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
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
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
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!
What exactly is Mexican sushi?
Mexican sushi is the unlikely combination of Mexican cuisine and Japanese sushi. When you think of traditional sushi, you think of artistry in simplicity, and quality ingredients showcased in the best way possible. Mexican sushi is all about spice, crunch, and often a trip to the deep frier. Think explosive flavor and instead of pricey tuna sashimi, picture cream cheese and spice. We aren’t just talking sushi burritos. Almost all sushi burritos are just changing the shape of the roll. We’re talking a whole new way of looking at sushi. Think this is just a passing fad? Think again. Some of these restaurants have been around for over four years! You can’t stay in business that long as a restaurant without clientel.
What is in a Mexican sushi roll?
Mexican sushi rolls, which are often shortened to mexi rolls, are a far sight different from their traditional counterparts. You might find a roll filled with white tampico, a crab salad, cream cheese, and tempura shrimp. You’re definitely going to find rolls revolving around steak, cooked chicken, cooked shrimp, cream cheese, and avocados imported straight from Mexico. You will find rolls with fresh cilantro, and more heat than you can handle with the jalapeño and sriracha sauces that are often drizzled on top.
Cream cheese is the biggest trend in most of these Mexican sushi restaurants. If you want to try breaded and deep-fried sushi, then this trend is for you! While those who enjoy authentic sushi and simple fare probably will not enjoy the combination of sushi and Mexican food, people with an adventurous pallet might be pleasantly surprised! While you might be hesitant, can it really hurt to try new things? If you like both Mexican food and sushi, can it be so crazy that the two combined could produce something tasty?
Where can you find Mexican sushi?
If you’re lucky enough to live in L.A., you’re in the right spot for Mexican sushi rolls. Even thought their popularity is mostly confined to southeast L.A., restaurants like “Senor Sushi” have popped up in Phoenix Arizona! The picture above is of their “Rock and Roll”, sushi roll from their website, which has assorted fresh fish, avocado, cucumber, and spicy authentic Ponzo sauce. Who would have thought that Mexican and sushi would mix?
Critics of Mexican Sushi are looking at the trend the wrong way. If you’re looking for a healthy and refreshing meal, stick to traditional sushi. If you want to indulge in deep fried rolls stuffed with hot cream cheese and meats with a kick to it, try out Mexican sushi. I personally prefer more authentic styles of sushi. Luckily, most Mexican sushi restaurants also offer traditional Mexican food, which is absolutely delicious!
Nyotaimori, or Body Sushi is the bizarre practice of eating sushi off a woman
Nyotaimori restaurants will paint the practice of body sushi as stemming from ancient Japanese culture. They claim to offer an authentic Japanese experience. Some assert that it originated in the Samurai period of Japanese history serving as celebrating of defeating an enemy. Samurai would carouse at a geisha house, relishing in their victory. Others say that it originated in Japanese crime families, enjoyed by rich and powerful Yakuza members. The images these origin stories conjure are of a mysterious oriental experience. That’s exactly the kind of imagery that lets naked sushi providers charge premium prices. If you want to learn more about what is and what isn’t authentic, you’ll enjoy our article on the difference between Japanese and Western sushi.
Wherever nyotaimori sushi truly came from it is not as prevalent in Japanese society and culture as the people selling it want you to believe. It has always been on the fringe, existing most commonly in the shadier districts. Don’t be fooled by companies trying to sell you authenticity.
Sushi has always had a sexiness to it in the western world, and some argue that eating it perfectly arranged on a beautiful woman (or man) is an extension of this. Despite this, the idea of authentic traditional Japanese body sushi is more a myth than reality.
As sushi soared to popularity in the Western world, nyotaimori restaurants started to pop up in New York and L.A. in particular. Before you book a flight, read on. If you are still asking where can I eat sushi off a girl then you might want to learn a little more about the practice.
Is eating sushi off a woman even safe?
Here’s the thing. Sushi is raw fish, and requires the highest degree of attention and care in preparing. There are definitely sanitary considerations to keep in mind. From a purely food safety standpoint, you’re probably better off skipping the naked woman. Anyone even slightly squeamish about their food will be turned off by the idea of eating food off a woman.
Raw fish must be kept cool, and body heat will raise the temperature of the sushi. Some models take very cold showers before having the sushi arranged on themselves. As well, due to food safety laws the practice is almost always done using banana leaves or even a layer of plastic wrap between the woman and the sushi itself. This helps with reducing the effect of body heat. In a well attended event, the sushi is never staying for long on top of the woman. It is replaced usually before even ten minutes has elapsed.
What’s the appeal?
Customers vary from bachelor parties to large corporations holding team building sessions. It’s hard to argue against the fact that there is an exoticism to body sushi. Those drawn to it feel that it is novel, artistic, sensual, and most of all unusual. Body sushi is found at events like openings of expensive nightclubs that thrive on word of mouth and the buzz of being the newest, hottest thing around. There’s one thing for certain. It certainly is unique. When else will you be eating sushi off a woman?
Body sushi experiences often have alcohol involved. People trying it out for the first time will feel nervous at first. Alcohol lets people feel comfortable, but if customers start to push the boundary with lewd comments or touching the model, the practice can get ugly fast. Most of the companies have strict rules as to the hard and fast limits to the practice. In particular they enforce the no touching rule. Despite this, is it really so hard to imagine a situation where rich businessmen who are paying a hefty premium for the service may step over the bounds? There is certainly a power imbalance with a model who is relying on tips. I want to believe that all the companies offering naked sushi have strict standards and ethics, and I hope that this is pure speculation.
The visual appeal of sushi explains the popularity of the practice
Sushi has an edge. It’s visually appealing and has never lost its trendiness. People who are enjoying naked sushi like to have the idea in their head that the woman they are eating it off of has extensive training in the art of keeping perfectly still. In reality, many of the woman are given little to no training prior to the experience and may feel great pressure to get through the sometimes up to 5 hour event without moving. Is this really an art form or something less profound? The experience is going to be vastly different depending on which company you use.
Is body sushi even legal?
We do want to warn that there are loopholes in the law make it possible for shady businesses to skirt the law. These loopholes revolve around the fact that many people offering the service are simply catering rather than taking guests at an actual physical restaurant. It’s harder for regulatory bodies to enforce against catering services in many jurisdictions and “under the radar” operations are certainly an extra risk. You may find that while a company acquired licencing, they are not technically licensed sell the experience of eating sushi off a woman. If you ask about the companies licence and hear the word “loophole”, it’s probably best to turn tail. You need to be 100% certain that sushi is up to standards.
If you do decide to attend a nyotaimori event, whatever you do, don’t skimp on the price. Because risks are greater than a normal sushi experience, the freshness and quality are even more important than usual.
Body sushi controveries
While those defending body sushi would say that it is not about objectifying women and that there are even men who model for the process (called nantaimori), the majority of body sushi models are women. Events – at least the mainstream ones – have no touching or photographs. I personally will not judge a persons choices or voice an opinion of what a woman can or cannot do as employment.
Some feminists have called the practice objectifying and humiliating for women. Using a woman as a human sushi table is literally objectifying in that they are being used as furniture, or a human sushi platter. Eating sushi off a woman does have a distasteful ring to it. Do all the models feel this way? In some companies, models are highly paid, and may be some of the greatest defenders of the practice.
Body sushi purveyors use the idea that nyotaimori is an ancient art form in Japan and that it stems for a rich traditional background. As you have learnt, this doesn’t seem to hold much weight.
Sushi police is a mini series following three “Sushi Officers” tasked with preserving authentic Japanese cuisine. If anyone dares to serve non-traditional sushi… you know who shows up!
Unfortunately the mini series was reviewed quite poorly. It only received a score of 4.3/10 on IMDB. Even though I might not recommend you watch the actual series, the trailer is worth a look!
I’m sorry, but the trailer is not in English. There is another trailer with an English announcer, but I found this one much funnier. In case the language barrier doesn’t deter you… watch below! Even though I don’t speak Japanese, I found the idea of the wasabi gun hilarious.
Can you use medium grain rice for sushi?
In a pinch, we have all asked if medium grain rice can be used for sushi.Is using medium grain rice going to make your sushi fall apart? Rice is the foundation for sushi. Certain strains of rice can only be found in Japan after centuries of cultivation. If you know the history of sushi then you know that sushi was invented as a way of preserving fish by fermenting it rice. Originally, the rice was thrown out. As sushi evolved, rice was seasoned with rice wine vinegar and the rice itself was given a great importance.
Sushi should be made with short-grain rice. Shorter grain rice is stickier, which is essential for having your sushi roll stay together. Long grain rice is firm and grainy. It contains less moisture. Unless you use a variety of rice specifically grown for sushi, medium grain rice will often give you a chewy final product that could disappoint. If you really cannot find short grain rice, then we do have some tips for medium grain rice varieties that can work well with sushi.
Keep in mind that unless you are purchasing your rice from a specialty store, there is even a risk of medium grain rice being mislabeled as short grain!
The shorter the grains of rice, the stickier it will be when cooked.
Can you use long grain rice for sushi?
No, no, no! Please do not try to make sushi with long grain rice. You are going to be so disappointed. Long grain rice is the dryest of all the types of rice. It will not stick together properly. If you absolutely must cook sushi with long grain rice, place the rolls into a bowl so that when they fall apart at least you can eat the remains!
But other recipes let me substitute medium grain rice for short grain rice!
In many dishes, short grain and medium grain rice can be used interchangeably. Your dish will not be truly authentic but it will be palatable. This is not the case for sushi. Sushi very much requires the stickiness that short grain rice provides. There are some exceptions. If you absolutely cannot find short grain sushi rice, some medium grain varieties such as Calrose rice can be used. It will not be quite as authentic as using short grain rice, but it is fine if you are in a pinch. Calrose rice has been cultivated in California since the 1950s as a Western version of authentic rice and is actually quite good.
There is no hard and fast rule against using medium grain rice. Some varieties of starchy medium grain rice can hold itself together as you prepare and serve the dish. If you want to create truly authentic sushi, however, you should use short grain Japanese rice.
What type of rice is used for sushi?
Koshihikari rice is the most incredible sushi rice you will find. It is very sticky! While Westerners call this rice “sushi rice”, Japanese people simply know it as rice! (What do French people call French toast, I wonder?)
If you do have to use medium grain rice, definitely go for a Calrose variety.
Is stickier always better?
Nope! Sticky is good, but there is such a thing as too sticky. The most glutinous Japanese rice is great for other Japanese dishes, but is simply too clumpy and sticky when cooked to be perfect for sushi.
It might not be as good as an expert sushi chef, but robotics have improved drastically over the last decade.
As shown in the video below, this robot can make simple sushi rolls.
While it is simply assembling ingredients that have already been laid out, you have to admit that technology is pretty damn cool. Would you eat at a sushi restaurant where a machine was making your food?
This robot is not the only one that can make sushi. There is also a rather creepy robot that has a human hand! Honestly, this some seems like it would be a little off-putting as it served you up a roll.
The Low Key Poke Joint in Garden Grove California saw sushi burritos and spicy cheeto’s and decided that the two were meant to be together. How have the world’s top sushi minds missed the obvious pairing? The hot, spicy crunch of cheeto along with the freshness of tuna and salmon all wrapped up in a massive sushi burrito might make Jiro shudder, but the restaurant’s fans are eating it up.
The Low Key Poke Joint is the epitome of the modern restaurant. It has offered freebies for Pokemon Go players, has a slick website and instagram feed, and is always at the front of trends in the sushi world. They even offered a sushi burger! After opening in December of 2015, they have found success by staying ahead of the crowd.
Just a tip – traditional Japanese sushi does not include cheetos. Putting them on sushi burritos? Sure, why not?
While putting cheetos on sushi burritos (hey, that rhymes!) is the most extreme example of what the restaurant offers, they love spicy cheeto’s so much that they offer the topping on all of their meal choices. Another unique topping you can put on your selection is a quail egg – because normal chicken eggs are just too boring!
Is the sushi burrito a culinary delight or a monstrosity? You decide in the picture of a sushi burrito below!
Some of the crazy things restaurants are doing in the sushi world might cause sushi purists to grumble, but you can’t fault a restaurant for being creative if the customers like it. Or maybe you can – is wrapping sushi into a giant burrito and coating it with crushed spicy cheeto’s taking things too far? Would love to hear what the readers think!
The Guardian’s Sept 15, 2016 panel on slavery in the seafood industry will answer tough questions that sushi lovers need to know about
In the last year, The Guardian shocked the world of seafood by releasing their investigative journalism regarding slavery in the seafood industry. Migrants had been trafficked and sold as slaves in the cut throat race towards cheap seafood for international consumption. We look forward to hearing the panel in September which will go into further detail into slavery and seafood. Sushi lovers already worry about the sustainability of their seafood. Over the past year, sushi lovers have had to worry that the sushi they are eating was fished using slave labor.
The panel will discuss what has been done in light of these shocking discoveries, covering the scope of forced labor in the seafood supply chain, the impact of monitoring and policing, and the way that restaurants, merchants, and large markets are responding to the information that they may be involuntarily complicit to slavery and poor working conditions.
Consumers want to buy ethically, but there is also a pressing demand for cheap seafood that has caused a race to the bottom in terms of prices – and what unscrupulous people are willing to do to maximize their profits. The panel will also cover whether traceability schemes can be trusted to actually ensure ethical treatment of the people involved in the seafood industry from the moment it is caught to the moment the food is served on your plate. Consumers want to buy ethical seafood. They need to be able to trust the bodies certifying their food.
The reality of the seafood industry is that it is inescapably international. Unless you want to purchase only local seafood, it is very likely that you are buying food from across the world. This includes Thailand, where The Guardian uncovered the instances of slavery last year. Can consumers trust the governments of all of the nations involved to be robust enough to be able to guarantee the traceability of their seafood? These questions will be discussed at the conference in detail in the panel, comprised of Annie Kelly, Guardian Journalist, Steve Trent, founder of the Environmental Justice Foundation, Libby Woodhatch, head advocacy of Seafish, and more experts in the field to be announced shortly. Accountability is key, and international certification agreements are only as strong as their weakest party.
The situation is a complex one. The UK government considers large companies to be required to ensure they are purchasing their seafood “slavery free”, and to annually discloses measures they have taken to confirm this. At the same time, companies are demanding that there be certification standard that proves that vessels are not engaging in practices of slavery, among other human rights violations. It feels as if each party involved is leaning on another to fix the issue. The panel will show what each party has concretely achieved to address the problem.
To further complicate the situation, it is possible that even a concentrated effort to trace seafood from the source to the plate to assure there is no slavery could only scratch the surface of the problem. For example, let us look at Thailand, where The Guardian uncovered instances of slavery. Seafish, one of the organizations presenting in the panel, stated in their blog on October 17, 2014 that “the nature of the problem in Thailand relates chiefly to the vessels catching the small fish used for fishmeal production (used as feed for warm water prawns), rather than the vessels landing seafood for direct human consumption”. Can consumers be certain that even if their seafood is certified, that the companies will not be using or complicit in inhumane methods in other parts of the supply chain?
The problem is convoluted and murky, and we hope that the panel will shed some light on the nuances of the international seafood supply chain. In the meantime, I’m more inclined to buy local – but I, unlike others, am lucky enough to be living right next to the Pacific Ocean. Seafood is healthy and nutritious, and health conscious consumers will purchase it over red meat and other products, as long as the price is right. Will we be able to buy seafood ethically and at an affordable price? Let’s hope the panel pulls no punches. As consumers, we have a right to make informed choices.
The concept is so simple it should have been obvious, but Fusion, a new sushi chain in one of the states you would least expect to see it happen is changing the way people look at sushi. The way it works is just like Chipotle. You choose between seaweed, white rice or brown sushi rice and add a protein, which can be traditional sushi ingredients such as tuna or salmon, or more regionalized choices like steak or chicken. Then you add in some veggies, and top it off with a sauce of your own choice. You can get it customized how you like it and they make it right before your eyes.
This is not sushi as an art form, and it is a very different experience to sitting in front of a sushi chef who has trained his or her entire life. This is a modern approach to sushi, complete with online ordering and a complete description of exactly how many calories, fat, sodium, carbs, fiber and protein you are getting in your roll. This allows health conscious consumers to choose low calorie sushi options. It is efficient, quick, and ideal for people on the go. Fusian is what happens when social media, time crunched millennials and a nation wide craze for sushi combine together to create something delicious and novel. The ingredients are made to fit local tastes, which explains the availability of sauces like sweet chili and sriracha and the fact that you can get cream cheese in your roll (which is ironically labelled as a vegetable on their website!).
Here is a screenshot of their menu (notice the last item on the vegetable list!). I had to get a picture before they changed it. Reminds me of when senators were trying to call pizza a vegetable.
Maybe you are skeptical. How can sushi be any good when you’re in Ohio? Won’t the fish be less fresh, and the ingredients of poor quality, especially when it’s served at fast food prices?
Fusian’s popularity would answer that question. With nine stores in Ohio, the build your own sushi chain is thriving. Half of the battle for Fusian is education people and getting them to try new things, and the founder has made it his mission to explain the way that restaurants purchase seafood. The secret is in the way that the entire sushi distribution chain works. Massive seafood suppliers dominate the market so unilaterally that Fusian in Ohio is buying their ingredients from the exact same distributors as restaurants in New York, and almost all of the restaurants in the United States for that matter, explains founder Zach Weprin. He claims that because his chain saves cost on staff and training compared to traditional sushi restaurants, he is able to provide top tier ingredients at more economical prices.
One small niggling detail that does not quite seem to hold up in the comparison between a New York sushi restaurant and Fusian is that sushi is incredibly popular in New York compared to Ohio. This means that large quantities of seafood are imported daily, leading to a very efficient infrastructure, and consumers are eating it up at a staggering rate. How is it possible that a restaurant in Ohio can have the same freshness as a top tier sushi restaurant in New York? This worry is countered by the strict laws and standards that are required for serving raw fish (and ingredients such as steak and chicken). There are stringent requirements which Fusian had to meet before being allowed to operate. The fact that there are already nine Fusian restaurants speaks to the chain’s ability to grow and negotiate with suppliers and distributors from a place of strength, and should set minds at ease that the seafood is not fresh.
How does Fusion do on sustainability?
Fusian uses plant-based food packaging, drinkware, and flatware. They have recycling stations in store and are committed to sourcing from responsible and credible suppliers. The last part is a little unclear. Fusian does not say how their suppliers are considered responsible, for example if they have achieved sustainability certification such as MSC. We wish Fusian would be a little more in depth on their website in regards to sustainability. It’s so important for consumers to be able to make educated choices.
Fusian looks like the perfect lunch to get in the middle of a busy workday. Simple, customized, and quick, with fresh ingredients and a modern look. I wish it would spread to where I live!
We’ve just shown you guys rainbow sushi, sushi burgers, and even spam sushi. What’s next on the menu? Sushi donuts! And no, we don’t mean donuts that look like sushi (although those are cool too). We are talking delicous, lip smacking creations of sushi that looks just like a much less healthier option! If you’ve been craving donuts, why not try an option that’s going to make you feel great afterwards instead?
We mean sushi, made to look like donuts. From simple rings of rice with a few toppings to more elaborate creations that seem like the creators tried to fit as many different colours, flavours and textures as they could into a single dish, sushi donuts are a creative new addition to the world of sushi. It’s a brand new way to enjoy sushi! In case you are still skeptical, check out some of the most interest iterations of the sushi donut trend.
Now this one’s colourful. Sushi is all about visual appeal. While making sushi donuts isn’t the same as authentic japanese sushi, it’s a really fun new sushi trend!
These sushi donuts are a little more traditional: each “donut” breaks into standard sushi rolls like you would expect to eat at a restaurant. Perfect for sharing!
I wanted to end off with this creative interpretation of the trend! It’s great seeing how different people are able to approach the same trend in different ways. It must have been so fun to put these creations together! Although… it was probably more fun to eat them!