[VIDEO] Homemade Vegan Sushi Roll

A Vegan Sushi Roll stuffed with fresh, crunchy and colorful vegetable. A simple and easy sushi variation that you can add in your meat free days. 

This vegan sushi is has a very vibrant beautiful colors, every component of the filling brings a pop of color to make it inviting and attractive. There’s so many ways you can make vegan sushi roll by just using simple and budget friendly ingredients. This is one of my favorite vegan variation among the many others that I make almost every week.

There is no dressing inside, but you can make vegan Sriracha mayonnaise just use vegan mayonnaise. I personally like having it without the Sriracha mayonnaise so i can taste the flavor of the vegetables. To make up for not having dressing inside, I served it with Sushi soy sauce, pickled ginger and small amount of wasabi for heat. It’s taste as great as my other non vegan sushi, delicious in a different way. 

Rainbow Sushi Roll Lunch Box

This vegan variation is a futomaki variation. The inside out sushi is known as a uramaki sushi (like my California Suhsi Roll) while the regular seaweed out maki sushi is known as a futomaki, like my Dragon Sushi Roll and this Vegan Sushi Roll. Quite challenging for me to remember these names so I just referred to it as reverse sushi for the one with the rice outside.

Rainbow Sushi Roll

Perfectly Cooked Sushi Rice

First, you will need a sushi rice to make a sushi roll. Sushi rice is a rice seasoned with white vinegar, salt and sugar. You can cook the rice on stove-top or by using a rice cooker. How to tell if you’ve cooked the rice perfectly? After the rice is steamed, the texture should be fluffy with a firm bite. And each rice grain should be sticky yet retain its shape (not mushy). Mushy rice means it has too much water or it’s overcooked.

Small Batch Rainbow Sushi Roll

Sriracha Mayonnaise

I always make it a point to add some sort of sauce or dressing to any Japanese Roll that I make, except when I make a vegan variation like this one. I have to say it does makes a huge difference in taste, but it is also good without it as long as you serve the sushi with the extra condiments like Sushi soy sauce and pickled ginger. You can buy Sriracha mayonnaise or Japanese mayonnaise or you can make your own and use vegan mayonnaise instead. You can also use plain mayonnaise (if you do not mind keeping it non-vegan) if you are in a hurry and really hungry.

  • Mayonnaise – any kind of mayonnaise will work. Regular, light or even vegan mayonnaise. 
  • Sriracha – Sriracha is a spicy chili sauce. I only used a small amount, but it you like it extra spicy you can add more
  • Lemon Juice – this will help make the consistency light and will add a nice tangy taste to the dressing
  • Salt  – small amount goes a long way. I find it slightly bland without the salt, definitely don’t skip it
  • Sugar – The small amount will enhance the taste of the dressing, don’t worry it is not going to make the dressing sweet at all, but definitely don’t skip it

The Fruit & Vegetable

This variation uses a combination of fresh vibrant vegetables. You can definitely replace the vegetables and make your own variation. For this one, I used roasted/bake red beets which gives not only the bright attractive color to the sushi, but also an earthy sweet taste. For the crunch and natural sweetness, I used Mexican Mango. This Mexican Mango is a lot different from regular Mango that we serve for dessert. The texture is firmer so it gives nice crunch and natural sweetness too. Carrots and Cucumber are the other two vegetables that I used. Both gave crunch and freshness to the sushi roll and both complement the red Beets and fresh Mango.

Small Batch Vegan Rainbow Sushi Roll

Adding Vinegar to Make Sushi Rice

Apparently, Japanese used to wrapped fish in fermented rice a long time ago to preserve the fish. Once they are ready to eat the fish, the fermented rice is then throw away. As time goes by, people stopped using fermented rice to preserve the fish, instead they just added vinegar to rice keep the shelf life of the fish longer. The addition of vinegar enhances the taste of the rice, and hence they enjoyed eating both the rice and fish together. Fast forward to current time, what we have now is the Sushi

Tips in Making Sushi Rice

  1. Use the Right Type of Rice: Traditionally, sushi rice is made using Japanese rice. The consistency, texture and flavor of Japanese rice is very different from long-grain rice, jasmine rice, or other types of rice. It has higher content of moisture and is stickier when cooked. If you cannot find Japanese rice, use at least a short grained rice.
  2. Rinse and Soak: Rinse, rinse, rinse until no more starch comes out from the water. If you have time, let the rice soak for at least 30 minutes for better texture. Soaking enlarge the grain of the rice, producing a fluffy cooked grains.
  3. Season the Rice: What makes sushi rice different from regular rice is that sushi rice is a seasoned rice. The basic seasonings needed for sushi rice include white vinegar, salt, and sugar to achieve the balance of sweet, salty and sourish taste.

Sushi Mat

A sushi mat is made of many thin sticks of bamboo tied together into a mat. Sushi mats are used for making sushi rolls. The mat acts as a guide for easy rolling.  

Why do you wrap the sushi mat with plastic sheet?

To avoid the rice from sticking to the mat you need to put a layer or wrapping of plastic on it. I see people using the mat without the plastic which is possible but it will be quite messy. So do yourself a favor and do not go to that messy situation. A simple plastic wrap will make your sushi making a pleasant experience.

Can I make sushi without sushi mat?

Yes you can. Instead of using sushi mat, use a towel. Lay the towel on a flat surface then put a plastic wrap on top of it. Then lay the nori on top and follow the same instruction as when you assemble the roll (step #7).


I like making variations of this sushi and feel free to experiment and unleash your creativity. You can replace the imitation crab meat with real crab meat, use shredded crab meat mix with mayonnaise, use tuna, salmon, cooked shrimp or masago (fish roe). They will not be called california roll anymore if you did not use crab meat, but it is just the name. The important thing is that you enjoy eating it.

Serving Ideas:

Because this variation do not use any mayonnaise dressing inside, I highly recommend to serve it with sushi soy sauce and pickled ginger on the side. The sushi sauce and the picked ginger adds a packed of flavor to the sushi. Wasabi is optional if you do not like spicy sauce, but get yourself bottle of sushi sauce and picked ginger. It is worth the buy when you are making your own sushi at home.

Vegan Rainbow Sushi Roll


  • 1 cup uncooked short grain Rice (measurement using rice cooker measuring cup, about 1/2 cup using baking measuring cup)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 teaspoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
  • 6 Cucumber slices cut into sticks
  • 1 small Beets – thinly sliced
  • 6 Carrots slices cut into sticks
  • 1/4 of Mexican Mango cut into sticks
  • Sushi Sauce
  • Wasabi Paste
  • Pickled Ginger


  1. Cook the Rice (Using Rice Cooker): Transfer the rice in a pan. Rinse with water, 3 -4 times until the rice until the water is almost clear. Add water and cook the rice.
    • Alternatively, you can also cook the rice on stove-top just like how you cook regular rice.
  2. Make the Sushi Vinegar: In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, salt and sugar. Set aside while you wait for the rice to cook. if making a large batch for future use, mix everything in a pan and bring to simmer until the salt and sugar is completely dissolved. You can also use microwave. It is important to have the sugar and salt fully dissolved before mixing it with the rice.
  3. Make the Sushi Rice: Transfer the cooked rice in a bowl. Pour the sushi vinegar, then sprinkle black and white sesame seed. Mix until combined. Spread the rice so the it cools faster. Keep on mixing until the rice cools down. Cover with damp towel until ready to use.
  4. Make the Sriracha Mayo (Optional): In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sriracha, lemon juice, salt and sugar. Stir to combine. Alternatively, you can also use plain mayonnaise or store-bought Japanese mayonnaise.
  5. Roast/Bake/Steam the Beets – I recommend roast or bake to retain the vibrant red color. Bake or roast at 350F for 1 hour of until knife inserted in the center in and out easily.
  6. Make Roll: The make the roll, lay the Nori on the Sushi mat. Spread 1/2 cup of the sushi rice on top, enough to cover the entire surface or the Nori. Press the rice as you spread it so it sticks nicely. Wet your hands with water to avoid sticking or use the back of a spoon dipped in water. Arrange the Beets, Mango, Carrots and Cucumber sticks on top of the rice. Roll tightly until the end. Unroll and remove the sushi mat.
  7. Cut: Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 8 pieces. Slowly move the knife forward and backward until it cuts through the roll. Wipe the knife with water and paper towel for every cut. I find that serrated knife works better for this one, but if you have sharp smooth knife that could make a clean cut, then use it.
  8. Serve: Transfer the sliced roll into a serving plate.
  9. Garnishing (optional): Garnishing are optional but highly recommended. Serve with wasabi, picked ginger and sushi sauce on the side. You can buy all this in the grocery.

Serves 1

Vegetarian Rainbow Sushi Roll By SweetNSpicyLiving

Nutritional Information

Nutritional Information was calculated using Veryfitwell Recipe Calorie and Nutrition Calculator. For details about Nutritional Information in this website, please read the Disclaimer page.

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