Looking for vegan sushi beyond cucumber rolls? Chef and Secrets of Sushi personality Bryan Sekine likes to wow online classes and catering clients with these gorgeous personal sushi towers, which require no bamboo mat and can be made in a cup, if you don’t have a 3-inch baking ring or thin cake collar handy.
The recipe, featured in Sekine’s 2021 cookbook, “Vegan & Vegetarian Sushi Cookbook for Beginners” (Rockridge Press, $15), calls for egg substitute and vegan mayo, but you can use standard eggs and mayonnaise to make the dish vegetarian, if you wish.
Dynamite Sushi Tower
Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
1 cup egg substitute, whisked
1 cup cornstarch
2 cups king oyster mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
½ cup Vegan Spicy Mayonnaise (see recipe below)
6 sheets nori
2 cups prepared sushi rice
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch-cubes
1 cup wakame (seaweed salad)
Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Pour the oil into a cast iron skillet over high heat. Pour the egg substitute into one bowl and the corn starch into a separate bowl. Line a plate with paper towels or set out a wire rack.
Test the temperature of the oil by sprinkling corn starch into the oil; if it starts to sizzle, it’s ready. Toss a small handful of mushrooms into the egg substitute and coat them evenly. Allow the excess to drip off and then dip them into the cornstarch. Carefully lower the coated mushrooms into the oil, using tongs or a skimmer, and fry until golden brown.
Transfer the mushrooms to the prepared plate or wire rack. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms until all have been fried.
Transfer the mushrooms to a large bowl and toss with the spicy mayo. Set aside.
Use kitchen scissors to cut the nori to the desired size and shape of your sushi tower mold. For each tower, place the mold over one piece of nori and add a thick layer of rice to the mold, pressing gently to pack.
Add a layer of avocado cubes to the mold, gently pressing. Add another layer of sushi rice and then a layer of wakame.
Gently slide the mold up and off the sushi tower. Use a spatula to transfer the tower to a plate. Take a small handful of fried mushrooms and place them carefully on top of the tower. Garnish with additional mayo and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
Repeat steps 5 through 7 to make five more towers.
Vegan Spicy Mayonnaise
Makes about 1 cup
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sriracha
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon nanami togarashi (Japanese seven spice)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Pour the spicy mayo into an empty sauce bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
— From “Vegan and Vegetarian Sushi Cookbook for Beginners” by Bryan Sekine, published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2022 by Callisto Media, Inc.