Spicy Tempeh Nori rolls

Wait! No seriously, WAIT! Just because it says tempeh doesn’t mean you should turn your back on this post. If you do, you might be missing out on a culinary delight. Besides, you could definitely replace tempeh with any fish, meat or veggie you want. While you can replace I recommend you don’t the first time you make this meal. You won’t regret it. I promise 🙂

Without further ado … Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls!!

These rolls are great as appetizers, snacks, potlucks ;), and lunch. Unlike fishy sushi it keeps well and is great the next day. The recipe comes from Veganomicon by Moskowitz and Hope Romero.


  1. you will need wasabi powder, soy sauce, a sushi rolling mat and chopsticks
  2. you can get special sushi rice for this which is of shorter grain and a bit stickier. however, I found regular long-grain to be just fine (brown or white).

Sushi Rice:

1 cup of rice (long, sushi, brown or white)
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar (should not be substituted but, if you must, NO WHITE vinegar)
1 teaspoon of sugar

Spicy Tempeh Filling:

4 ounces of tempeh (strongly recommend the pre-marinated kind from publix)
2 tablespoons of mayo
1/2-1 teaspoon of hot chile-sesame oil (we used sesame oil and then added the chile)
4 sheets of nori seaweed
1 scallion, white part discarded, and sliced lengthwise
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced into strips (or mashed)
sesame seeds (add as you will)
I also recommend using matchstick carrots for some added crunch! (optional)


In a 2 quart pot with a cover, combine the rice and 1 and 1/4 cups cold water. Turn the heat high, boil the water, and stir once. Lower the heat low, cover, and steam the rice for 20ish minutes, until tender and without liquid. Or follow the directions on the rice package. Once tender remove from heat.

Empty the rice into a large bowl (not metal). Sprinkle with the vinegar and sugar, folding in the rice gently with a large spoon. The rice should be moist and have a mild(very) vinegar flavor. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool. When the rice is a bit warmer than the room but not cold you are good to go. About 10 to 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooling prepare the filling by steaming the tempeh. Allow it to cool and then chop into small cubes and place in a medium bowl. Add the mayo and chile-sesame oil. Mash until chunky. Taste and add more oil if desired.

To assemble:

Fill a cup with 1/3 cup of water and a tablespoon of rice vinegar, and keep it nearby your sushi rolling station.

1. place the nori sheet on the sushi mat. with wet hands, take a snowball shaped handful of rice. Gently pat onto the bottom 2/3 or the the sheet. The rice should be less than 1/3 inch thick.

2. place a small amount of fillings (add carrot here if desired) across the center of your rice. Try to make a straight line of filling – the less filling the easier to roll. Aim for about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of tempeh, 3 avocado strips and some scallions (and carrots).

3. Using the mat, gently roll up the sushi from the rice end; try to keep everything tight, for a firm roll. When you get to the end dab some water vinegar mix to seal the deal! (roll)

4. Slice into edible 1-inch pieces with a serrated knife.

5. Eat.

6. Enjoy

7. use soy sauce and wasabi (and ginger if you like)


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