Easy? Check. Flavorful? Check. Vegan, gluten free and packed with nutritious veggies? You got it! These Vegan Sushi Bowls with a creamy miso tahini dressing are one of our favorite weeknight meals. Bonus: you can meal prep everything ahead of time for quick assembly!
My husband sadly falls in the camp of those that don’t like sushi. (Who doesn’t like sushi? Crazy, right?) I didn’t become particularly interested in sushi until my senior year of high school – our local sushi spot was a pretty popular hang out spot. Nowadays, you can count me among the many other sushi-obsessed millennials, but since I don’t often get a chance to go to sushi restaurants, I have to get my fix at home.
These vegan sushi bowls are a much easier alternative to actually hand-rolling traditional sushi. They’re also much easier to customize and perfect for families like ours with various dietary requirements. My husband doesn’t eat any seafood, but he’d be perfectly happy pairing these bowls with some teriyaki chicken. I know, not traditional, but it’s all about making everyone happy, right?
Start with a base of rice (cauliflower or regular)
While white sushi rice might be the obvious choice, we occasionally like to swap it with cauliflower rice. If you’ve never heard of (or made) cauliflower rice, this easy tutorial should convince you to give it a try:
- Start with a whole head of fresh cauliflower. Trim the greens, then roughly chop into large chunks. It’s completely fine to use the stem – no need to waste it!
- Add the cauliflower pieces to a food processor and pulse until it forms a fine “rice”. (See below for texture)
- Heat a large skillet to medium and add a bit of salt and oil. Briefly sauté cauliflower rice. This helps remove some of the raw bite – it really doesn’t taste great raw!
- Pro tip (optional): add some asian pear to your cauliflower rice for a slightly sweeter flavor. The texture is very similar, so it works well.
There you go; just three steps (and less than 10 minutes) to achieve perfect cauliflower rice. Mission accomplished.
Note that you can also purchase pre-made cauliflower rice at most grocery stores. We prefer to prepare it fresh unless we’re really under a time crunch, but it’s certainly a good option for busy weeknights. You can also find riced cauliflower in the frozen section – we stock up to make homemade cauliflower pizza dough. Stay tuned for that recipe later this week!
Let’s talk sushi bowl toppings!
The topping possibilities are endless, but here are our favorites for a delicious vegan sushi bowl:
- Cucumber: Thinly sliced cucumber is a must in my book. Cucumber + avocado sushi rolls are my absolute favorite! They add a much-needed freshness and crunch.
- Which leads me to…avocado! What’s a good sushi bowl without creamy, perfectly ripe avocado? Whether you slice it or dice it, it’s a necessary component.
- Carrots and Purple Cabbage: Julienned carrots and thinly sliced purple cabbage add color and texture. Pro tip: marinate the cabbage in lime juice, rice vinegar and salt before eating. Much more palatable.
- Radishes: An optional vegetable, but one of my favorites. Plus, we always seem to have an extra radish or two rolling around the produce drawer.
- Edamame: A perfect option for a bit of plant-protein. We usually buy it frozen (I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen it fresh!)
- Roasted seaweed: I am obsessed with seaweed snacks. I end up eating the whole pack of roasted seaweed in less than 24 hours, but if I can hold off, they make a great topping for these bowls. These are my favorite!
- Miso tahini dressing: the salty, creamy, flavorful dressing that pulls this bowl together.
- Optional additional protein: Throw in some tofu, chicken, tuna or anything else you might enjoy.
Prep ahead of time
Most of the components of these vegan sushi bowls require very little prep time. If you have a chance, slice up all of the veggies ahead of time, cook the rice and blend up the miso tahini dressing. When the time comes to eat, you can assemble everything in just a few minutes! I wouldn’t suggest slicing the avocado until just before you eat – it will oxidize pretty quickly.
One bowl meals are a weeknight favorite in our house. Here are a few more of our favorites to help inspire your meal prep menu:
- Vegan Burrito Bowls with spicy black beans, cilantro lime rice and guacamole.
- Spring Roll Bowls with crispy tofu, avocado, and sesame miso dressing.
- Vegan Asian Lettuce Wraps with peanut sauce – technically not a bowl, but close enough!
- High-Protein Vegan Breakfast Bowls with crispy potatoes and scrambled tofu
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These Vegan Sushi Bowls with a creamy miso tahini dressing are one of our favorite weeknight meals. Bonus: you can meal prep everything ahead of time for quick assembly!
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
- 2 tbsp cilantro
- 2–3 tsp rice vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1/2 of a head of purple cabbage, sliced thinly
- 5 radishes, sliced thinly
- 1 cup edamame
- Roasted seaweed
- 1 avocado, sliced thinly
Miso Tahini Dressing:
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp white miso
- 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt to taste
- To make cauliflower rice, trim greens off of head of cauliflower. Chop cauliflower roughly into large pieces, including the stem. Pulse cauliflower in food processor until it forms a rice texture.
- Heat a large skillet over medium with sesame oil. Add scallions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add cauliflower rice, cilantro and rice vinegar to skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Season to taste with salt.
- If making regular sushi rice, cook according to package directions.
- Prep all vegetables for bowls.
- To make dressing, whisk all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
- Assemble bowls and enjoy!
Scroll up for a few more tips on making perfect cauliflower rice! Optional: add in one asian pear to the cauliflower rice to add a bit more sweetness.