Vegan Sushi Bowls with Ginger Marinated Tofu

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Chopsticks over a vegan sushi bowl

All the flavor and texture of sushi without the hassle of making the rolls. These vegan sushi bowls are perfect for a build-your-own weeknight bowl or to make ahead and enjoy throughout the week. Just 10 ingredients required, naturally plant-based and gluten-free, and SO satisfying. Let us show you how it’s done!

Rice, tofu, cucumber, tamari, maple syrup, sesame oil, ginger, wasabi, sprouts, avocado, sesame seeds, nori, and carrots

Recipe Inspiration

These vegan sushi bowls are inspired by the flavors of sushi, but with a plant-based spin made into bowl form.

Sushi is a common dish in Japan and in Japanese restaurants around the world. And it’s thought that it might 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.

You can find a more traditional tofu sushi roll recipe from Okonomi Kitchen here.

How to Make Vegan Sushi Bowls

These bowls start with making the rice. We use a Japanese-style, short-grain white rice (sometimes labeled sushi rice) that becomes fluffy with a firm bite. A bit of vinegar adds classic sushi rice flavor.

Pouring water into a saucepan of sushi rice

Next, we marinate slices of tofu in a tamari-ginger-sesame sauce that infuses these bowls with savory, umami flavor.

Ginger, maple syrup, and sesame oil next to a bowl of ginger marinated tofu

Then we cook the tofu until it’s golden brown with a slightly crispy exterior.

Perfectly browned ginger marinated tofu

And to add a tangy element, we used a simple method for quick pickled carrots. Thinly sliced carrots are submerged in a vinegar, water, and ginger brine where they soak up flavor while the bowls are prepared.

Pouring a vinegar and water mixture over thinly sliced carrots

With the rice, tofu, and quick pickled carrots ready, all that’s left to do is slice the vegetables and assemble the bowls. We went for an avocado roll vibe with thinly sliced fresh cucumber and avocado plus crumbled nori seaweed.

Optional yummy garnishes include:

  • Toasted sesame seeds for crunch
  • Sliced green onion, microgreens, or sprouts for more green
  • Pickled ginger for a sweet, zingy addition
  • and/or Wasabi for a spicy element
Vegan sushi bowl next to a bowl of tamari

We hope you LOVE these vegan sushi bowls. They’re:

Savory
Fresh
Tangy
Bright
Versatile
& Satisfying!

These bowls are the perfect meal for warmer weather or anytime you’re craving something light and fresh. While delicious on their own, they would also pair well with Watermelon Sashimi as an appetizer and Mango Green Tea Pops for dessert.

More Vegan Bowls

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Ginger tamari sauce next to a vegan sushi bowl

Vegan Sushi Bowls with Ginger Marinated Tofu

Easy vegan sushi bowls with marinated tofu, fresh vegetables, rice, seaweed, and quick pickled carrots! All the fresh, delicious flavor of sushi in convenient, versatile bowl form. Just 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Tamari and a vegan sushi bowl with ginger marinated tofu
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 (Bowls)
Course Dinner, Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Japanese-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

RICE

  • 1 cup dry sushi rice (or sub short-grain white or brown rice and increase water)
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar

MARINATED TOFU

  • 1/2 cup tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
  • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated (a 1-inch piece yields ~1 Tbsp or 9 g)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 14 ounce package extra firm tofu, cut into 2 x 1/4-inch slices

QUICK PICKLED CARROTS

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated (a 1-inch piece yields ~1 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots (using a knife or mandolin // 2 large carrots yield ~1 cup)

FOR SERVING

  • 1 cup cucumber, cut into 3-inch matchsticks (1 large cucumber yields ~1 cup)
  • 1 large avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 small package seaweed snack chips or nori sheets, crumbled into a seaweed “sprinkle”
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)
  • 1 cup microgreens or sprouts (optional)
  • Pickled ginger (optional)
  • Wasabi (optional)

Instructions

  • RICE: Rinse rice with cold water in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Drain and transfer to a small saucepan. Add water and rice vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until water is evaporated and rice is tender (~20 minutes). Turn off the heat and let rice steam with the lid on for 10 minutes.
  • MARINATE TOFU: While the rice cooks, make the tofu marinade. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar, grated ginger, and maple syrup (optional). Set aside 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the marinade for serving with finished bowls. Add the tofu to the remaining marinade and gently mix to combine and coat the tofu. Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes, mixing every once in a while to ensure the tofu is marinating evenly.
  • PICKLED CARROTS: Meanwhile, combine rice vinegar, water, ginger, and maple syrup (optional) in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. This will be a brine to quick pickle your carrots. Place carrots into a medium-sized heat-proof bowl or jar and pour the simmering brine over the carrots. Cover and place in the refrigerator to cool while you proceed.
  • COOK TOFU: Heat a large non-stick skillet or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, remove the tofu from the marinade and place on the hot pan. Cook the tofu for 2-3 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden brown.
  • To serve, divide the rice between bowls and top with the pickled carrots, cucumbers, avocado, cooked tofu, seaweed sprinkles, and the marinade you set aside. Option to garnish with sesame seeds, green onion, microgreens, pickled ginger, and/or wasabi. Best enjoyed at room temperature.
  • Leftovers will keep stored separately in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Not freezer friendly.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1 nori seaweed sheet and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 396 Carbohydrates: 54.8 g Protein: 19.4 g Fat: 11.9 g Saturated Fat: 1.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.7 g Monounsaturated Fat: 4.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 2068 mg Potassium: 601 mg Fiber: 6.8 g Sugar: 4 g Vitamin A: 6633 IU Vitamin C: 7 mg Calcium: 354 mg Iron: 3.7 mg

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  1. Serena says

    I love this recipe!! So simple and great for meal prepping! I added some fresh mango on top and it really brought a nice sweetness to the dish.

  2. Ellen Morell says

    OMG this was sooooo good! I was a little hesitant at first because the recipe looked complicated but the way the instructions were laid out made it simple to prepare. And the finished dish was beautiful as well as tasty. I will be making this on a regular basis from now on. Thank You!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you gave it a try and enjoyed it, Ellen! Thank you so much for sharing! xo

  3. Vicky says

    Great bowl! and I think this could work awesome to prepare ahed and have for lunches throughout the week, thanks for another amazing recipe!

  4. Corey says

    Hi! I made this the other night and it was so yum! I used the lesser amount of maple syrup in the sauce and marinade, added ginger people brand pickled ginger, cilantro, zoodles/miracle noodles combo instead of rice. The flavors were amazing and really appreciated the quick pickled carrot recipe. I did have a question: it seems like there was a lot of marinade leftover and so far it’s just covered and back in my fridge. Thoughts/ideas? I could use it as a salad dressing, marinate another batch of tofu, etc. Maybe just reduce the amounts next time? Thanks!!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Corey! Thank you for sharing! You can definitely use the marinade again. We typically use some of it at the end for serving. It might also work with some modification in one of these recipes: marinated tempeh (add nut butter) or portobello mushroom stir-fry. Hope that’s helpful!

  5. Ina S says

    Another hit from Minimalist Baker – there’s really no reason to go anywhere else for recipes these days! Thank you!

  6. Rachel Jablon says

    So delicious! I made this last night and it was a huge hit (and so simple to make). The tofu is bursting with flavor and I love the gingery bite from the pickled carrots. As someone whose biggest takeout craving is sushi, this deconstructed bowl definitely hit the spot!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed this one, Rachel. Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  7. Abbey Fraser says

    Loved this recipe! So flavorful and fun! Every bite was different and it wasn’t challenging to make. Thank you will definitely make again.

  8. Bal says

    I made this dish for dinner tonight and it is delish!! It’s going to be in our weekly meal rotation. Thank you for sharing!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Bal. Thanks so much for the lovely review!

  9. Serendipity says

    Sounds great! What to do about the pickled ginger: I can’t seem to find anything really delicious without the terrible ingredients (aspartame, white sugar etc). Any good brands you’d recommend or …do you a have a recipe!?!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, we like The Ginger People brand, but it does have organic cane sugar. We don’t have a recipe for it, but that’s a great idea. The bowls will still be delicious if you leave it out!

  10. Mim says

    I discovered sushi bowls last year at the beginning of the pandemic. Craving sushi, but restaurants closed, so I made this almost exact sushi hack. Except I was out of sushi rice so I used oat groats! Once you add the tofu, cuke, avo and pickled ginger it totally tastes like sushi, even without the rice. I make a version of this weekly and now prefer it with oat groats over rice. In Variations we like…Daikon radish fresh or dried (kiriboshi pickled in sweet rice vinegar), sprouts, shredded turnip or zucchini, bok Choi, perilla, cilantro, mango, edamame….whatever!

  11. Lee Kaplan says

    I just attended a class called Sushi 101 at my local kitchen supply store. I need a LOT of practice. In the meantime, this is “sushi deconstructed”. I can roll with this (I know, bad pun).