Vegetarian/vegan sushi recipe: Sakura Hand Roll

Vegetarian/vegan sushi recipe: Sakura Hand Roll

Temaki, or hand rolls, are a quick and easy way to serve sushi to a group because they don’t require plates or chopsticks, says Secrets of Sushi Bryan Sekine. The sushi chef and YouTube instructor likes to spice up these vegan and vegetarian hand rolls, featured in his new cookbook, “Vegetarian & Vegan Sushi Cookbook for Beginners” (Rockridge Press, $15) by whipping the sushi rice with beet juice. It adds flavor as well as a beautiful pink color. (Psst, you need a bamboo rolling mat to make these rolls.)

Sakura Hand Roll

Makes 6 hand rolls


2 cups spiced sushi rice, still warm

Unsweetened beet juice

6 half sheets of nori

1 sliced ​​avocado

1 cucumber sliced

1 large carrot, sliced

6 to 10 asparagus, blanched

sesame seeds


After the sushi rice has been seasoned, but before it has cooled, drizzle with 1 teaspoon of beet juice at a time, making sure to fold it into the rice as you sprinkle, until the rice has reached the desired shade of pink.

Place a bamboo mat on the counter and place a bowl of water next to it. Place half a sheet of nori on the mat, with the smooth side of the nori down and the longest edge parallel to the cotton threads of the mat.

Dip one hand in the water and rub your hands together. Your hands should be shiny wet, but not dripping. Place 1/3 cup of sushi rice on top of the nori and spread it out slowly to create a kite shape. The layer of rice should be two to three grains thick.

Place one sixth of the avocado, cucumber, carrot and asparagus along the centerline of the kite. If you find yourself running out of space at the bottom, you can fan out the fillings at the top of the kite.