How to Make Sushi: Vegetarian Style

Eating sushi out can get expensive, especially if you are in a big group of people. I mean, one roll isn’t enough to satisfy a person (at least not me…I like food), so those $4 rolls of sushi begin to add up. Then you factor in six people getting two to three rolls each–yeah, it’s not so pretty, and I’m not even good at math. Therefore, one evening, I decided it would be fun to try making my own. What I thought would be a disaster actually turned out to be pretty impressive, and I thought I would share it with you.

Now don’t all you fish-lovers attack me. You could easily improvise on this recipe to include fish. I personally just don’t like fish, so I made my sushi vegetarian. And for all of you people who say vegetable sushi isn’t real sushi–you guys are just wrong. Period. But anyway, enough of that. Let’s get to the fun stuff.

Step 1: Buying the Ingredients

I found all of my ingredients at the Shaw’s in West Campus, surprisingly. Here is the list:

  • Sushi Rice (or Jasmine Rice, short or medium grain)
  • Nori (for numbers, keep in mind you will be cutting them in half)
  • Desired vegetables (avocado, carrots, cucumber…)
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Soy Sauce

Other things you may want:

  • Saran Wrap (if you want to make with rice on the outside)
  • Sushi Mat/any kind of mat (I just used a cutting board as a mat)

Step 2: Preparing the Rice

Now that you’ve got all your ingredients, the first thing you want to do is get the rice cooking, because that’s going to take the longest. Take your bag of rice and follow the water-rice measurements on the back of the bag.I used 2 cups of rice for two people, which was way too much. I would say that for 1-3 people, use 1 cup, 4-7 people, 2 cups.

Pour the listed measurement of water and rice into a pot , cover it, and put it on the stove on high (yes, you want to put the rice in before the water is boiling, despite what the package says. This will make your rice stickier). Once the water starts boiling, bring the temperature down to low until all the water is gone (and stir occasionally). Depending on the rice, this will probably take 15-25 minutes. Once the rice is done, take it off the burner, and leave it uncovered on a counter to cool.

Step 3: Choppin’ Those Veggies

While your rice is cooking, you will have the perfect opportunity to cut your vegetables. For the carrot and cucumber (you probably only need one of each), you want to wash, peel , and then cut them into long, thin strips. The strips should be around half the length of the cucumber or carrot. For the avocado, wash it, peal off the skin, cut it in half, de-pit it, and then cut each half into thin strips, just like the carrot and cucumber. Don’t worry about the fact that those strips are in a “C” shape–they work just as well.

Step 4: Preparing the Rice Dressing

Depending on how fast of a veggie chopper you are, by now, your rice should probably be cooling. Now you want to get out a small pot and a measuring cup. For 2 cups of rice, you want to measure out 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 teaspoons of salt (so if you’re only making 1 cup, half this recipe). Put the pot on the stove on low and mix it until the ingredients are blended (don’t boil it).

Next, you want to get out a non-metal bowl, pour your now cooled-down rice into that bowl, and then pour your rice dressing on top of it. Mix well, and tada! You’ve got all your ingredients prepared, and you’re ready to roll!

Step 5: Roll That Sushi!

Time to put all of your ingredients on one table, take out your mat and put a bowl of water next to it. I would suggest beginning with your regular maki (rice on the inside). Take out a piece of nori and cut it in half (the instructions are probably on the back of the nori package). Dip your fingers in the bowl of water next to you (this prevents the rice from sticking to your fingers), grab some rice, and spread it evenly on half of the nori (that would be half of the half-piece you are working with). Add desired vegetables on top of the rice, and start your rolling!

I would suggest sticking your fingers into that bowl of water next to you before you roll. Take the end with the rice on it, and just roll it tightly straight across to the end of the nori. If the end isn’t sticking, dab some water on it and press it down on your mat.

Once your roll is nicely stuck together, grab a serrated knife, cut your roll into 3-4 pieces, and admire the beautiful work you have done (or perhaps the not so beautiful work…but you can always try again! Practice makes perfect! I promise!)

To make the sushi inside out (a more challenging feat), cover your mat with saran wrap, cover your nori entirely with rice (you still want to cut it in half first though), and flip it over so that the rice is against the saran wrap. Add the vegetables on one half of the nori (as done with the regular maki), and roll (hoping the rice will stick to the outside).

Step 6: Enjoy a Nice Homemade Dinner

Take out that soy sauce, and enjoy your fabulous work. Congratulations on making your own sushi!

About Leia Poritz

Leia Poritz (CAS '11) is a campus writer for the Quad and currently a Senior at BU majoring in English. She hopes to someday work a publishing company in the editorial and children's literature department. Look out for Leia on the New York Times Bestseller list, because Leia also hopes to publish a bunch of children's fantasy books of her own in the near future.

View all posts by Leia Poritz →

2 Comments on “How to Make Sushi: Vegetarian Style”

  1. We have a vegan sushi restaurant in both San Francisco and Berkeley, called Cha Ya. They are always packed, with a line of people outside waiting to enter. They have at least 80 items on the menu. My favourite sushi place.

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