Yes to Yummy

Purple Vegetable Sushi (vegan + gluten-free)

March 14, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page


Hello there! Sorry for disappearing again…I tend to do that a lot. You may file a complaint with my AP Chem teacher if you require more Yes to Yummy in your life. 😉


I love sushi. I love how all of the flavors and textures blend together in a few wonderful bites that just make me smile with delight. I love how fun and colorful sushi can be, and who doesn’t love eating pretty food, anyway?


I don’t make sushi often, not because I don’t love it, but rather because rolling and slicing the sushi just takes time. To be totally honest, it took be over an hour to prepare six rolls, which isn’t too bad other than the fact that it’s completely hands-on time and the rice you have to use is very, very sticky.

But again, all of the colors and that wonderful bite where everything squishy and crunchy blends together into sushi euphoria is all worth it. And sometimes you just need food to give you a little shove of sunshine and happiness in your life.

For the record, healthy food does fill me with joy. When I’m stressed or anxious, I crave something like this sushi filled with fresh veggies, not a greasy burger or processed sugary snacks. 🙂


This time, I used cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, mango, and avocado inside the sushi, but you can of course use whatever vegetables (and fruit) you like. I’ve actually had sushi with strawberries in it and it’s pretty darn tasty…I’d recommend it.

The steps involved are actually pretty simple! First, you prepare the rice and cut up the fillings…


…set up your sushi rolling station with nori sheets and a bamboo mat…


…then add fillings and get rolling!


Anyway, onto the recipe. Time for this chica to recover from her first SAT–five hours of bubble-filling hell! (WOHOO not.)


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Purple Vegetable Sushi (vegan)

Yes, YOU can successfully make sushi at home, I promise! You can of course use regular sushi rice here, but I love how the deep purple contrasts with the greens, reds, and golds of the fillings. I’m no sushi samurai, but these wound up being both beautiful and delicious…and if I can do it, you can, too!


Prep Time
Cooking Time
Total Time
Yield 6-8 servings


1 bag of Thai Sticky Purple Rice, or 2 1/4 cups of sushi rice

4 1/2 cups of water

1/3 cup of rice vinegar

3 tablespoons of sugar

3/4 teaspoon of salt + a pinch extra


2 large avocados, thinly sliced

1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 medium cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced

1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced

6 sheets of nori (seaweed paper)

A bamboo sushi mat, which can be purchased here



Pour the rice into a collender and rinse well with until the water becomes clear. Dump into a medium saucepan, add the water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook until most of the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Warm for 5 minutes, or until both the sugar and the salt have been dissolved completely. Pour into a measuring cup with a lip and set aside.

Once the rice has finished cooking, let it stand for ten minutes before fluffing with a fork and transferring to a large bowl. Slowly add the rice vinegar mixture to the rice–JUST a little bit at a time–while fiercely stirring the rice with a wooden spoon or spatula. This will help the rice get properly sticky while cooling it down at the same time.

After all of the rice vinegar mixture has been used, set aside the prepared sushi rice and set up your sushi-making station.


Set out a bowl of water mixed with a little rice vinegar. You’re going to need this to wash your hands, because things are about to get, er, sticky.

To make a roll of sushi, place a piece of nori on the bamboo mat shiny-side down. Place a large scoop of the prepared sushi rice on top and, using damp hands, spread it out all over the nori sheet, leaving about an inch free on the end farthest from you and just a little space around the edges. The rice should form a layer approximately 1/2-inch thick all over the nori sheet and spread evenly throughout.

Now it’s time for the fillings! Place a couple of slices of each filling about 1/2 inch from the edge closest to you, keeping everything as tightly packed together as possible. You don’t want too much or else your roll is going to explode, so go light on fillings, especially for your first roll.

To roll the sushi, fold over the bottom of the bamboo mat on the edge closest to you over the fillings, picking up the nori sheet with you as you go. Give it a good squeeze to secure and continue rolling, using the mat to fold the nori over itself and applying gentle pressure every so often to keep things together.

Once you’ve completely rolled up the sushi, pull out the bamboo mat and use a sharp, damp knife to slice the sushi into smaller pieces. Repeat the process with the remaining rice, fillings, and nori.

Serve immediately with tamari or coconut aminos, and give yourself a big pat on the back for being a sushi ninja.


What is your favorite sushi filling combination? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!

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