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Fish personality test identifies aggressive fish in sole farming

Sole farming has a mix of aggressive and passive fish

In farming, including sole farming, different traits are more valuable. In a dairy farm, the cows that produce the most milk will be bred and encouraged. What may surprise you is that in sole farming, aggressive, pro-active fish grow faster and have higher reproductive success.

So how do you test if a fish is pro-active or not?

Tests in the past have relied on studying the body language of fish and trying to determine their personality. So what did these new researchers do?

1. Held the fish in a net in water for 90s and then in the air for 90s and marked the number of escape attempt.

2. Placed the fish into a new, smaller tank and measured how quickly they explore.

3. Flipped the fish over and recorded how long it takes to get right side up.

4. Sedated the fish and tested their plasma levels for markers of their coping styles.

5. Placed a new object in the sole’s environment (a square frame) and recorded how it takes the fish to pass through it.

6. Provided a safe, dark area and a unknown, lit area and tested how long it took fish to go from one to the other.

It seems as though passive fish are more apt to fare well in an environment that has predators. Their cautiousness and ability to adapt well to new environments makes them more suited to the wild. The aggressive, fearless fish fares well in a safe, farmed location where their natural lack of survival instincts is not a drawback.

How do these tests help sole farmers?

The aim of these tests was to provide an easily replicated way for fish farmers around the world to test the personality traits of their animals. In the past, tests required expert knowledge and more resources and had difficulty providing meaningful results.

Citation: : Ibarra-Zatarain Z, Fatsini E,Rey S, Chereguini O, Martin I, Rasines I, AlcarazC, Duncan N. 2016 Characterization of stresscoping style in Senegalese sole (Soleasenegalensis) juveniles and breeders foraquaculture. R. Soc. open sci. 3: 160495.http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160495

Pope Francis urges action in the fishing industry

Pope Francis recently called for an international effort to fight trafficking and human rights issues in the fishing industry. Why does the fishing industry have so many problems with forced labor, slavery, and human rights abuse?

seafood-slavery

Fishing is dangerous work with few protections

Working in the fishery industry is naturally more dangerous than working in a comfortable office. But while we all know this, we do not understand the true dangers that affect workers in the industry globally. The fishing industry takes people out of their towns, cities and villages and requires them to work remotely, away from oversight and regulation. And the seasonal nature of many species means that companies need to squeeze out as much productivity as possible in a fishing season. This leads to a huge amount of work in a short period of time, and when so much money is on the line companies push their workers past the limit. This can mean continuing fishing operations in storms and harsh weather, leaving fishers exposed to the elements.

In the open ocean, fishers have less power. There are informal working practices that can lead to abuse by the companies that employ fishers. The work has little guarantees and is flexible in terms of time, giving the employers all of the power.

In a global industry, there is a race to the bottom in terms of prices. It is hard to imagine an industry more global than the fishing industry. In order to cut costs and increase profits, some vessels have deplorable living conditions for fishers. When you combine this with an informal work agreement, you can have fishers living in unsafe conditions for much longer than they agreed to initially.

And that is not the worst of it. Slavery, human trafficking, and forced child labor all plague the fishing industry.

The UN even states that there is instances of required drug use in workers, as they are given amphetamines to keep up with the inhumane level of work.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin calls the human rights abuse within the global fishing industry a “chain of exploitation.” So how are international governments reacting?

The ILO Convention will be essential to spearheading change in the future. The convention, written in 2007, has just now received the 10th ratification required to go into force a year from now as Lithuania signed onto the agreement.

The ILO Convention is designed to improve working conditions on small and large fishing vessels. These vessels will have to meet higher standards for living conditions for longer term trips.

International response is complex and slow

This also showcases the sluggish speed that international reactions work at. In a ten year span, most democratic nations will undergo political shifts. Priorities change for governments, and conventions can become outdated before they are even put into effect.

It will be over a decade between the time the Convention was first proposed and when it finally comes into force.

It is not just small vessels that have problems with forced labor. Cardinal Parolin had the following to say on the subject of massive fishing vessels that have the capability to stay out at sea for years at a time that use forced labor.

“For the crews it means living in degrading conditions and in confined spaces, in circumstances that are tantamount to detention, with their documents confiscated and, in only a few cases, returned after long periods of forced and underpaid labour.”

With the global nature of the fishing industry, international agreements and treaties are required to protect fishers. But is there any way for these agreements to work in a reasonable time frame? And what is happening to vulnerable people in the industry in the ten years it can take for a Convention to come into force?

Do you enjoy octopus sushi? We’ve got some bad news…

Those new to the delicious world of sushi usually start with California rolls or Alaska rolls. Some people will be even too hesitant to try anything with raw fish, and can be tempted into the world of sushi with tempura yam or futomaki rolls. But once you get a taste of the freshness of sushi, it usually does not take long for newcomers to want to taste sashimi. The most adventurous cannot help but to try something new like eel or delicious octopus. That’s been my experience with how people are introduced to sushi, but yours may vary. We’d love to hear if you were adventurous to try a more “exotic dish” your first time!

octopus-sushi-sashimi-price

If you enjoy octopus sushi, you know that it takes time and skill to prepare octopus for sushi. Octopus sashimi is a dish that takes expert level skill to cut the meat thin enough to be a pleasant experience to eat. Octopus sashimi is generally roughly around the same price as Sockeye Salmon or Toro sashimi (at least in Vancouver BC). But that might be changing soon.

Shortages of octopus are starting to hit hard

You can expect prices to start going up. Why? Supply and demand. More people are enjoying octopus sushi and sashimi, and there is less of it in the world. I’ve been keeping an eye on sushi grade octopus prices. So far, there has not been an increase. It’s very possible that the price could go up in the near future if the shortage continues. When you hear reports that some restaurants are having their orders cancelled, you get worried. This is not the first time that octopus demand has outstripped the supply. In 2011, poor catch in Africa lead to a shortage. Shortages seem to be cyclical for tako, as octopus procreate in such large amounts – as long as temperatures are warm and there is plenty of prey.

Japan is getting the worst of the price increase

Japan is known to have the best seafood and fresh sushi in the entire world. The huge demand for octopus in Japan combined with the falling value of the yen is hurting Japanese sushi lovers the most.

Have you seen octopus prices rising, or it being taken off the menu at your favorite sushi restaurant? Please let us know in a comment below.

Black Market Seafood – how do you trust a restaurant?

Are you eating black market seafood?

Black market seafood makes you wonder which restaurants you can really trust. With the recent bust in New Zealand, we are all reminded that unsafe practices do happen in the seafood industry. When it comes to sushi and raw fish, you need to be especially vigilant.

black-market-seafood

A recent case in New Zealand is just the latest instance of black market seafood sold in a restaurant. We will not release the name of the restaurateur who just admitted to three charges relating to black market crayfish. But what comes as a shock is that the perpetrator has been in the restaurant business for years. It isn’t just up a coming restaurant owners that resort to selling black market seafood. It can be owners who have worked in the industry for decades cementing a solid reputation with their clientele.

The recent case is not the only one from New Zealand this year. In September of 2016, two men were caught in an undercover sting and fined $20,000 in New Zealand for buying black market fish. This is not one isolated incident but a potentially worrisome trend.

Think black market fish is only a problem in NZ? Think again

2010 was a record year for the states, when a $7 million dollar bust uncovered massive striped bass black market. Black market fish are all over the world, and it is not hard to see why. Whenever money is involved, people are going to cheat, steal, and work around the edges.

Why do restaurants serve black market fish?

It comes down to one consideration. Price. When you buy fish from recreational fishers rather than a licenced source, you can get it for a third of the price. In the cutthroat restaurant industry where profit margins are slim, this can be irresistible.

But we have regulations for a reason. When you go to a restaurant, you want to know you are protected by your government’s food and safety regulations. With black market fish, you are trusting the restaurant owner’s judgement on where the fish originates from and if it is safe. Is that a risk you want to be taking with sushi? Not me.

Black market seafood showcases the need for trust

For sushi lovers, black market seafood is a matter of safety. Eating raw fish carries an extra level of risk when you compare it to eating cooked fish. The existence of black market seafood in the restaurant industry is very troubling for sushi lovers. It showcases the need to trust the sushi restaurants that you go to. So how do you decide where to eat? We have a guide to choosing a sushi restaurant for exactly this question.

GreenWave’s revolutionary sustainable fishing practices

How many Green Wave farms does it take to feed the world?

GreenWave’s sustainable fishing practices will make you question your place in the food system. By choosing seafood that is sourced in sustainable manners, we protect our oceans for the future. By choosing 3d renewable farms, we do not just protect food stocks. We protect communities, fight climate change, and contribute to the crowd sourced revolution.

Brandon Smith, executive director of GreenWave says that if they had their farms covering an area as large of Washington state, they could feed the entire world. And it wouldn’t be for a year. They could feed humanity for the rest of time. Because GreenWave does not rely on harvesting dwindling food stocks. And that is the core of how they are shaping our entire understanding of sustainable fishing practices. Their farms replenish. What exactly is the GreenWave organization and why are they changing the way we look at sustainable fishing practices?

Sustainable fishing practices built from the ocean floor up

In 2015, GreenWave earned the Buckminster Prize. This prize was awarded not just for their environmental work, but because of the scalability of their design. That is important. This organization has been around for just under a year, and they are spreading like wildfire. But instead of destroying, they are creating. GreenWave is building up speed, with 16 farms either in production or in the setup phase.

What makes a GreenWave farm so special?

See for your self. The 3d farms are amazing.

Imagine an underwater garden. Hurricane proof, roped in, with kelp growing vertically up and down. Scallops and muscles grow, and below them oysters. On the ocean floor itself are clams. Making the shift from fishing to 3d ocean farming is one of the most influential sustainable fishing practices there is.

The underwater gardens, called restorative farms, are everything anyone concerned with sustainable fishing practices and global warming. They are changing the way we look at sustainable fishing practices as a way to grow and harvest rather than to take from at risk fish stocks. Brandon Smith, executive director of GreenWave used to be part of the fishing industry that he now views as destructive. He is a testament to how one person changing their identity can influence the world.

How do these farms fight climate change? One word. Kelp. The kelp soaks up carbon, and instead of our eating habits destroying the environment, we can help restore it. Kelp is incredibly efficient at absorbing carbon. Compared to land based plants, it works five times faster.

Open sourced sustainable fishing

If you read our article on the incredible Global Fishing Watch which allows anyone with an internet connection to “fight illegal fishing”, you know there is a trend to crowdsourcing sustainability in the seafood industry. GreenWave was not build to make money. It is a non-profit that is sharing the tools to create restorative farms around the world.

Anyone with 20 acres and boat can create one of these farms. They are designed to train and create people who can go forward.

The longterm plan: GreenWave reefs

GreenWave is steadily growing. And when people work together, great things happen. 25-50 farms supported by land based infrastructure transforming the way we look at sustainable seafood practices.

How sustainable fishing practices create jobs

GreenWave does not exist to make a profit. But the fact that their farms are made to be easily replicated means there is profit – for anyone who makes one of these farms. They are an investment that require very little skill or money to set up, and they will replenish and renew every year. This creates jobs as people farm and manage the farms.

The longterm plan of the GreenWave reefs are where things get very interesting in terms of the positive effect on local communities. When enough farmers work together to set up 25-50 farms, they create a GreenWave reef. This creates a seafood hub. GreenWave is not just involved with farms, and have actually create a restorative hatchery. But it does not just create jobs. It protects the communities from storms, like they were protected before unsustainable fishing practices depleted the natural reef systems.

Only time will tell if the GreenWave model is strong enough to grow exponentially. If it does, investment money is going to pour in.

Sustainable seafood farming means no fertilizers or antibiotics

These farms are resilient. They require no input. Once you have created the farm, it is self-sustaining. That means no antibiotics or fertilizer. These farms are not off-limits for those that do not own them. The way 3d ocean farming works, people can still enjoy the space, boating around the farms without problem.

We wish the best of luck to GreenWave and their impact of sustainable fishing practices

GreenWave has had some explosive growth for such a new organization. That usually means they have a very solid idea with a lot of demand. We sincerely hope that they are able to continue in their success and grow their dreams into reality. It’s time to stop hearing news about coral reefs dying and start hearing news about GreenWave reefs being born. It’s time to change the way we look at sustainable fishing practices.

Futomaki rolls for big appetites – Aka Jumbo or Big Boy Rolls

Futomaki is a delicious type of Japanese sushi that is very thick. Visually, think of your favorite maki rolls inflated into a jumbo roll! If you don’t have a big mouth, these rolls can get messy, quick. Do yourself a favor and do not try to eat it all in one bite. You will instantly regret it if you are in polite company. Even formal restaurants should ease their sushi etiquette when it comes to this rolls!

Just how much bigger are futomaki rolls? See the difference!

size-difference-futomaki-and-maki-roll

Futomaki is not your average roll! Most sushi rolls have a focus on raw fish. Not futomaki. This roll is known for using cooked ingredients. This makes it a great introductory roll for convincing someone to try out sushi. I find that most of the hesitancy in trying sushi for the first time comes from the idea of eating raw seafood. As long as they can stomach the seaweed wrapped around the roll, they will find it very tasty. If you are new to the wonderful world of sushi, please do visit our page dedicated to sushi and sashimi information.

Futomaki roll ingredients

That’s right, futomaki rolls use mostly cooked ingredients. Common ingredients you will find in a futomaki sushi roll are cooked vegetable such as spinach and cucumber, dried daikon, bamboo shoots, and sometimes shrimp. Futomaki rolls have a wide array of ingredients, and adventurous chefs fill them to the brim with fillings that are normally associated with sushi, such as chopped tuna, but less commonly the rolls are filled with meats such as ribeye. These rolls are most commonly eaten vegetarian and vegan style. Because of the size of these rolls, you need to be very, very careful rolling them. It is also very important to use sushi rice.

Example of Futomaki Ingredients

futomaki-ingredients

Futomaki means you can create rolls without sushi grade fish. You can use dried shitake mushrooms or preserved gourds as the main fillings. Unlike many rolls that have only one or two fillings, futomaki rolls are often stuffed full with as many as ten! Expert sushi makers will find the perfect balance of fillings, pairing them to create aesthetically pleasing, palatable dishes. When you have so many different tastes and textures, it is difficult to balance them all. And yet expert chefs do it effortlessly, and some even create patterns such as roses and the rising sun in their chopped rolls using the colors of the ingredients! Creative sushi chefs blend art and food in their approach to these jumbo rolls.

What can you put in a futomaki roll? Here are some ideas to get you started!

Vegetables: Spinach, cucumber, dried daikon, bamboo shoots, simmered gourds
Vegetarian: Tamago, fried bean curd, avocado
Seafood: Chopped Tuna, Shrimp, Seasoned Flaked Codfish

Is Futomaki traditional Japanese sushi?

Yes! Futomaki originated as festival food in Japan. It was not developed in western kitchens, like the California Roll or Alaskan Roll. Take this with a grain of salt, but apparently during the Setsubun festival, partiers would eat entire uncut futomaki rolls! Is is possible that the sushi burrito has its origins in traditional Japanese festivals? While futomaki isn’t what you think of when you think of traditional Japanese sushi, it does have a long history, especially in certain regions.

If you want an inexpensive, filling, and vegetarian friendly option, these rolls are a great choice. It takes all of the worry out of using raw fish out of the equation if you stick to vegetarian options.

The biggest sushi roll you have ever seen

This is the biggest sushi roll I have ever seen! The Sushi Chef Institute created it for a sushi festival, and the massive roll brought smiles to the face of everyone who witnessed it in all its splendor.

Is it just me, or is smaller sometimes better with sushi? This gargantuan roll is the complete opposite of sushi on a single grain of rice. It’s also quite unlike the delicious, simple sashimi and nigiri I prefer. Still, look at the size of that knife! Crocodile Dundee would be proud.

Check out this video of the biggest sushi roll you’ve ever seen

To be honest, this massive roll doesn’t even feel like sushi to me. The fact that you have to cut it in half ruins it for me. Won’t it just fall apart when you try to eat it? On the other hand, this is for a festival and was created for the purpose of having fun. This is not a traditional sushi roll and should not be judged as such. If it made people smile and want to try sushi, it served its purpose!

The chefs look incredibly happy to be making it. This is not a serious roll for a traditional sushi restaurant. It is a novelty created for the festival and should be treated as such.

Colorful, vibrant, and incredibly messy, I have to admit I would dig right in! While the experience of eating sliced sushi would be a little odd, it’s hard to go wrong with delicious ingredients.

If you like big things, you’ll enjoy the biggest sushi scallop in the world!

Sushi made from crickets? Miya Sushi takes sustainability to the next level

I never thought I would see anything like this. I’ve seen spam sushi, rainbow sushi, even sushi donuts, but nothing like this! Miya Sushi might just be way ahead of their time. Their crazy menu pushes the boundaries, and even the most adventurous restaurateurs may meet their match! The restaurant is created with an incredible message at its heart. Miya Sushi’s vision of the future is of a world where by 2150 we will find a sustainable balance with nature. That means eating less animals, humane farming practices, and a celebration of the planet we live on. It also means a focus on foods that have the smallest impact on their environments, and fighting invasive species by eating them!

This cricket sushi roll pushes culinary boundaries

Even the most adventurous eater is going to be shocked by some of the dishes. The Crickleberry Brie sushi is chock filled with protein – from an outlandish source. Crickets!

invasive-species-sushi

Images are property of Miya Sushi 🙂

When you compare the ecological impact of farming cows or other large livestock, the difference is outstanding. Bugs offer a highly economical protein alternative. High in nutritional value and filled to the brim with protein, some say that bug farming is going to be a major industry in the future. Bug farms take much less space than conventional farms.

Would you be willing to try the Crickleberry sushi? Or is it simply too far out to even taste? I’m not sure if I would like it, but I would be willing to try! I mean, really, is it so different to eat escargot? Why are some bugs considered delicious and others disgusting? Having an open mind when it comes to food is important. But even an open minded eater might have trouble with cricket sushi!

Sushi made from invasive species

Some sushi restaurants serve seafood that have sustainability concerns. Miya Sushi does the opposite. Head Chef Bun Lai is an expert in turning invasive species into delicious dishes. What do you do when you are faced with invasive species? You eat them!

carp-sustainable-sushi

Miya Sushi has an entire section of the menu dedicated to Invasive Species. Mugwort, knotweed, and various other weeds are all invasive plants that chef Bun Lai has managed to turn into incredible creations. And that’s not all. In addition to plants, chef Bun Lai uses invasive seafood expertly. Sashimi options include nine-spice invasive asian carp sashimi and kiribati sashimi, which uses lionfish. The image above is of the carp sashimi. It is prepared using traditional methods, frozen in the same way that Inuit people continue to freeze carp based on their traditional methods. This chef can take any invasive species and make a dish out of it. Catfish is another invasive seafood which he pairs with asparagus, apricots, and black beans to create a truly wild dish.

Miya Sushi deconstructs the food chain

Currently, a third of wild caught fish is turned into fish feed for carnivorous fish. The concept of Miya Sushi is to go right to the bottom of the food chain and work upwards to find seafood that is both sustainable and has a low impact on the environment. This means specializing in herbivores such as catfish, tilapia, and carp.

When you eat fish at Miya Sushi, you can be sure you are making an ethical choice. Every ingredient in their cooking has been meticulously studied to see its effect in the broader environment. An example are their shrimp and prawn offerings. Instead of using wild caught tropical shrimp that have an extreme bycatch ratio, they use Florida shrimp and Alaskan spot prawns that have little to no impact in terms of bycatch.

Miya Sushi’s concepts haven’t hit the mainstream yet

While many consumers are becoming more concerned with sustainability and the ethics of the foods that they eat, the concepts of Miya Sushi have yet to become truly mainstream. While the head chef of Miya Sushi has specialized in turning invasive species into delicious dinners, most chefs are trained in more traditional recipes. It takes a huge amount of willpower and courage to create a restaurant as wild and unique as Miya Sushi. We wish them all the best in continuing to serve up tasty and sustainable dishes! If you are interested in sustainable sushi, you may be interested in reading our guide to eating sustainable sushi.. It doesn’t get much more sustainable than invasive species sushi!

Global Fishing Watch fights Illegal Fishing

global-fishing-watch-satelliteThe newest tool against unregulated and illegal fishing is incredible. Oceana, Skytruth and Google Earth Outreach worked together to create the Global Fishing Watch.

The beta version of the site is now open to the public, and you can quickly and easily create an account and start using the program within seconds. What exactly is Global Fishing Watch? Think crowdsourced protection of the oceans. Global Fishing Watch is a massive step towards fighting illegal fishing.

Global Fishing Watch lets anyone help against illegal fishing

The program is still in its beta version. But as it grows, it learns. The Global Fishing Watch AI system is learning everyday what behaviors are linked with unregulated, illegal, and suspicious fishing practices. This is because of their state of the art AI system which is becoming scarily accurate in determining what vessels are doing in the open oceans. The program uses “Machine Learning” at a global scale. It learns from its mistakes and the algorithm becomes more and more accurate as the program goes on. Everytime that a user submits data, the program grows smarter.

Remember, this program is just getting started. While there are already benefits being found, the program is only going to get more accurate and useful. Illegal fishing will become more and more difficult over time.

If you have an internet connection, you can be a part of this program.

This is the most effective tool available right now to track commercial vessels. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can watch over protected areas and illegal fishing zones and track vessel activities. That’s not all. The program is completely free to use. Everyone can be a part of fighting against illegal fishing.

Global Fishing Watch is not just about stopping illegal fishing

One of the main priorities of the Global Fishing Watch program is to help raise awareness of the level of fishing happening in our oceans. We can imagine that there are many fishing vessels, but before you actually see a heat map of what is happening, you cannot quite comprehend the scope of the issue. When you take a look at a map for an 8 hour time period, you see vast swathes of blue. It is easy to think that overfishing is not a problem at all. When you look at the full two years of data, a different picture is painted. Check out the comparison below.

8 hours of data

iuu-fishing-global-fishing-watch

2 years of data

Illegal Fishing

Global Fishing Watch is a powerful tool for smaller nations

What do you do if you are a smaller, developing nation and fishing vessels from a more powerful country are illegally fishing in your oceans? Proving that unregulated fishing is happening is the first step, and often incredibly difficult. Global Fishing Watch is partnering with local governments to give them the tools they need to start protecting their waters. There are thousands of small vessels that dart in and out of waters, and before Global Fishing Watch it was impossible to track them all. Now, through the power of crowdsourcing and the combined efforts of scientists, conservation groups and people like you and me, the balance of power is shifting.

Have you heard of the island nation of Kiribati? The nation suspected a company of violating their off-limits zone. While they had suspicions, they lacked concrete proof. That is until the Global Fishing Watch stepped in. The imagery that the program provided was rock solid proof that the vessel had been illegally fishing. The outcome? A $2 million dollar penalty that never would have happened without this incredible tool. Illegal fishing will become more difficult the more tools that smaller nations have to protect their waters.

Will the Global Fishing Watch end illegal fishing?

The Global Fishing Watch uses AIS data to track ship movement. AIS stands for automatic identification system. Smaller vessels are not required to use it. Pirate fishing vessels simply will not use it at all. What the Global Fishing Watch program is best for is stopping large scale commercial fishing in unethical and illegal ways. For example, if a massive fishing vessel is transmitting and then suddenly turns off transmission as they enter a protected zone? Suspicious! If a vessel turns off their transmission as they go through a risky area with a history of piracy? Not nearly as suspicious, as they are most likely not wanting to broadcast their location to nefarious parties.

If there are trends in certain companies purchasing seafood from suspicious vessels, consumers may realize they are potentially buying illegal seafood. No company wants that reputation. One of the keys to the long term of success of the Global Fishing Watch will be consumer pressure against shady tactics.

Global Fishing Watch is the product of many different groups

It is not just Google, Oceana and Skytruth that are making this program happen. These three are the biggest players in the project, however. If you have not heard of Ocean and Skytruth, they are two major organizations promoting sustainability in the seafood industry. Oceana is a massive international advocacy organization that is working towards one goal. Conserving the ocean. SkyTruth is a nonprofit who’s technology in remote sensing and digital mapping allowed the Global Fishing Watch program to flourish. Everyone has heard of Google. What people may not have heard of is Google Earth Outreach. It is one of Google’s many arms, and has found successes helping clear landmines in countries that have histories of war as well as giving the tools to small tribes to protect their traditional lands.

The Global Fishing Watch could not have come this far without the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Wyss Foundation, The Waterloo Foundation and Adessium Foundation. All of these foundations and charities are working towards a future where IUU fishing is cracked down on, hard.

 

Vegan Sushi

Vegan sushi is 100% delicious

Vegan sushi is the perfect option for health conscious and environmentally aware sushi lovers who want to enjoy a meal without using animals in any way. In case you’re wondering, sushi is actually the word for food prepared with vinegared rice! It doesn’t actually mean “raw fish” at all.

Sushi is such a healthy, fast option that makes you feel full of energy and vegan options can provide the same fantastic feeling after a perfect meal. While many of the most popular sushi rolls include raw fish, vegan options are perfectly feasible.

When you head to your favorite sushi restaurant, you’ll find that there are many vegan options. This can include fresh avocado rolls, kappamaki rolls (with cucumber), and even some more adventurous options with substitutes fish for mock soy options or even uses vegetables that are close in texture to the seafood that would normally be in the roll! If you’re lucky, you will find rolls based around shiitake mushrooms as well as yam tempura rolls. Quick tip: make sure to ask that the yam tempura rolls are a vegan option before ordering, batter ingredients can vary.

Let’s look at some of the delicious ways that creative chefs have developed vegan sushi rolls!

Vegan Tomato Sushi – Fresh and Co

tomato-vegan-sushi

This New York chain is tailored to seasonal and environmentally conscious fares. They are not a fully vegan restaurant, but have some great vegan options. One of these options was to replace tuna with tomato in their dishes. This example isn’t a sushi roll, but is actually a sushi wrap! It’s sort of like a sushi buritto. Unfortunately, it is only seasonal, but it’s a great example of what you can achieve with a little imagination. This wrap combines collard greens, hijiki, cucumber, avocado, brown sushi rice, cilantro, and wasabi. Unlike with sushi rolls that are in smaller pieces, you do not have to worry about the brown sushi rice not sticking together properly!

Vegan Eggplant Sushi

vegan-sushi-eggplant

Some vegetables are so substantial and flavourful that they simply don’t need the addition of any sort of seafood to shine. Eggplant is one of those veggies that are bursting with so much flavor that they work perfectly as the main attraction in a sushi roll. Adding avocado is a great way to experiment with textures and tastes and make your roll even more filling! Mouth watering.

Vegan Carrot Rolls

vegan-sushi-with-carrots

This is another example of what a little imagination can bring to the table (literally). If you want a roll that has fresh, delicate flavours, using thin slice carrots gives you a crunch that you wouldn’t expect from sushi. You can choose to use carrots that are fresh and raw if you prefer the crunch, or steam them lightly in order to have a softer texture. These feel less substantial that rolls made with eggplant or tomato.

The sky is the limit with vegan sushi roll ideas

You can design and experiment with vegan sushi rolls with any of your favorite vegetables. Veggies pair so perfectly with sushi rice, soy sauce, wasabi and nori. Have you ever thought of trying avocado nigiri? Wonderful!

Here are some quick ideas when it comes to vegan sushi. Consider centering a roll around thinly sliced bell peppers, green onions, or sweet potatoes! The great thing about vegan sushi is that you do not have to worry about preparing raw fish. This alleviates the major health concerns of preparing sushi as an amateur and can be a more relaxing experience for preparing sushi at home.

And don’t forget, without having to buy sushi grade seafood, vegan sushi is much cheaper and perfect for beginners!