Vegetarian Sushi (Norimaki)

This basic recipe produces sushi that is as good as any you’ll ever buy! Change it up by choosing your family’s favourite veggies or adding a protein such as crab sticks, tofu or even smoked turkey. You be the chef!

Vegetarian Sushi (Norimaki)

Photo: Gerri Photography

Vegetarian Sushi (Norimaki)


  • 4 cups sushi rice
  • 4 1/3 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt or table salt
  • English cucumber, quartered, seeded, cut into thin strips
  • mango, cut into thin strips
  • avocado, cut into thin thin strips
  • 5 pieces nori
  • wasabi (hot Japanese horseradish) and pickled ginger to garnish
  • Note: kids will not generally like wasabi, but they may like the pickled ginger


    Making the Rice
  1. Rinse the raw sushi rice in cool water until water runs clear. Place drained rice and 4 1/3 cups cold water in a covered pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Meanwhile mix together the vinegar, sugar and salt, heat in microwave for 20 seconds, and stir so that sugar and salt are dissolved.
  2. Put cooked rice into a large bowl and pour the warm vinegar solution over the rice. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold the rice onto itself while turning the bowl. Let cool.
  3. Rolling the Sushi
  4. Set your bamboo rolling mat in front of you, and place your sheets of nori and bowls of veggies and rice within easy reach. Half-fill a cup with water, and add a tablespoon of vinegar – dip your fingers in this solution before you handle the rice, so they don’t get sticky.
  5. Place one sheet of nori shiny side down on the bamboo rolling mat. Dip fingers in vinegar solution and scoop 3/4 - 1 cup rice onto the nori. Using your fingers, spread the rice out evenly on the nori, about 1/4 inch thick, leaving a 1 1/2” strip along the far side. Don’t try to flatten the rice. Run a damp finger along the bare strip to moisten it. Place a line of cucumber strips onto the rice, about 2” in, running from side to side. Try not to overlap strips. Beside it, add a thin line of mango, then a thin line of avocado.
  6. This part is the trickiest, but persevere – you will get the hang of it. Use the mat to begin rolling the nori over the veggies, supporting the veggies with your fingertips as you go. Use firm, even pressure.
  7. When the edge of the mat curves over onto the rice, lift it slightly with one hand, so that it doesn’t get caught up in the roll, and continue rolling with the mat using the other hand.
  8. When roll is complete, put it in mat again and roll once more to tighten. Give the roll a tight squeeze, trying to even out the ingredients along the length of the roll, and transfer to a plate. Continue making rolls with remaining ingredients.
  9. Using a very sharp, non-serrated knife, cut sushi roll in half. (Serrated knives will tear the nori apart.). Place pieces side by side and cut each into half again. Then cut all four pieces in half. This will give you eight pieces. If your knife gets sticky as you are cutting, run under warm water and dry before you cut again. (If your kids are making the sushi, you’ll want to take on this task yourself).


Five Variations

1. Cooked egg, sliced crab meat and carrots - Whisk together 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar, and 2 tsp flour. Pour into small pan sprayed with oil, and let cook on low until done. (Do not stir). Cut into strips.

2. Mango, zucchini and cooked shrimp

3. Spinach, avocado and shitake mushrooms - Saute several cloves of finely minced garlic in frying pan until soft, add sliced shitake mushrooms and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms, add a little more oil and sauté fresh spinach leaves until wilted.

4. Smoked salmon, steamed asparagus and green onions

5. Teriyaki tofu, carrots and avocado - Cut a 16 oz block of tofu into strips 1/2” x 1/2” by 4”. Toss them with 2 tbsp mirin, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 cloves garlic, finely minced, 1-2 tsp grated ginger and arrange in a single layer on a greased baking pan. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times, until brown and firm.

Author: Jan White

Jan White is a great chef as well as mom to two industrious little boys.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *