Is Sushi Vegan? Can Vegans Eat Sushi?
Last updated on October 2nd, 2023
Everything You Need To Know About Vegan Sushi
I hear this question asked a lot by new vegans, is sushi vegan? Yes, it can absolutely be vegan-friendly! You just need to know what to look for.
Yes, sushi can be vegan-friendly but don’t get me wrong, you can’t just pick up any piece of such you see and pop it in your mouth.
To contradict what I just said, the majority of sushi is not suitable for vegans. However, there are still plenty of options which means vegans can enjoy incredible sushi and the experience that comes with it.
Is Sushi Part of a Vegan Diet?
If you like sushi and you want it to be part of your vegan diet, it can be. As long as you avoid animal-derived ingredients like fish and sometimes egg then, yes, sushi can be part of a vegan diet. And I wouldn’t want you missing out!
What Types of Sushi are Vegan?
Lots of types of sushi can be vegan. It just depends on what ingredients you use in addition to the sushi rice and nori; the seaweed paper.
If you’re out and fancy some sushi in a restaurant the easiest option is to find maki rolls. And if I’m making sushi at home maki rolls are my go-to choice too.
But in most sushi or Japanese restaurants that won’t be all, these are the things I usually find on my hunt for vegan sushi.
Vegan Sushi Options:
1. Vegan Maki
Maki rolls are typically sushi rice wrapped up in seaweed with something in the middle. When choosing the vegan maki you can often get options with avocado, cucumber, mango or bell pepper.
2. Vegan Nigiri
Vegan-friendly Nigiri can be made by using tofu, avocado or bell peppers on top of sushi rice.
3. Vegan Uramaki
Vegan Uramaki is similar to vegan maki except the rice is on the outside and the seaweed is on the inside. So you can choose the same vegan options such as avocado, cucumber, mango and bell peppers.
4. Vegan Temaki
Vegan Temaki is a hand roll, it’s much bigger than other pieces of sushi and it’s in a cone shape. It’s made using a large sheet of seaweed filled with sushi rice and a selection of other ingredients. To make this vegan you can have tofu, avocado, mango, bell peppers, cucumber or anything else you fancy really.
5. Vegan Inari
Vegan Inari is often vegan-friendly in its original form because it’s just sushi rice inside sweet tofu pockets. It’s sweet and delicious, I call it my sushi dessert.
These are just some of the options I regularly find when hunting down my sushi fix. But depending on how creative the sushi chef is, there’s a world of vegan-friendly options out there.
Is Wasabi Vegan?
We usually get a dollop of wasabi paste next to our sushi. It has a love/hate characteristic about it and it certainly adds a kick.
Wasabi is a plant and usually, it’s the only ingredient in the paste so this makes it vegan-friendly.
However, it seems that the very rare time the paste can have milk in it. And while it doesn’t happen often it’s best to check it out to be on the safe side.
Is Vegan Sushi Healthy?
Yes, usually vegan sushi is healthy. But as with any food, it depends on how much you eat and what you add to it. Typically it’s very healthy though because the main ingredients are seaweed, sushi rice, vegetables, fruit and tofu.
All are quite healthy ingredients and seaweed boasts a range of vitamins and minerals. So yes, this is a healthy and tasty choice for us vegans.
Can Vegans Wat Japanese Food?
When it comes to the popular Japanese food that we eat here in the UK there are so many great options.
And while the traditional recipes, for the most, are not vegan-friendly. A lot of them can be made using plant-based foods.
In addition, here are some of the other typical Japanese dishes that can be made vegan; tempura, ramen, katsu, miso soup, gyozas and of course edamame.
So, if you go to the right restaurant or if you’re a wiz in the kitchen, you can easily enjoy vegan Japanese food.
Is Vegetarian Sushi Vegan?
The most common ingredient that usually makes sushi not suitable for vegans is fish, so it makes sense that people ask ‘is vegetarian sushi also vegan?’
If you see a vegetarian symbol next to sushi on a menu, will it be fine for vegans to eat too?
In many cases, yes it will be fine, but not always. Some types of sushi can be made using ingredients such as egg or mayonnaise. So check for these ingredients to be sure you’re choosing vegan-friendly sushi.
Like with any food, if it doesn’t say that it’s suitable for vegans you don’t know what sneaky ingredient may have been added. Sometimes there might even be small amounts of fish found in the sushi rice.
So, if it’s not labelled as vegan or you didn’t make it yourself it’s best to ask.
If you’re vegan and you fancy some sushi, no problem!
Sushi is amazing, even if you’re following a plant-based diet. It can be made at home or found in a restaurant as long as you know what you’re looking for.
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Meet the Author
Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living.
With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.
Follow me on Instagram to see all the delicious vegan food I find, the vegan and cruelty-free products I use and what I get up to as a travelling vegan.