Homemade vegan sushi bowls with yam tempura give you all the great flavours of a sushi roll but with no rolling involved! So easy – just cook up some rice, slice some of your favorite sushi vegetables, dip the sweet potato slices in some batter and quickly fry. Pile everything into a bowl, serve with soy sauce and wasabi and you’ve got a delicious fakeaway dinner in 30 minutes!
We love making sushi at home but it’s usually a two person job to be able to get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour. You have to wait for everything to be ready to start rolling and sometimes the rolling can just be so fiddly. What’s great about these vegan sushi bowls is that you can prep everything while the rice is cooking and as soon as it’s done just throw it all in a bowl and eat it!
My all-time favorite sushi roll is the yam tempura roll, but I haven’t found them offered at any sushi place near me. They’re pretty much a standard on all Vancouver sushi menus but don’t seem to be as popular in Barcelona. In fact the vegetarian options here are quite limited – usually just an avocado roll and a cucumber roll. Every August we go to Vancouver and I gorge myself on all the delicious vegetarian options, especially the yam tempura roll.
I don’t usually like to follow the food trends on the blog – you won’t find any cauliflower crust pizza, smoothie bowls or green drinks, but these vegan sushi bowls are an exception. After spending a month in Canada, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the yam tempura rolls for an entire year so I caved and made a sushi bowl despite the fact that they’re all over Pinterest right now. They definitely satisfied my craving and I can’t wait to make them again!
Vegan sushi bowls are so easy to make and versatile. Feel free to change up the toppings to make them taste like your favorite sushi roll. If you don’t want to take the time to batter and fry the sweet potato, you can simply steam or boil it and leave it plain. In my bowl, besides the obvious avocado and cucumber, I added mango for some sweetness, radishes for colour and pickled ginger for acidity.
I made my own pickled ginger, which I highly recommend as you can make it as spicy and sweet as you want, and also cuts down the cost of sushi night. It’s actually really easy and you can check out Just One Cookbook’s recipe for pickled ginger (I didn’t have young ginger; I used regular ginger and it was still delicious).
- 2 cups short-grain rice, you can use sushi rice or any other short-grain variety
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 medium-sized yam or sweet potato, sliced into rounds
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sparkling water or club soda (you may need a little more or a little less)
- Oil for deep frying
- 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced
- A handful of radishes, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 sheet of nori
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Pickled ginger
- Soy sauce and wasabi
- Cook the rice according to the package directions or follow my instructions for sushi rice: rinse the rice until the water runs mostly clear. Drain in a colander for 30 minutes (optional). Put the rice and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, don’t remove the lid, and steam for 10 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking prepare the sushi rice seasoning by mixing the vinegar, salt and sugar until dissolved.
- While the rice is cooking you can also peel and slice the vegetables and prepare the yam tempura. Heat enough oil to deep fry in a small pan over medium-high heat. Combine the flour and cornstarch in a bowl. Begin adding the sparkling water or club soda a little at a time. You want to have a thick, smooth batter that coats the back of a spoon. You may need more or less water depending on the absorption of your flour. Be careful not to over mix the batter, you need the carbonation to get a light, crispy tempura.
- Once the oil is hot (I tested mine by sticking a wooden chopstick in it. When bubble form around the chopstick, it’s hot enough), dip a slice of sweet potato into the batter and quickly drop it into the hot oil. Fry, flipping if necessary, until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Once the rice is cooked, remove the lid from the pot and spread the rice onto a large platter. Sprinkle over the seasoning and while gently folding the rice over itself to combine.
- Place the rice into your bowls, arrange the vegetables and tempura on top and garnish with pickled ginger, nori and sesame seeds. You can crumble the nori or roll it into a tube and cut it into strips. Crunch the strips together in your hand to make a nori tangle. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.