I love sushi but I normally don’t love sushi restaurants. There, I said it. Boo to the majority of sushi restaurants. As a vegetarian who is allergic to eggs, in Spain my choices tend to be quite limited, and there is only so much cucumber sushi and avocado sushi I can eat. Wait, actually anything with avocado I could eat all day long, I adore avocados. They should be called adoracadoes. But a gal needs more vegan sushi options.
I strongly dislike fish and the strong smell that comes with it. In our house, I am the only vegetarian, although we obviously all eat a lot of vegetarian food, as I do most of the cooking. My husband will sometimes cook some meat for him and the kids, but fish is absolutely verboten in our house. The smell of fish cooking makes me want to hurl and it is IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of the smell.
So I’m generally not a fan of the fishy fragrance of sushi restaurants either. And with five of us to feed, and sushi so expensive here in Madrid….Well, you can imagine it’s a rare treat. There is one sushi place I do love, that has more than the usual limited vegetarian fare, and is a set price where you can eat all you want. Great for my pocket, but not so great for my waistline… If you’re ever in Rivas-Vaciamadrid you should definitely check out Ya Sushi.
Their freshly made vegetarian sushi inspired me to make sushi at home more often. I serve it with pickled ginger, salt-crusted edamame, soy sauce and wasabi. Although the wasabi is really for decoration as nobody in my family is really a fan.
Your sushi rice needs to be cool before using it to make your sushi. I think it tastes better the day after making it, but I’m rarely that organised, so I usually just spread it out over a parchment-lined baking sheet so that it cools down faster, while I prepare the filling ingredients.
I normally also double up on the sushi rice and freeze the remainders so I can make my sushi more quickly the next time. When I start running out of ingredients for filling my rolls I also combine all the ingredients together. This time the avocado, crunchy onion, raw onion, teriyaki sauce and tofu really made super tasty sushi rolls when mixed up together. For anyone who lives in Madrid, you can get big packs of nori, sushi rice, tofu, and bottles of soy sauce, really cheaply in the Ibero China shops on Calle Margallo in Tetuan – now confusingly rebranded as oriental market. I’ve heard it’s where all the Chinese and Japanese restaurants in Madrid go to get their ingredients from!
- 2.5 cups sushi rice
- 3 cups water
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar plus 1 tbsp
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp sugar
- 275 g firm tofu
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 onion sliced into thin strips
- 1 ripe avocado sliced into strips.
- 1 tub crunchy fried onions
- ¼ cup soya sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp tabasco
- 1 fat clove garlic pressed
- ½ inch finely grated ginger
- 8 sheets of nori
- Rinse the sushi rice very well to remove the starch, at least three times.
- Drain the rice and add it to a pot with a tight-fitting lid.
- Add in the water, a pinch of salt, put on the lid and bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat to the lowest setting, and let cook for 15 minutes,
- Remove from the heat and let sit for five minutes.
- Briefly microwave the vinegar, salt and sugar together, in 20 second bursts, until the sugar dissolves when stirred.
- Add the vinegar mixture into the rice and stir quickly.
- Mix together all the ingredients barring the tofu.
- Press the tofu well to remove excess liquid.
- Slice the tofu into long squared strips and pour the liquid over them in a bowl.
- If you have time, leave the tofu to marinade for at least half an hour, longer if possible.
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking pan with baking paper.
- Place the tofu on the tray with at least a half an inch of space between each strip.
- Bake for 30 minutes, turning half way through and basting with any excess marinade.
- Remove and leave to cool.
- Make this while the sushi is cooling and the tofu is baking. Add everything except the water and cornstarch to a small non-stick pot and bring to the boil.
- Stir and simmer for 5 minutes over a medium heat.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and mix well.
- Add the cornstarch-water mixture to the pot and quickly stir. Simmer for about three minutes more until the mixture has to your liking.
- Remove and leave to cool.
Putting it all together
- Lay out a bamboo mat for rolling the sushi. If you don’t have a mat, a slatted place mat or sheet of baking paper will do in a pinch.
- Lay a sheet of nori on top and put half a cup of sushi rice on it.
- Using wet fingers of the back of a spoon, spread out the rice so that the nori is covered in a single layer with no spaces, leaving an inch of nori free for sealing the roll.
- Place your filling ingredients at the opposite end to the rice-free nori edge. For the avocado filling simply place a row of strips of avocado and sprinkle the crunchy fried onion over it. For the tofu, use a spoon to put a line of teriyaki sauce and top it with tofu strips and raw onion slices.
- Dampen the rice-free nori edge, grab the mat on the side with the filling, lift up the mat and tuck it over quickly to secure the filling, and roll up.
- Repeat for all the rolls.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, wet it to stop it sticking to the sushi and slice the sushi .
- Serve immediately or leave to chill in the fridge until your ready to eat.