Vegan sushi bowls are an easy way to eat all your favorite sushi components (seasoned rice, veggies, nori, spicy mayo) – without the extra fuss of rolling.
Like many of my favorite recipes, this one initially happened by accident. I’d set out to test a recipe for nori tacos (sushi fillings wrapped in nori sheets to resemble tacos) and it didn’t at all go as planned. The “tacos” fell apart as I was assembling them since the delicate nori sheets couldn’t handle the weight of the fillings and everything turned into a big old mess.
Hungry and frustrated, I said “f*ck it” and layered all the toppings into bowls instead, crumbled the nori on top, and called it dinner. Rene and I gobbled it up immediately – and reached for seconds. If you’re a fan of vegetarian sushi and/or poké bowls, I guarantee you’ll love this dish as much as we do.
What’s In These Vegan Sushi Bowls
These vegan sushi/poké bowls consist of seasoned rice, sauteed shiitake mushrooms and protein-rich edamame, quick-pickled red onions, raw cucumbers, and spicy mayo. The crumbled nori on top ties in the whole “sushi” vibe. These are easy, fuss-free, and so, so good.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Brown Rice: a much healthier alternative to white. Since the grains’ bran and germ are still attached, brown rice has its fiber, protein, and minerals intact – unlike white rice, which is basically pure starch. Short grain brown rice is more chewy and, in my opinion, a lot tastier than long grain.
- Shiitake Mushrooms: Oyster or maitake mushrooms would also be great here.
- Edamame: If you can’t find any, sub with frozen peas or corn.
- Seasoned Rice Vinegar: “Seasoned” because it already contains sugar and salt, making it the perfect pickling liquid. If you don’t have it, substitute with plain rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and compensate with some salt and sugar/maple syrup in the pickling liquid.
- Red Onion: Feel free to sub with a sweet white onion. Alternatively, skip the quick-pickled onions and use kimchi for the bowls instead.
- Nori: Snack-size nori sheets are perfect for this but you can use sushi-size nori, too. Look for it in the snacks or Asian foods aisle of the supermarket.
Vegan Sushi Bowls: Step-by-Step
Pickle the Onions: First, combine equal parts seasoned rice vinegar and water in a bowl/jar. Add thinly sliced onions and set aside to marinate at room temp for at least 30 minutes. If you want to skip these, top your bowls with kimchi instead. (Pickled onions will then keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks – you can use them in salads, bowls, sandwiches, etc.)
Cook the Rice: Rinse your rice and combine it in a pot with water. Season with salt and cover with a lid. Simmer until all the water is absorbed (~25 minutes). Do not stir during cooking to avoid mushy rice! When the rice is done, turn the heat off, and leave covered (without stirring) for another 10 minutes, so it can absorb the remaining steam in the pot. Lastly, season with vinegar and sesame oil.
Cook the Vegetables: While the rice is simmering, heat some oil in a pan and cook your sliced shiitakes with a pinch of salt. Resist the urge to stir too often since prolonged contact with the hot pan will give you the browning you want = flavor! When the ‘shrooms are almost done, add the edamame and cook for another few minutes.
Make the Spicy Mayo: In a bowl, stir together mayo and hot sauce until you reach your desired heat level.
Assemble the Bowls: Divide the rice among bowls, top with the shiitake mixture, pickled onions, and sliced cucumbers, and drizzle with spicy mayo. Garnish with crumbled nori and sesame seeds.
Yes, these bowls do work for meal prep. You can pickle the onions, cook the rice, saute the veg, and make the spicy mayo in advance, and keep them in separate containers in the fridge. Then assemble and top with raw cucumbers as needed.
Similar recipes you’ll love…
- Creamy Peanut Miso Noodles
- Pinto Bean Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms
- Vegan Sushi Rolls with Crispy Tofu
- Lemongrass Curry
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag your creation with @thenewbaguette on Instagram.Print
Vegan sushi bowls are an easy way to enjoy all your favorite sushi components (seasoned rice, veggies, nori, spicy mayo) – without the extra fuss of rolling.
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar, divided *(see note below)
- 1 small red onion, cut into thin rings*
- 1 1/4 cups short grain brown rice, rinsed
- Fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil, like avocado, refined coconut, or organic canola oil
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame*
- 1/4 cup mayo (vegan or traditional)
- Sriracha or another hot sauce, to taste
- 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 4 snack-size nori sheets
- Sesame seeds, for garnishing
- Make the onions. In a bowl or jar, combine 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup water. Add the onions, making sure they’re fully submerged (if not, add more liquid). Set aside at room temp for at least 30 minutes. (After that, quick-pickled onions will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge).
- Cook the rice. In a small pot, combine 1 1/4 cups rinsed rice with 2 1/2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover tightly with a lid and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer until all the water is absorbed (do not stir during cooking). When the rice is done, turn the heat off and leave the pot covered for another 10 minutes (without stirring).
- Season the rice. Drizzle 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon sesame oil over the rice. Fluff with a fork.
- Cook the veg. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. When the mushrooms are almost done, add 1 cup edamame and cook until it’s heated through for another few minutes.
- Make the spicy mayo. In a small bowl, stir 1/4 cup mayo with hot sauce until you reach your desired heat level.
- Assemble. Divide the rice among bowls, top with the mushroom mixture, quick-pickled onions, and cucumbers, and drizzle with spicy mayo. Crumble the nori on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Seasoned rice vinegar contains sugar and salt. If you don’t have it, substitute with plain rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and compensate with some salt and sugar/maple syrup in the pickling liquid.
- You can skip the onions altogether and top the bowls with kimchi.
- If you can’t find edamame, sub with frozen peas or corn.
- Look for nori in the snacks or Asian foods aisle of the supermarket.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 420
- Fat: 16.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 60.2 g
- Fiber: 4.3 g
- Protein: 9.2 g
Keywords: vegan, sushi, rice, asian, grain bowl