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Easy Rainbow Veggie Sushi

I never tried sushi until my first date in college. He took me out to a nice sushi restaurant and I looked at that list of sushi rolls with all those crazy names (ahi, maki, tempura….wha??) and gulped. I didn’t like fish, let alone raw fish. He suggested I get a California roll and I forced myself to swallow it down. I was a clutz with the chop sticks. Maybe it’s no wonder I don’t love sushi?

But there is something about how cute and colorful sushi rolls are that makes me want to love it. I also have learned that seaweed is an amazing source of iodine, so I’ve wanted to like seaweed, too, but it just doesn’t appeal to me.

I saw that High Carb Hannah eats this type of thing for lunch a few times a week, so I wanted to try. This is my favorite combination of colors and flavors, and thankfully you can’t even taste a seaweed taste. My husband and I love it.

Nori sheets (the seaweed wrappers) were easy to find in my grocery store in the Asian aisle, and if I could find it easily in Nampa, Idaho where it’s hard to find tempeh or aluminum-free baking powder….you can probably find it, too. Any Asian grocery will definitely have it. It’s cheap and also almost zero-calorie.

Veggie sushi is:

  • low-fat or no-fat
  • easy to make
  • customizable
  • filling (make 2-3 rolls per person if you’re not having side dishes with it)
  • doesn’t heat the oven up
  • a fun way to eat vegetables
  • whole-food, plant-based, delicious! Of course!

You don’t need to buy a special sushi mat to make sushi. I almost did order one, but then decided to try it with just a towel and it worked great. Even a sheet of plastic wrap is fine, since all you need is something to hold it together while you squeeze it and make that sticky rice stick everything together. Check out the video in my Instagram story highlights to see how it’s done.

Cook rice. Cut veggies. Roll. Eat. Chopsticks are optional, hands work just as well.

Definitely a fun, colorful change of pace to our normal eaten-by-fork dinners. Enjoy!

If you like colorful meals, you’ll also like this Rainbow Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce and this Roasted Veggie Rainbow.

Easy Rainbow Veggie Sushi
Prep Time
30 mins

Rice and colorful veggies quickly roll up to make delicious sushi rolls for a tasty lunch or dinner.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: vegan sushi
Servings: 6 rolls
Author: Faithful Plateful
Sticky Rice
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (1.5 cups dry rice)
  • 4 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 2 TBSP honey, maple syrup, or any type of sugar (helps brown rice be more sticky, but can be omitted)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Sushi Ingredients
  • 6 nori sheets
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 beet
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bell pepper
  • other vegetables or filling of choice: sprouts, tofu, carrot, mango, cooked mushrooms
On top:
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce, Liquid Aminos, tamari and/or Hoisin sauce for dipping (we like to dilute ours with water so it's not so salty)
Make rice and prepare veggies
  1. If you have not cooked the rice, do so by rinsing 1.5 cups of dry rice, then boiling 3 cups of water in a pot. Add the rice to the boiling water, turn heat down to low, and let simmer for 30 minutes until the water is all absorbed and rice is tender.

  2. Meanwhile, stir together rice vinegar, salt and sweetener. Microwave (or heat on the stove) for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until all is dissolved together.

  3. Stir vinegar mixture over cooked rice, transfer to a shallow dish to let it cool. Putting hot rice on the nori sheets makes them taste more fishy and might cause them to tear more easily.

  4. While rice is cooking and cooling, bake the sweet potato by microwaving it for about 5 minutes, until soft.

    Cut the cucumber, bell pepper, beets, avocado and sweet potato into strips.

To make sushi
  1. Place nori sheet on a sushi mat, plastic wrap, or towel. Use about 1/2 cup rice and spread it evenly all over the nori sheet except the upper edge.

  2. Line veggies up about 1 inch above bottom edge. Don't overstuff it, or the nori will tear.

  3. Slowly roll up the nori sheet, keeping it as tight as possible. Use your finger and a bowl of water to wet the upper edge so it willl stick. Use the towel or sushi mat to squeeze the roll so the sticky rice is pressed firmly.

  4. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces using a serrated knife, cleaning it often to keep the cuts smooth.

  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with a bowl of soy sauce (diluted with some water if desired) and dip each peice in it before popping it into your mouth with chop sticks or your fingers.

  6. Can be stored in the fridge in a container, but they get dry after a day. Best to store ingredients and assemble them fresh.

Recipe Notes

I think a peanut sauce or this Thai Sweet Chili Sauce would also be delicious for dipping in. Of course, wasabi and pickled ginger are traditional additions, if you're into authentic. 

Inspired by Minimalist Baker’s Brown Rice Sushi

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