Sweet-and-spicy Ginger Tofu is the star of this flavorful vegan sushi bowl. You can make the tofu in the oven or in the air fryer!
Vegan Sushi Bowls?
You might be wondering if a vegan sushi bowl is even really sushi. That's a common question I hear about this recipe, and I have good news for you!
- Sushi doesn't have to include fish. That's a common misconception. Vegetable sushi is as much a thing as sushi made from animals, so don't worry!
- Sushi doesn't have to be rolled. Chirashi sushi, also called scattered sushi, was of my favorite dishes before I went vegan. Chirashi sushi is a bowl of sushi rice topped with fish and vegetables. In this vegan version, I simply stick to vegetables and tofu.
My family loves a vegan sushi bowl. Often, we just wing it, piling tofu and our favorite veggies onto heaping bowls of Sushi Rice.
Think of this recipe as a jumping-off point. Start with sushi rice and flavorful Ginger Tofu, then add your favorite sushi fillings to build your perfect bowl.
What I love about a sushi bowl is that you can pick and choose your toppings. My kid, for example, hates cucumber right now. No problem! We just give him extra carrots. If cashews aren't your thing, leave them off, or substitute your favorite nut or seed instead.
And so on, in that fashion.
What really makes this recipe is the Ginger Tofu. It's the perfect blend of spice, sweet, and salt, and the marinade takes just a few seconds to make in your blender.
While your Ginger Tofu marinates and cooks, prepare your sushi rice and prep those veggies. Supper can be on the table in under an hour.
About that Seaweed
For me, that seaweed taste is part of what sushi is all about. My husband tends to skip the seaweed in his sushi bowls, but my kid and I love it!
You can slice up and toast whole nori sheets for your sushi bowl, but my favorite cheater's trick is to buy a pack of seaweed snacks instead. They come already toasted and ready to eat. Just sliced them in half, and pile them on.
The other reason I like using seaweed snacks instead of nori sheets is price. Around here, a pack of nori costs around $7, and you get way more seaweed than you need. You can often get sushi snacks on sale for $1 per pack, and you only need a single package for this recipe.
How to Make the Ginger Tofu
The Ginger Tofu is a snap to make, and you've got two options.
To start, you just toss the tofu with the blender marinade in a large bowl, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch to your bowl, toss again, and you can either bake or air fry that tofu to perfection.
You will be shocked to hear that I tend to go for my air fryer.
Either way, there is very little hands-on time involved in making this tofu, which leaves you plenty of time to make the rice and prep your other toppings while the tofu is cooking. Pile it all into a big ol' bowl, and you are ready to devour.
Ginger Tofu Vegan Sushi Bowl - oven or air fryer directions
- 2" piece fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil - (optional, but recommended)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch - (or potato starch)
- 1 block extra firm tofu - pressed and cut into 1" pieces
For the Sushi Bowls
- 1 batch Pressure Cooker Sushi Rice - or 3 cups of cooked rice. If you don't have cooked rice on hand, start cooking the rice before you start marinating the tofu.
- 1/2 cup carrot sticks
- 3/4 cup cucumber - sliced into 1/4" thick half-moons
- 1 Haas avocado - sliced
- 1 .16 oz package of roasted seaweed snacks (.17 oz is also fine) - cut into thirds
- 1/4 cup pickled ginger - (optional)
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews - (optional)
- 1 green onion - chopped
Make the Tofu
- To make the marinade, combine the ginger, garlic, maple syrup, sesame oil, soy sauce, and vinegar in your blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
- Oven Directions for the Tofu: Preheat the oven to 375F. In a large bowl with high sides, toss together the tofu and the marinade. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes, then drain off any excess marinade. Toss the marinated tofu with the cornstarch in the same bowl. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 30 minutes. No need to flip, unless you really want to.
- Air Fryer Directions for the Tofu: In a large bowl with high sides, toss together the tofu and the marinade. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes, then drain off any excess marinade. Toss the marinated tofu with the cornstarch in the same bowl, then pour into the basket of your air fryer. Cook on 370 for 15 minutes, shaking after 8 minutes.
Make the Sushi Bowls
- Divide the sushi rice between your bowls. Top with the tofu, avocado, green onion, carrots, cucumbers, seaweed snack pieces, and pickled ginger. Sprinkle on the cashews, if you're using them, then top it all off with the green onion.