Sushi without fish | Delicious tofu recipe & more fillings discussed

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 13, 2020

When you think of sushi, the first idea that likely comes to mind is probably some form of fish or seafood roll.

But were you aware of all the many delicious varieties of sushi rolls without fish and seafood?

In this article, I’ll take a look at my favorite vegan sushi roll and will also cover some of the most popular varieties of sushi without fish.

Vegan sushi without fish on a plate

If you ask your friends, ‘do you want to grab sushi?’, you might get responses like ‘I don’t eat raw fish’ or ‘I’m allergic.’

Even if you don’t like fish, can’t eat fish, or you are vegan, you can still make sushi at home and there are so many options!

A few fishless sushi options

Don’t forget about the famous

just to name some of the fish sushi alternatives available!

Maybe you’ve even heard of gourmet sushi made with Hida beef, a tender and delicious cut of meat from the Gifu region of Japan.

In this post, you will learn to make an easy, yet delicious vegan yam tofu sushi rolls, filled with tasty vegetables and topped with watercress and wasabi sauce.

Vegan Yam and Tofu Sushi Rolls Recipe

This 12-step vegan sushi recipe is simple to make, even for beginner sushi rollers. The quantity of each ingredient is adaptable, depending on how much sushi you are making. Feel free to substitute your veggies as you like!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Rice, Sushi, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Joost Nusselder
Cost $5


  • 2 cups short-grain white rice (or special sushi rice)
  • cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 6 nori sheets (sheets of edible seaweed)
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 yam (or sweet potato)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 2-3 pieces of tofu
  • watercress
  • soy sauce
  • sesame seeds (white or black)


  • Prepare the sushi rice by rinsing it in cold water.
  • Cook your rice on the stovetop by boiling it and cooking on low heat for about 20 minutes or use an instant pot and cook on low heat for 12 to 14 minutes. The rice should absorb
  • In a large bowl, mix the salt with sugar and rice vinegar and add the cooked rice and allow this mix to cool.
  • Cut up your vegetables and tofu into small slices and strips.
  • Fry the tofu in a pan for about 5 minutes or until crispy and golden, then add the soy sauce and mix well.
  • Place the nori sheets on the bamboo roller with the shiny side facing down.
  • Fill up a small bowl with a bit of cold water – this will be used to wet your hands when rolling.
  • Take approximately one handful of rice and put it in the middle of the nori paper.
  • Leave 1-2 cm of the nori sheet uncovered at the top because that’s how you’ll seal the rolls.
  • Place the thinly sliced strips of cucumber, avocado, yam, carrots, tofu, and some watercress at the edge (bottom) of the nori sheet.
  • To begin rolling, tuck your thumbs under the mat and hold the ingredients in place with your fingers and start rolling with light pressure. Wet your fingers in the process.
  • Roll up the sheet and cut in half, then slice into smaller pieces and sprinkle with sesame seeds and add wasabi sauce or extra soy sauce.

My top choices of ingredients for this recipe are:

Check out all of the authentic ingredients I use in all of my dishes here in my Japanese ingredients list.

Here is Kelyrin’s Cooking & Bento with a great tofu sushi recipe as well:

Now let’s talk about the different types of sushi without fish.

The Rice & Seaweed

But first, let’s talk about the basic art of great sushi rolls: the rice!

It’s the essence of the sushi roll and getting the primary ingredient right will ensure sushi-making success even for beginners.

The rice needs to be short-grain white rice, and it should have that pearly appearance.

The easiest way to make sushi is with Nori sheets, which are edible seaweed sheets already rolled out into thin sheets.

You can also use kelp varieties called kombu. Once cooked, your rice must be sticky to ensure the roll doesn’t fall apart.

Common sushi fillings That Are Not Fish

You can be creative when making sushi and mix all kinds of non-fish ingredients.

If you’re looking for alternatives to fish, check out this list of popular ingredients you can use to make sushi:


For people who don’t like fish and seafood, almost all types of meat can be used to fill sushi rolls:

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

There are endless options for people who choose not to eat animal products.

Once you start combining ingredients, it’s easy to make delicious sushi rolls that are sure to please!

More Ingredients for Filling Sushi Rolls

If you’re looking for new ideas to fill your rolls, try these foods:

Get your quick start in enjoying Japanese cuisine here with our top recommended tools


Remember that sushi is tasty with all kinds of ingredients besides fish and seafood.

You can make sushi at home without any special tools and at a much lower cost than eating out at a restaurant, so start rolling!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.