Before we get to the recipes, it would be a good idea to get to know about the basics of making sushi so you don’t find it too challenging even if it’s your first time.
Things to Consider When Making Vegan Sushi
If you break down the individual components of a sushi, you’ll see that each part is easily customizable to suit a vegan diet.
Here are the basic ingredients you need to make this dish:
- Rice – Rice is no doubt the star of the dish. Its neutral taste and texture work well with whatever ingredient you put in the sushi. Because of its importance, the kind of rice you choose and how you cook it are crucial steps in the process of creating sushi. For the complete guide on picking and cooking rice, see section C.
- Nori –The edible seaweed sheets that are used to wrap the sushi is called nori. It is rich in vitamins, A, B1, B2, B6, and niacin. Nori also comes in flavored sheets, which will make your sushi even tastier. If you are one of those who can’t stand the taste of nori, there are alternative wrappers you can try, which you can read about in the next section.
- Filling –Japanese sushi often contains vegetables, fish, and seafood but many restaurants have created their own sushi dishes with meat and even fruits. In any case, what you fill the sushi is completely up to you. This is what makes sushi such as versatile dish. For a vegan like you, there are many other options to use. Aside from vegetables, you can put nuts, seeds, tofu, beans, and vegan replacements for common items.
- Wasabi –Made from the green wasabi root, sometimes referred to as Japanese horseradish, wasabi is usually mixed with soy sauce to create a dipping sauce for the sushi. Wasabi is commonly available in paste and powder forms.
- Soy sauce –Soy sauce, along with wasabi, enhances the flavor of the sushi, which is why it’s an important condiment when eating sushi. However, you need to be selective about the brand you buy to ensure that they don’t conduct animal testing.
- Gari –Gari or sushi ginger is meant to cleanse the palate so it is usually eaten in between dishes. Of course, there is no rule against eating it with the sushi, which some like to do.
Tools You’ll Need
The sushi rice can make or break the dish you’re making so it’s important to have a rice cooker to ensure that you cook the rice perfectly every time. A regular pot with a thick bottom is fine as well but unless you’re used to the method, it can be tricky to cook rice properly and consistently in it.
A makisu or sushi mat is a necessity in making sushi. It’s how you can make evenly shaped sushi that doesn’t fall apart when you pick it up. Sushi mats are made of bamboo sticks tied together with cotton string. These are very cheap and are readily available at Asian markets as well as online.
While it’s not absolutely necessary, if you plan on making plenty of sushi and sashimi dishes, a good quality sushi or sashimi knife is worth the investment. Its extremely sharp edge ensures that you can cut meat precisely and cleanly, which is not easy to do with a standard kitchen knife. Sushi knives range in value from under $ 10 to the professional knives that start at over $ 100. If you have a long (around 8”) and sharp kitchen knife at home, that will be fine, if you want to get more involved then think about picking up a better quality knife.
Hangiri or oke
The flat-bottomed wooden tub that is used to mix the sushi rice and sushi vinegar is called hangiri or oke. It is ideal for cooling the rice quickly and speeding up the evaporation of liquid, which are necessary to make the rice shinier and firmer. Remember, these are the qualities of good sushi rice. A hangiri can cost anywhere from $ 20 to $ 100 and over. Try starting out with a 12”hangiri. For those wanting to get started straight away, you can use any bowl you have to mix the sushi rice in, but choose a large one.
A rice paddle or shamoji is what you use to mix the rice and sushi vinegar together in the hangiri. It can also be used for scooping the rice. Shamojis come in both plastic and wooden varieties and the choice of which one to get depends on your preference. Some rice cookers come with a plastic rice paddle so you won’t need to buy one separately. Shamojis are inexpensive and a simple bamboo shamoji will cost you under $ 5.
A sushi mold makes preparing sushi fast and simple. It’s ideal if you still haven’t mastered the use of a sushi mat. Sushi molds are also great for creating sushi with interesting shapes to make your sushi plate more visually attractive. After all, presentation is a major factor in sushi making. Also, you’ll need a mold if you want to make oshizushi or pressed sushi.
While it’s not technically used in making sushi, chopsticks are ideal for picking up sushi slices from the cutting board to the sushi plate or sushi boat. It allows you to handle the sushi delicately so it keeps its form.