Deep Fried Vegan Sushi – Junk Food Post #10

Deep Fried Vegan SushiConsider the following entry into the amazing world of sushi-dom just a taste of things to come.  On a personal level, I am slowly leaving my Chinese phase and am strongly considering a sushi-at-home phase.   Either way, I thought that deep fried sushi would be a perfect entry for unResolution month because sushi, if the rice is kept to a minimum, is a decent health food for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

So what better way to spend my 10th post of unResolution month than making the dish as remarkably unhealthy as I possibly can?

Deep Fried Vegan Sushi

I hate to say it, but sushi is like anything else…it’s better when its fried.  I can only imagine the army of highly trained sushi chefs who are coming to hunt me down now, but it’s true.  Add batter and fat and it’s enough to make my American heart soar, right before it seizes.

It is important to note when considering this dish that this recipe is vegan (it keeps up with the theme of this week – vegan comfort food that is also bad for you), but if you are not a vegan, you can fill your roll with whatever you like.  This one is just a very easy vegan go-to roll.

Rolling Vegan Sushi And Then Frying It

To get things roll going, you are going to need standard sushi ingredients: nori (toasted seaweed), sushi rice, and fillings, but then we go the extra step and fry it in tempura batter.  So this recipe will be broken up into three sections: making the rice, making the sushi roll itself, and then deep frying it.

Making Sushi Rice

This part is really easy.  You will need:

  • 1 cup sushi rice
  • 2 cups water (or however much your rice cooker instructs you to use)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Follow your rice cooker’s instructions or put all of the contents in a saucepan and boil until the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.

Fluff the rice immediately and let it cool.

Rolling Your Sushi

I’m going to punt on this one and send you to Sushi Now to watch a short instructional video.  This will show you how to do the actual rolling.  There is one thing I want you to keep in mind, though.

Sushi means “vinegared rice” (not raw fish.)  Notice the rice recipe uses no vinegar.  Before you start rolling sushi, mix a few tablespoons of rice wine vinegar (sometimes called sushi vinegar or rice vinegar) with some water.  Each time you grab rice, wet your hands in the bowl first and you will have the vinegar taste you need.

So, to roll the sushi, you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 8 sheets of nori
  • 2 avocados, cut into 8 pieces each
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin sticks
  • 2 cucumbers, cut into thin sticks

Following the instructions in the video above, filling each roll with two pieces of avocado and 4-6 pieces each of carrot and cucumber.  You should easily have enough rice for 8 rolls.

If you feel really daring, instead of keeping the rice on the outside, put the filling on the rice side and roll the sushi so only nori is on the outside.  This is called an inside-out roll and it will result in less rice in the frying oil and will keep the roll together.

Frying the Vegan Sushi

Now, here’s where the fun begins.  It’s time to tempura fry.  (BTW, thanks to Julia Usher at Sauce Magazine for her exhaustive research on tempura batter.  She taught me most of what I know.)

You will need:

  • 1 cup rice flour (you can use AP flour, but it won’t work as well)
  • 1 cup soda water or ginger ale
  • 1 egg’s worth of egg replacer
  • oil for frying

Mix the rice flour, soda water, and egg replacer and stir thoroughly.  The batter should be about as thick as pancake batter.  If it’s too thin, add flour a little at a time.  If it’s too thick, add soda water a teaspoon at a time.

Dip the sushi roll in the batter and coat all sides.  The let the roll rest a few seconds in the batter and then set aside.  Let the batter set for about five minutes.

Once all rolls are dipped, heat the oil to 350 degrees or medium-high on the stove.

Fry the sushi until the batter cooks, about 30-60 seconds.  Remove from the oil as quickly as you can to keep the insides from overcooking.

Slice it into 8 pieces and serve with sushi and wasabi.  Enjoy!


  1. Don’t overfill your sushi or use too mich rice.  It won’t come out right.
  2. Roll the sushi VERY tightly to keep it from coming apart.

Thanks to VirtualErn for the photo.


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