futo-maki are thicker and are filled with  more than 3 ingredients.

Making Sushi yourself I much easier than what you may think. In this recipe guide, I will show you how to prepare the popular maki sushi.

Maki sushi rolls from above

“But isn’t sushi made with raw fish?”

If you think sushi inevitably has something to do with raw fish, you are wrong. Even though there are lots of sushi-types that contain fish, the word “Sushi” simply means “pickled rice” in Japanese. So to be clear: Not even the name contains fish.

Vegan Maki Sushi has a Long Tradition

In the traditional Japanese sushi kitchen, the vegan ingredients have always played a major role. Because many maki are already vegan by default. Classic maki that do not contain animal ingredients are:

  • avocado maki (avocado)
  • kappa maki (cucumber)
  • paprika maki (red pepper)
  • shitake maki (Japanese mushrooms)
  • oshinko maki (pickled radish)
  • kampyo maki (pumpkin strips) Kampyo Maki (pumpkin strips)
  • tofu maki (tofu)

Other ingredients for vegan sushi could be: tomato, mango, smoked tofu, cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, seitan, tempura vegetables, beans, asparagus, beetroot, basil, cress, chives… I could go on forever, because the possibilities are endless.

Sushi is a very creative dish and you can combine the fillings as you wish to create your own ideas. If you don’t put salt in your sushi rice, you could even make sweet desert sushi with fresh fruits or chocolate. So do not be fooled, vegan sushi is the best, even without the fish!

Maki sushi rolls from above

“Do I Need Any Special Kitchen Equipment?”

For a proper sushi making session you need, except for a sushi mat for rolling, no special equipment. You can buy such a sushi mat in larger supermarkets, Asian supermarkets or online.

Once you are on your shopping trip, you should also pack

  • sushi rice
  • nori leaves (square leaves of roasted green seaweed)
  • wasabi (Japanese green horseradish)
  • soy sauce
  • gari (sweet and sour pickled ginger).

Gari is eaten in between the individual sushi to neutralize the taste buds and prepare them for the next flavor.

The Secret of Perfect Sushi is the Rice

If you have all the ingredients, it’s finally time to make some sushi. The most important part of sushi is the rice. Therefore aspiring sushi chefs spend a large part of their training only on the perfect preparation of the rice! Such a training as a sushi chef can take up to 15 years.

Of course we cannot compete with the sushi knowledge of these professionals. But we promise you that with this recipe-guide you will succeed in making delicious and presentable maki sushi that will enchant your guests.

Maki sushi is eaten with chopsticks

And if you are not in the mood to prepare all the Sushi rolls, you can also combine the ingredients in a yummy Teriyaki-Jackfruit-Sushi-Bowl.

Maki Sushi

Japanese Maki Sushi

Sushi rolls for beginners – easy vegan maki sushi rolls 
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Algae, Avocado, Carrots, Cucumber, Mushrooms, pepper, Rice
Schwierigkeitsgrad: Difficult
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 persons
Calories: 588kcal


For the sushi rice

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 1.3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar alternatively table vinegar

Suggestions for the filling

  • 5 sheets nori algae
  • ¼ cucumber
  • ¼ pepper
  • ½ avocado
  • 50 g rocket
  • 1 spring onion
  • ½ carrot
  • 1 sesame light or black
  • 1 tbsp fried onions
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp vegan cream cheese
  • 50 g mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 50 g wakame salad


Cooking the sushi rice:

  • Place the sushi rice in a colander and rinse thoroughly under running water until the water is clear. Put the rice into a pan with a lid and add 1.3 times the amount of water.  Boil for 3 minutes. Then turn the heat to the lowest setting and let the rice soak for 20 minutes. Do not lift the lid in the meantime. 
  • Remove the pot from the heat and replace the pot lid with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rest for another 20 minutes. 
  • In a small bowl mix salt, sugar and vinegar. Pour the mixture over the rice and stir until it is evenly distributed. 
  • Spread the rice on a large plate and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let the rice cool to room temperature. Do not refrigerate as the rice will not become sticky otherwise.

Preparing the sushi rolls:

  • For the sushi filling, cut the vegetables into thin long stripes. Slice the mushrooms and fry them in a pan until they are brown. Deglaze with teriyaki sauce and set aside in a bowl. Assemble all ingredients for the filling and set them next to your .
  • Lay a sheet of Nori algae on a sushi roll board, rough side up. Distribute the sushi rice in the lower half of the algae leaf. This works best with a cutlery knife dipped in water. Due to the moisture, the rice does not stick to the knife. Press the rice flat with the flat side of the knife. The rice can easily survive left and right.
  • The filling can be varied as desired. The combination options are endless. Usually you take 1-4 ingredients. Here are a few suggestions:
      – cream cheese, avocado, spring onion, cilantro and mushrooms
      – Wakame and sesame
      – Cream cheese, cucumber, peppers and rocket
      – Avocado, mushrooms and fried onions
      – Avocado, carrot and spring onion
  • The filling is laid out in the middle of the rice in a line. Afterwards the sushi is rolled with the help of the roller board. Start at the bottom and fold first a little bit, so far that the filling is covered. Then you roll in the rest. At the end moisten the algae leaf with a little water and close the roll tightly.
  • Do the same with the 4 other Nori leaves. Then cut the rolls into 2 cm pieces with a large, sharp and moistened knife. The edge pieces are usually not so nice and may therefore be eaten directly.
  • Serve on a platter or a large plate with pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi.


Calories: 588kcal (29%) | Carbohydrates: 109g (36%) | Protein: 12g (24%) | Fat: 11g (17%) | Saturated Fat: 2g (13%) | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 4482mg (195%) | Potassium: 650mg (19%) | Fiber: 7g (29%) | Sugar: 23g (26%) | Vitamin A: 3755IU (75%) | Vitamin C: 15.8mg (19%) | Calcium: 104mg (10%) | Iron: 3.2mg (18%)

If you liked this recipe for Sushi you may also like one of these other Asian recipes:

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Homemade vegan Sushi - Maki-Sushi

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