You don’t need raw fish to make exquisite sushi. With only plant-based sushi staples, you can make this vegan avocado and cucumber sushi roll, which has a nice texture and pleasant flavor that can entice even sushi connoisseurs. Besides being completely plant-based, this sushi with cucumber and avocado is allergy-friendly and gluten-free, too.
For this recipe, you need sushi staples like short-grain rice, nori sheets, and rice vinegar. The amounts below yield about 12 rolls that are super tasty served with soy sauce or tamari.
Of course, you can also enjoy this with wasabi and pickled ginger.
Here’s more on this veganized avocado roll recipe, including ingredients, preparation, and nutrition.
What Is an Avocado Cucumber Roll Made Of?
For this plant-based sushi, you will need 10 avocado cucumber roll ingredients. Most of these are staples you’ve likely seen or tasted in Japanese sushi, and you can find most of these in grocery stores.
- Short-grain rice. Sushi recipes vary greatly except for one common ingredient: rice! Most short-grain rice will do well in sushi, but try to find sushi rice specifically for authentic texture and flavor.
- Water. To make perfect steamed sushi rice, you will need the correct rice to water ratio, which is described in the recipe below.
- Rice vinegar. Rice vinegar is mild and slightly sweet compared to Western vinegar. It is added to cooked sushi rice for a subtle touch of sweet and sour.
- Cucumber. The veggie added to sushi for a bit of crunch to complement the softer textures in this recipe. Choose Persian or English cucumbers since these are less bitter.
- Apple cider vinegar and sesame oil. Cucumber is naturally fairly neutral tasting, but marinating it in a bit of ACV and sesame oil makes things a bit more interesting.
- Nori sheets. Nori is frequently used as a wrap for sushi. It has a lovely umami flavor with a hint of saltwater — exactly what you need in vegan sushi.
- Avocados. The silky smooth and meaty texture of avocado perfectly replaces fish in vegan sushi. You will need two ripe avocados for this recipe.
- Microgreens. Microgreens may be micro but they pack a nutritional punch like no other veggies. Plus, they have a strong and concentrated flavor that will elevate this dish.
- Toasted black sesame seeds. You can buy pre-toasted black sesame seeds or toast them yourself at home on the stove-top or oven. It takes about 5 minutes and is so much more aromatic.
How to Make Avocado Cucumber Roll
Making avocado cucumber rolls at home is easy and fun. Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, follow these simple steps:
Prepare the ingredients
There’s a reason it takes a decade to become a head sushi chef: sushi demands precision and skill. But since you’re not looking to become a top sushi chef, preparing your ingredients will suffice. Measure and rinse the rice, cut the avocado and cucumber into ½-inch strips, marinate the cucumber, and have everything on hand for seamless sushi assembling.
Cook and season the rice
How you prepare the rice can make or break your sushi. For perfectly cooked rice, rinse it under running water to remove excess starch and cook until steam holes appear on top and the rice is fluffy but al dente. Remove from heat and let steam for a couple of minutes before seasoning with the vinegar.
Once the rice is fully cooled, it’s time to start rolling. You can use a sushi mat for this, although parchment paper or cling wrap can also do the trick.
First, place a nori sheet, shiny side down, on a mat. Then, wet your hands and take a handful of rice that you’ll spread evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a bit of space on all the sheet sides.
Finally, add the toppings and roll using light pressure.
Sushi making can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never tried your hands on this Japanese classic. But with the right recipe and careful preparation, anyone can make decent sushi.
While it definitely won’t be like what you can get in top sushi restaurants, homemade sushi has its own perks like being affordable, fun to make, and customizable.
Are Avocado Cucumber Rolls Healthy?
In short, yes! Avocado cucumber rolls are low in calories, exceptionally nutritious, and provide added health benefits.
One roll has about 200 calories. Since a typical serving of sushi is two rolls, their low-calorie count can easily fit into any diet plan.
One roll also provides ample fiber and protein, both filling and important nutrients. Besides that, avocado is rich in heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fats as well as key vitamins and minerals, so expect these rolls to provide what you need to stay healthy.
And because these rolls are made with cooked and raw ingredients, there’s no risk of free radicals and other harmful compounds that sometimes form when food is fried in vegetable oil.
Besides that, you will get loads of added health benefits, particularly from the microgreens and nori sheets. Microgreens contain greater amounts of nutrients than their mature counterparts. Nori is a unique vegan source of vitamin B12 and the amino acid taurine.
Avocado Cucumber Sushi FAQ
Which rice should I use for sushi?
Sushi is typically made with short-grain rice. If you can find rice labeled “sushi rice” in your local store, definitely go for that type.
Can I eat avocado rolls every day while pregnant?
Women are told to limit sushi while pregnant to avoid food poisoning but also mercury, which can be toxic to the unborn baby. Since these rolls don’t contain any fish, they’re safe to eat during pregnancy.
Do I need a sushi mat to make sushi?
A bamboo sushi mat makes sushi rolling easy and clean. But if you don’t want to purchase one, use parchment paper or cling foil instead.
How long are avocado cucumber rolls good for?
It’s best to enjoy these as soon as they’re made, but they are safe to eat for 3 to 4 days when stored in the fridge.
How do you cut avocado for sushi?
Slice the avocado in half lengthwise. Hit the pit with the knife and remove it. Gently peel the skin, place the avocado cut side down on a cutting board, and slice it into 3 to 5 mm strips.
Avocado Sushi Rolls
- 1 cup short-grain rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 oz cucumber cut into 1/2 inch strips
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 6 nori sheets
- 2 ripe avocados peeled and pitted, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 4 oz microgreens
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds toasted
- Rinse the rice to remove excess starch. Combine the rice with the 3 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for 10-12 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and leave covered for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked rice into a large bowl, add rice vinegar, and stir to combine. Set aside to cool completely.
- In a medium bowl, add the cucumber, apple cider vinegar, and sesame oil and mix to coat evenly. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
- Place one nori sheet, shiny side down, on a clean sushi mat. Gently press 3/4 of a cup of the cooked rice in an even, ¼-inch layer, leaving ½ an inch on the sides.
- Top with the avocado slices and marinated cucumber strips across the center of the rice and top with the microgreens.
- Lift one edge of the nori sheet with the mat and fold. Gently but tightly roll once more and secure. Continue with the remaining nori sheets.
- Use a very sharp knife to cut each roll into 1-inch pieces. Line the rolls in a single layer on a plate.
- Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve with soy sauce or tamari.