I started loving vegan maki rolls way before I became vegetarian. The mix between the sushi rice, the nori sheets, cucumbers, avocados, sesame seeds, tamari sauce required, at least for me, no raw fish in it. And when cooking became a passion, making makis myself became a personal challenge.
But the thing is that it wasn’t really a challenge, because it was so easy to make! I realized it was also very fun, and that my guests loved when I served those for dinner. And it was always funny to see them looking at the makis with a puzzled face saying “But, uh… you are vegetarian. Do you eat fish?”. Nope, those are plant-based!
How difficult is IT to make vegan maki rolls?
As mentioned before, quite easy. Ok, your first roll might not be the most good-looking one, but you will quickly get the hand of it. I have dozens of vegan maki rolls recipes but I thought I would start by these first three. Each one is inspired by a region in the world. In this case: Japan (obviously), Los Angeles and Italy. I have chosen these because the ingredients are easy to find and the associations work really well.
How to make sushi rice?
Here is the recipe for the sushi rice!
Do I need a bamboo mat?
To be honest, I do not use it because I have been making makis for a while now. However I would suggest that if you are starting you get one. It will help you making sure that your first ones are tightly rolled and look circular (trust me: I have seen square “rolls”).
How to roll a maki?
- Set up your bamboo mat on the kitchen counter
- Dispose the nori sheet with the shiny side down on the bamboo mat
- Dispose 3 large tablespoons of sushi rice on the middle of the nori sheet
- Spread it on the nori sheet with the back of the spoon (or use your fingers – very wet – if it is easier) and push it gently outwards to the edges
- Leave a 3 cm margin with no rice on the top and the bottom of the nori sheet (this helps to roll and to close the sushi)
- Try not to make the rice layer too thick
- Add your ingredients as a horizontal strip on the bottom of where the rice has been spread (do not put too much filling otherwise you might have difficulties in closing it)
- Make sure that each centimeter horizontally has all the ingredients represented like in the picture below
- Start rolling by grabbing the strip of nori that does not have rice on the bottom and placing it on top of the ingredients
- Grab the bottom of the sushi mat and bring it on top until you cannot see any of the ingredients
- Squeeze it to make sure your roll is tight (otherwise your whole roll will fall in pieces later), and keep rolling tightly until you reach the end
- Cut your vegan maki rolls into pieces (6 to 8, I prefer 8) – if you want to have makis cut clean, place your knife (must be sharp) in water between each cut
You will find beneath the recipes for 3 types of makis. You will see that in one I use “gomasio“. It is an incredible mix of grilled salt and grilled sesame that you won’t be able to live without.