How to make Vegetarian Sushi at Home

When we think of sushi we all think of rice, seaweed and wasabi, but most of us also think of fish. Not all sushi is made with fish, however, so if you fancy a bit of vegetarian cuisine every now and then, perhaps you should consider making some veggy sushi. Making your own sushi at home might help you to gain more of an appreciation for this traditional Japanese meal steeped in history. Or the stress of trying to craft the perfect sushi could turn you back towards your local sushi bar in Manchester.

 Cuisines of the world, Japanese sushi


Like with all sushi, making vegetarian sushi requires a bamboo roll mat. This is the mat that you use to roll the nori – that green seaweed coating on sushi rolls – the rice and the inside ingredients together. Home-styled sushi chefs claim that you can switch the bamboo mat for a thick kitchen towel covered in clingfilm, but if you want an insight into making traditional sushi, we would advise sourcing a bamboo mat for a more authentic experience.

 sushi bamboo mat on white backgroundsushi bamboo mat on white background



  • 2 Cups short grain or medium grain rice
  • 1/4 Cup rice vinegar
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 4 Cups water

STEP 1) Grab a pan a bring all of your water to the boil.

STEP 2) Add all your rice to the boiling water. Keep the rice and water at a low boil, turning down the heat and stirring occasionally. The rice should be starting to absorb the water.

STEP 4) Once the rice has absorbed all the water in the pan, transfer the cooked rice to a mixing bowl and leave it in the refrigerator to cool. If possible, it is better to leave the rice to cool naturally until it reaches body temperature.

STEP 5) Whilst the rice is cooling, mix the rice vinegar and salt into a small bowl.

Note* Rice vinegar is a special kind of vinegar that you will need to add to your rice. This step is NOT asking you to mix your cooked rice with just any vinegar you have in the cupboard.

STEP 6) Once the rice has cooled, mix it with the rice vinegar and salt solution. Ensure that the vinegar has been thoroughly mixed with the rice, as this is the process that will make your rice sticky.

Note*If you’re waiting for your rice to cool, then skip ahead and work on the tasty vegetable filling while you wait.

Japanese steamed white rice texture background


Now that you know what you’re doing with the sticky rice, you can move onto the part that makes your rolls unique: the filling.

What you’ll need:

  • Vegetables
  • Knife
  • Chopping board

STEP 1) Choose your filling. Popular vegetable fillings include carrot and cucumber, but the choice is up to you; if you fancy avocado, pepper or some fruit sushi, give it a go.

STEP 2) Prep your vegetables by slicing them into long thin strips. If your strips are too thick, you’ll end up with chunky sushi. Alternatively, you want to avoid slicing your vegetables too finely, because your roll might lose its integrity if the filling has no structure. Aim for matchstick-width if possible.

Japanese food. Cooking traditional rolls with fresh seafood. On rustic background.


It’s time to bring your ingredients together.

What you’ll need:

  • Bamboo mat
  • Knife
  • Nori (seaweed sheets for sushi)
  • Your cooled sticky rice
  • Your prepped vegetables.
  • Soy sauce to serve with.

STEP 1) Unroll your bamboo mat and lay a sheet of nori onto the mat. Some people like to use plastic wrap to protect their bamboo mat from the nori, but this is not essential.

STEP 2) Add a thin layer of sticky rice to the nori. You should still be able to see the green nori peeking through the rice layer.

STEP 3) Place your prepped vegetables lengthways along the nori and rice.

STEP 4) Gently roll your layered ingredients into a roll using the bamboo mat.

STEP 5) Unroll the bamboo mat and use a knife to cut the long roll into bite-size sushi rolls.

STEP 6) Serve your sushi rolls with some soy sauce.

It’s time to bring your ingredients together.


If you eat professional sushi a lot, you’ll probably notice differences between homemade sushi and authentic sushi made by professionals. For example, your sushi roll may lack structure, your fillings might not be completely central in your roll, or your rolls may be unevenly sliced. After all, sushi isn’t just about crafting an amazing taste; it’s also creating an edible work of art that personifies balance in taste, feel and presentation.

You’ll probably find that you would need a lot of practise and training before your sushi looks as beautiful as the meals you could have at our Sapporo sushi bar in Manchester, but that’s why we’re here. Check out the Sapporo vegetarian menu for more information on our vegetarian cuisine.