When it comes to sushi, I’m not the most adventurous eater. I think it comes down to the fact that I’m simply not a fan of the texture of raw fish. (Recent news of the risk of parasites in raw sushi doesn’t help matters, either.)
That’s why I love this simple “vegan fish” that my friend, Doris Choi, introduced me to years ago. Her secret? Roasted bell peppers.
No, they’re not fish at all, but they have a slimy texture, similar to raw fish, and make a remarkably tasty vegan sushi roll. Almost like “spicy tuna” when you add a touch of sriracha sauce, too.
Of course, I find the sushi-rolling process to be a bit of a hassle, too. I typically only make sushi rolls when I have company over and I want to impress my guests with a special appetizer. These deconstructed “sushi bowls” are much more appropriate for everyday feasting.
The “rice” in this bowl is made of jicama that has been briefly pulsed in a food processor. I love using jicama because it’s naturally sweet and delicious raw, but you could also use some gently cooked cauliflower rice as the base of these bowls, if you would prefer. Or even just real rice!
Many stores like Trader Joe’s now sell pre-sliced jicama sticks as a convenient snack, making this dish especially easy to prepare. When you serve it with a few sheets of toasted nori on the side (a snack that’s easily available at both Costco and Whole Foods), you’ll have all the flavors of sushi that you love in a quick and easy bowl.
The preparation of these bowls takes about 20 minutes of hands-on time, and if you prepare everything in bulk you’ll be set with several make-ahead meals in the future. You could essentially have a make-your-own-sushi-bowl bar in your fridge ready for the week.
While I usually dip my sushi in a simple combination of tamari and fresh ginger, I thought a soy-ginger dressing would be more appropriate for dressing up these bowls. It’s quick and delicious, and you can serve any leftover dressing over a salad in the future, too. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Vegan Sushi Bowls with Soy-Ginger Dressing
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons ginger , freshly grated (or 1/2 teaspoon dry)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Vegan Sushi Bowls
- 1/2 pound jicama , peeled and cubed
- 2 red bell peppers , roasted and sliced
- 1 cup carrots , shredded
- 1 cup cucumbers , diced
- 1 avocado , sliced
- 3 green onions , diced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 4 sheets toasted nori
- If you haven't roasted your bell peppers yet, simply set your oven to BROIL and cut the 4 sides off of the pepper, discarding the white center and seeds. Arrange the pepper pieces skin-side up in a single layer on a large baking sheet, then place the sheet about 6 inches away from the heat source. Broil until the skins are blackened, about 10 minutes, then remove the pan and place the broiled peppers in a glass dish with an airtight lid. Let the peppers steam in that dish for 20 minutes, until they are cool enough to handle, then gently peel away the black skins. (They should slip off very easily.) Slice the roasted peppers into strip for your sushi bowls.
- To prepare the dressing, combine the olive oil, tamari, ginger, garlic, vinegar, maple syrup, and sesame oil, in a blender. Blend until completely smooth and adjust any seasoning to taste. (Keep in mind that it will be salty, but will be diluted over all those veggies.)
- To prepare the jicama rice, place the peeled cubes in a food processor bowl fitted with an "S" blade and briefly pulse until a rice-like texture is created.
- To assemble the sushi bowls, start with a serving of the jicama rice, then add in the sliced bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, green onions, sliced avocado, and sesame seeds. Drizzle on the dressing, to taste, and serve immediately.
- I recommend storing any leftover ingredients separately in airtight containers in the fridge for best shelf life. These items should last up to a week in the fridge if you don't finish them faster than that.
Per Serving: Calories: 350, Fat: 30g, Carbohydrates: 22g, Fiber: 9g, Protein: 5g
- If you can’t tolerate soy, you might try using Coconut Aminos as an alternative to the tamari sauce.
- If you don’t need to be gluten-free, you can use soy sauce instead of the tamari, too.
- As always, if you make a substitution please leave a comment below letting us know what you tried so that we can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: Do you love sushi? Or has recent news left you feeling a bit uneasy about the real thing? Either way, I hope you’ll give this vegan version a try!
Questions and Reviews
Is there a good substitute for jicama, as they do not have here. Thank you.
I think cauliflower rice would work nicely (you could try it raw or cooked), or maybe you could even make a carrot “rice?” Or parsnips?
Yes, I made it with cauliflower rice, lightly cooked with a dash of coconut oil. It was great. Love that dressing!
I can’t wait to try this recipe! If one omits the sesame seeds, I’m assuming this recipe would be categorized as a “Starch” meal (because of the avocado)?
Also, how are rutabagas and turnips classified according to your food combining rules — are they starchy or non-starchy vegetables? I’m assuming non-starchy, but wanted to make sure. I searched your first book & your site, but couldn’t find information about them. (Maybe I didn’t search correctly.) I love eating them and would like to combine them with other foods properly.
I’m so excited to try this, what a great idea! I despise fish in all forms, especially raw, so a vegan sushi bowl sounds amazing. I love the roasted red peppers instead of fish, that’s an awesome idea.
Sounds yummy! Did I miss reading where/when to add the sesame oil?
Sorry, I missed that in the directions! I just updated the recipe. You blend the sesame oil in with the other dressing ingredients. Hope you enjoy it!
I have switched to coconut aminos in place of soy and like the taste and the reduced sodium content too. I also use ginger essential oil in the dressing sometimes if i cannot find jicama i use cauliflower or romesco *riced* love this recipe thanks for posting it
I have just served this up for dinner and my 11 year old son turns around and says “see, why can’t we just have this more often instead of all that fancy stuff?” Suits me! On a winner.
Everything about this was DELICIOUS! It was quick and easy to make, so ill be making it again this week
Super easy to make and delicious!!
A wonderful family dinner recipe! My 3 teen kids loved it. My Japanese husband devoured it. Ok, so one kid traded avocado for the other’s cucumber, but no complaints. The dressing was delicious. It reminded me of bottled Japanese dressing, which usually contains lots of chemical ingredients. I’ll definitely be making the dressing regularly to go with other salads. I had jicama “rice,” while everyone else ate rice. Such a tasty and colorful meal.
Would liquid amino work with this???
Sure, I don’t see why not! The good thing about dressings is you can just taste as you go, so you can adjust the seasonings until they are perfect for your taste buds.
OK I love veggie/vegan alternatives to everything, but can’t stand the stereotype that raw fish is unsafe to eat when produce is the largest source for food poisoning…
Has anyone added a good vegetarian protein for this recipe? tempeh, maybe??
So delicious! And much cheaper than buying sushi. I used rice because I had it ready to go. I’ll try with cauliflower rice next time.
Love this dressing! I made this dressing for quinoa veggie bowls from Detoxinista’s meal prep video on YouTube. It was a big hit, and something that is delicious to eat many days in a row.