International Sushi Day: Chefs Share Vegetarian Sushi Recipes
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Just like any other dish, sushi has a rich history dating back to ancient times in Japan. After centuries of variations and adaptations to meet the needs and developing tastes of the people, vegetarian sushi came into the limelight. Be it due to dietary restrictions or to experiment with alternate ingredients, vegetarian sushis have been quite a trend in India.

If you are someone who would love to try the vegetarian adaption of sushi, some common doubts like which ingredients would work the best, the best practices while making the sushi, which rice to use, and so on might pop into your head. To help you with all those queries, this International Sushi Day, Slurrp interviewed sushi chefs all across the country to get you the best recipes and tips to make vegetarian sushi.

The Best Ingredients For Vegetarian Sushi

As per Rachita, the chef at The Nines, Mumbai, “Sushi has evolved over the years in terms of the variety of ingredients used in making them. Not just traditional ingredients but locally available vegetables and meats are also used. Vegetarian sushi was in demand with the rise in veganism around the world. So, now, people across the globe have started using vegetarian ingredients like avocado, edamame, asparagus, etc. to make sushis. For the umami flavour, mushrooms, avocados, or crisp cucumbers are most often used. I have also experimented with natural colouring like blue peas or charcoal for sushi rice.”

Adding to the list, Boby Rana Paili, Asian Chef at Bengaluru Marriott Hotel Whitefield, explains, “In my opinion, some of the best ingredients for vegetarian sushi include: 

  • Mango
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Paneer
  • Carrot
  • Edamame beans
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Takuan radish
  • Tsukemono ( Japanese preserved vegetables )

The key to making vegetarian sushi appealing and interesting is the pairing of fillings together, like Cream Cheese & Avocado, Chili & Mango or Asparagus, etc. to cater to the palates. For the rice, the best option for sushi is short-grain Japanese rice, which has higher starch content. Nowadays, black and red rice is also preferred as a replacement for traditional sushi rice because it has more protein, fibre and iron content than other types of rice.”

Vegetarian Sushi Recipes You Must Try

Vadim Shin, Brand Chef at Yazu

With a remarkable culinary journey spanning over 12 years, Chef Vadim Shin, the teppanyaki magician from Korea, has emerged as a prominent figure in the culinary realm. To celebrate International Sushi Day, he has shared a specially curated recipe – The Mexican Roll.


Sushi Rice

  • Cha Khao rice – 300 gm
  • White Sushi rice (Kagayaki or any medium grain sushi rice) – 100 gm
  • Water – 430 ml

Sushi Vinegar

  • Sushi Rice Vinegar (Mizkan) – 100 ml
  • Sugar – 60 gm
  • Salt – 15 gm
  • Kombu Seaweed – 5gm (not compulsory)


  • Avocado – 100 gm
  • Onion – 10 gm
  • Red Capsicum – 15 gm
  • Pickled Jalapeno – 5 gm (thinly sliced)
  • Truffle Oil – 5 ml or to taste
  • Fresh Lemon Juice – 5 ml or to taste
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Spicy Mayo

  • Veg Mayonnaise – 50gm
  • Suya Sauce Kikkoman – 2ml
  • Milk Maid – 10gm
  • Sriracha sauce – 10gm
  • Sesame oil – 2ml 
  • Extra adds:
  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Cream Cheese
  • English Cucumber


  • Cook the rice in a rice cooker till it is fluffy. Set aside.
  • Combine the ingredients for making sushi vinegar on medium flame till you get a uniform mixture.
  • Mix all the ingredients for guacamole and refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • While the rice is still hot, add sushi rice vinegar and mix it well. Repeat this process every 5 minutes until the rice absorbs the vinegar completely.
  • Cut Nori seaweed sheets in half. Place one half of the Nori sheet onto a bamboo sushi rolling mat with the rough surface facing upwards.
  • Dampen your hands and shape rice balls.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds on seaweed (Nori), then flip the seaweed onto the rolling mat.
  • Spread cream cheese, avocado, and cucumber in a line across the rice. Roll the mat tightly, pressing it to form a square.
  • Dip a sharp knife in water and cut the roll into eight pieces. 
  • Plate sushi and garnish with guacamole, spicy mayo, and pickled jalapeno.

Also Read: International Sushi Day 2024: Why Are Vegetarian Sushis A Buzz In India; Know From Experts

Shailendra Kekade, Chef At Sante Spa

Chef Shailendra Kekade is an avid authority on F&B at Sante Spa. The chef has shared a recipe for a cream cheese urmaki roll.


  • Asparagus - 80 gm
  • Cucumber - 40 gm
  • Red capsicum - 10 gm
  • Plum sauce - 10 gm
  • Togarashi powder - 2 gm
  • Vegan cheese - 20 gm
  • Caviar - 5 gm
  • Japanese sushi rice - 100 gm
  • Nori sheet - 1
  • Sushi vinegar - 10 gm
  • Wasabi - 9 gm
  • Soya sauce - 20 gm


  • Steam the rice in a rice cooker for 25 minutes till the rice is properly cooked.    
  • Once the rice is cooled down, add the sushi vinegar and salt to season it well.    
  • On a sushi mat, lay down the nori sheet and carefully spread the rice thinly on the sheet.
  • Add sticks of cucumber, red capsicum, and blanched asparagus and season.    
  • Pipe out the plum sauce and sprinkle togarashi over the veggies.
  • Start rolling the nori in a tight roll and cut it into bite-sized roundels.
  • Serve with a dot of wasabi and a little soy sauce on the side.

Tips To Make The Perfect Vegetarian Sushi

  • Combining the inputs of all the chefs, here are a few tips you should keep in mind while making vegetarian sushi.
  • Rice is the most important element of sushi. So, it’s best to use the rice as specified in the recipe.
  • The flavours should come from various ingredients that complement the protein, not cover-up.
  • The less the product is touched, the better.
  • Ensure that your sushi has a mix of textures. For example, the crunch of vegetables like cucumber and bell peppers mixed with soft tofu or avocado.
  • Fresh wasabi is much more aromatic than the instant powder form of wasabi.
  • Use umami-rich ingredients such as seaweed, soy sauce, mushrooms, and miso. Use pickled and fermented vegetables to add a tangy, umami punch.