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Elevate Your Sushi Game with Tomato Nigiri: A Vegan Twist on a Japanese Classic

What makes sushi so amazing (in my opinion) is its ability to show off its ingredients in a simple and innovative way. The fresher the ingredients, the better.

That's why when I was asked to participate in the 2nd annual Fresh Up Your Life Webinar, I was so excited to showcase this tomato nigiri recipe. While traditional nigiri features fish or seafood atop a small bed of seasoned rice, I decided to instead showcase, the roma tomato. This vegan-friendly recipe promises a burst of freshness and tanginess, perfect for sushi aficionados looking for a plant-based alternative. Good news- It's surprisingly simple to make.


  • 2 Roma tomatoes (medium size)

  • 1/2 cup Sushi rice (short-grain rice)

  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth, unsalted

  • 1/4 cup Rice vinegar

  • 4 TBSP Mirin

  • 1/4 cup Sesame oil

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 sheet of Nori, cut into thin strips

  • 1 tsp Crushed red pepper

  • Chives, minced for garnish

  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo

  • 2 TBSP Sriracha


  1. Rinse the sushi rice in cold water until the water runs clear.

  2. Cook the rice according to package instructions or in a rice cooker.

  3. Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and gently fold in 2 TBSP mirin and salt while the rice is still warm. Let it cool to room temp.

  4. Using a sharp knife, score a shallow "X" on the bottom of each tomato. This will help loosen the skin during blanching.

  5. Bring a pot of water to a boil.

  6. Carefully lower the scored tomatoes into the boiling water using a slotted spoon.

  7. Blanch the tomatoes for about 30 seconds or until you see the skin starting to peel away.

  8. Prepare a bowl of ice water.

  9. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the blanched tomatoes to the ice water bath.

  10. Let the tomatoes sit in the ice water for a few minutes. This shocks them and stops the cooking process.

  11. Once the tomatoes have cooled in the ice water, remove them and pat them dry with a paper towel.

  12. The skin should now be easy to peel. Starting from the scored "X" at the bottom, gently peel away the skin using your fingers or a paring knife.

  13. Cut the peeled tomatoes in half lengthwise.

  14. Carefully remove the seeds of each half.

  15. Trim the edges of each tomato so it resembles a rectangle shape. To help the tomato look more like tuna, lightly make diagonal cuts across the tomato.

  16. In a bowl, add soy sauce, rice vinegar, the rest of the mirin, sesame oil, and nori, and crushed red pepper, mix until the liquids are well combined.

  17. Place the tomatoes in the marinade mixture for 1 hour.

  18. Make the Sriracha mayo by mixing Sriracha and mayo together until well combined.

  19. Take a small amount of sushi rice and shape it into a small oval mound, similar in size to a traditional nigiri rice portion.

  20. add a small dollop of Sriracha mayo to the center of the rice.

  21. Gently place a marinated tomato slice on top of each rice mound, ensuring it adheres slightly to the rice.

  22. Top with minced chives.

  23. Enjoy!

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