Veggie Brown Rice Sushi

About once a week, I crave sushi. As in:  give it to me I gotta have it.

Thankfully, we have an amazing sushi shop within walking distance from our place, but every once in a while, I get the itch to make it myself.

Sure, it takes more time. But it’s very affordable to make at home. Plus, you can customize your fillings and create your dream veggie roll. Let me show you how.

Sliced carrots, bell pepper, carrots, sprouts, ginger, and brown rice for making vegan sushi

Origins of Sushi

Sushi is a common dish in Japan and in Japanese restaurants around the world. But it’s thought that it may actually date back to the 2nd century BC where it originated from a Chinese dish called narezushi. It’s believed to have then spread to Japan in the 8th century. And by the 18th century, sushi restaurants were wildly popular in Japan.

The following is our inspired, veggie-packed version made with brown rice instead of white rice.

How to Make Brown Rice Sushi

I picked up a mat for this version.

It may look complicated, but sushi is truly easy to make. I compare it to rolling spring rolls. Sure, your first few are a little imperfect. But once you get the hang of it, it’s so easy and you feel incredibly accomplished making your own restaurant-worthy food at home.

All in all, this sushi requires just 10 simple ingredients (more or less depending on your fillings of choice) and comes together in less than 1 hour.

Spreading rice onto a sheet of nori for making homemade vegan sushi

It starts with wholesome brown rice that’s mixed with a vinegar mixture to sweeten it slightly and make it sticky so it’s easier to work with.

I tested it without the vinegar mixture, and trust me, it did not go well. You need the rice to be sticky so it forms a roll.

Bamboo mat with Vegan Brown Rice Sushi ready to be rolled up

For fillings I went with roasted red pepper, cucumber, sprouts, and carrots.

I also love veggie rolls with avocado, asparagus, radish, and pickled veggies. Dream big, friends. The options are endless.

Perfectly rolled plant-based sushi on a bamboo mat

I hope you all love this recipe! It’s:

& So delicious

Make this for weeknight meals when you want something hearty and other than a salad (although no shame in a salad).

Rolls of homemade plant-based sushi on a cutting board

Veggie Brown Rice Sushi

Easy, 10-ingredient sushi with sticky brown rice and vegetables. Hearty, healthy, and delicious. Methods provided for with and without a sushi mat!

PREP TIME 30 minutes
COOK TIME 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME 55 minutes
ServingsCourse Entree
Cuisine Chinese-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Japanese-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2 Days



  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • 4 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
  • 1 roasted or fresh red bell pepper* (sliced)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup sprouts (Alfalfa is best)

FOR SERVING optional

  • Tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
  • Pickled ginger
  • Wasabi
  • Sesame seeds


  • In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil then add rice, swirl to coat, and lower heat to low and cover. Simmer until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender – about 18-25 minutes. Drain off any excess water if there is any.
  • In the meantime, add vinegar, sugar and salt to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until sugar and salt are dissolved. Place in a jar or dish and cool in the fridge until rice is ready.
  • Once the rice is done, kill the heat and add the cooled vinegar mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or fork as to not overmix. It will appear wet but will dry up as you lightly stir to release heat. It should be sticky and completely dry once it’s ready.
  • While the rice finishes cooking, prep your veggies by chopping them into thin pieces. If they’re too bulky they won’t allow the sushi to roll well.
  • Now it’s time to roll: Grab your sushi mat and top with a sheet of nori. Using your hands dipped in water (to avoid sticking), pat a very thin layer of rice all over the nori, making sure it’s not too thick or your roll will be all rice and no filling (see photo).
  • Then, arrange a generous serving of your veggies or preferred filling in a line at the bottom 3/4 of the rice closest to you (see photo).
  • Start to roll the nori and rice over with your fingers, and once the veggies are covered, roll the mat over to mold and compress the roll. Continue until it’s all the way rolled up. I find slicing with a very sharp serrated knife yields the best results. Repeat until all rice and fillings are used up – about 4 total rolls (amount as original recipe is written // will vary if altering batch size).
  • Serve immediately with pickled ginger, tamari or soy sauce, and wasabi. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator up to 2 days.


*You can buy roasted red peppers at the store to save time.
*If you don’t have a sushi mat (I got mine super cheap here).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 241 Carbohydrates: 53 g Protein: 10.1 g Fat: 2.3 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 402 mg Potassium: 210 mg Fiber: 11 g Sugar: 9.3 gVitamin A: 7300 IU Vitamin C: 81.7 mg Calcium: 80 mg Iron: 3.8 mg

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *