I love sushi almost to a fault. I thought giving up sushi would be so so so hard. There was a little sushi place down the street from my little Marpole apartment and I was almost in mourning when I went vegan, I though I would never eat sushi again! Wow, I was so wrong. Thankfully, veggie sushi is just as good, if not better! I think sushi is the easiest for new vegans to eat with friends since there’s always something and it’s guaranteed to be cheaper than everyone else’s food! Bonus is that there’s avocado in everything. Plus now I can really pack in the rolls and get my money’s worth at those all-you-can-eat places! There’s even vegan sushi restaurants popping up and doing amazing things like making ‘tuna’ using tomato skins. That’s definitely been added to my ‘to try’ list. This was only my second attempt at making sushi and it went surprisingly well. It also was a nice reminder that I should really get sharper knives- I had to cut the rolls so big so I wouldn’t squish everything out of the ends! So use your sharpest cutting knife for sure!
This also made me realize that sushi is a truly awesome way to get rid of the odds and ends of whatever is left in the fridge. That weird butt of carrot, overripe avocado, and the remnants of that head of romaine can all find their place in a sushi roll! Which is awesome, because I feel like I have been getting lazy and letting food go to waste the last week or so. Grocery goals: waste nothing!
So as I said in my last post, we’re trying really hard to eat nice and clean foods as well as cutting calories where we can (without sacrificing flavour!). And thus, parsnip sushi ‘rice’ is born. This is not an original idea and sushi non-rice can be made with plenty of other things such as jicama and cauliflower. The great thing about making your own sushi is that it’s completely customizable. I know the thought of eating raw parsnips may not initially sound appealing as it can be a bit, I don’t know, licorice-y? Raw parsnips remind me of fennel. Which for some, may be amazing, but I’m not the biggest fan. However, once combined with soy sauce and tahini they taste almost nothing like that and everything like a good sushi rice substitute. I imagine adding things like rice vinegar and sesame oil would be a good compliment but I didn’t really want to buy any special ingredients that would wind up sitting in the pantry for months on end. But yeah, CUSTOMIZE! If you’re not a fan of tahini, use any nut butter (though peanut butter does have a distinct flavour so proceed with caution) and fill these rolls with all your favourite things. Here are a few rolls that I made (not all are raw vegan but all are delicious).
Tofu, cucumber, vegan cream cheese, and fresh basil
You can really put whatever you’d like in there! Get creative and let me know what kind of no-rice sushi rolls you make!
Riceless Sushi Rolls (Raw)
20 min. Makes 2 rolls.
- 2 Medium Parsnips, chopped evenly
- 2 T tahini (or your favourite nut butter)
- 1 T Soy sauce
- 1 t apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar)
- 1 t ginger (I used powder, but fresh would be better!)
- 1 t garlic powder
- 2 dried nori sheets
- Sushi fillings: (Avocado slices, carrot matchsticks, grated beets, cucumber sticks, lettuce, sprouts, mango, yam, hummus…Whatever you can think of!)
- In a food processor blitz the parsnips until the resemble rice. Try not to over-do it or you may wind up with a paste.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients (aside from the nori and sushi fillings).
- On a dry, flat surface or a sushi roller (I used a cutting board), lay out a nori sheet. Spread half the ‘rice’ mixture over the sheet. Try to cover it completely but if you can’t then at least get the bottom 2/3s.
- Lay your sushi fillings in a horizontal line across the middle of the nori sheet. If you’re using a spread like hummus or vegan cream cheese then I recommend starting with that!
- Roll from the bottom up using your hands (gently) or the sushi roller. I used my hands and it turned out fine!
- Cut into 6-8 pieces about 1 inch thick (remember to use a sharp knife and don’t press too hard! Let the knife cut for you!)
- Serve with soy sauce or your favourite sushi dipping sauces! I bet a sriracha veganaise would go really well with some veggie rolls!
I hope you love these! Get creative with them and share your rolls with me on Instagram @justjennythings! I am going to Seattle this weekend and I’ll be trying some really yummy vegan restaurants, including Plum Bistro (I just bought their cookbook and it looks AMAZING). So expect a travel post in the near future. Happy eating… 🙂