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TIP OF THE DAY: Exciting Vegan Sushi Ideas

Pickle Me: a recipe with six grain rice,
avocado, carrot, gobo, and pickled daikon.
Photo courtesy Beyond Sushi.


In our book, to say you were a contestant on the Gordon Ramsay bleepfest TV show, Hell’s Kitchen, is not a status credential. The majority of cheftestants, who can curse expertly but can’t consistently cook a simple piece of fish or beef, engender incredulity that they hold down professional jobs.

But Guy Vaknin, who was eliminated early on in the show’s recently concluded Season 10, proves that a Ramsay reject can open an inspired specialty eatery and do a terrific job. Who can get excited about Hell’s Kitchen’s pasta or scallop dishes when there’s Vaknin’s innovative sushi to be had?

No Fish

Beyond Sushi, the vegan sushi restaurant in New York City created by Vaknin (who was previously a kosher chef/caterer), offers an aesthetic alternative to traditional sushi. Yes, there‘s no fish in this sushi. Sushi simply means vinegared rice: su = vinegar, shi = rice.

The fare is an inspired approach to sushi that just happens to be low in sodium: No soy sauce is used. Instead, Chef Vaknin uses flavored vegetable purées as sauces for the sushi.


Vegetarians, vegans and omnivores alike will be charmed by these vegetable and fruit beauties. If the idea excites you, visit Beyond Sushi’s Facebook page, check out the photo gallery and roll your own.

No White Rice

There’s also no white rice in Vaknin’s sushi. In the name of nutrition, flavor and aesthetics, Chef Vaknin employs black Chinese forbidden rice and a six grain rice made from rye berries (the whole kernel, which is ground to make rye flour for baking), two types of barley, black rice, brown rice and red rice. (Check out the different types of rice in our Rice Glossary, along with an overview of whole grains).

No Soy Sauce

Vaknin also cuts down on the sodium inherent in classic sushi, via the soy sauce. Even low sodium soy sauce has more than a meal’s allotment of sodium (Kikkoman’s low sodium soy sauce, for example, has 575 mg sodium per tablespoon, compared with 920 mg for its regular soy sauce).

Instead, all rolls are served with sauces made from tofu or veggie purée, such as carrot-ginger, jalapeño-wasabi, mango-chili, shiitake-teriyaki, toasted cayenne and white miso.

Vegetarians, vegans and omnivores alike will be charmed by these vegetable beauties, some with fruit accents. If the idea excites you, visit Beyond Sushi’s Facebook page, check out the photo gallery and roll your own.

Then, serve your beautiful and healthful creations for lunch, dinner, snacks and cocktail fare. It will have special fans among:

  • Vegetarians, vegans and pregnant women who are tired of the limited vegetarian options in conventional sushi bars: asparagus, avocado, carrot, cucumber and pickled vegetable rolls.
  • Kids who like sushi but not fish.
  • Foodies who want something different and exciting.


    Vaknin scours farmers markets for the inspiration to combine great flavors, colors and textures. On the Beyond Sushi menu you’ll find:

  • CRUNCH N MUNCH: Black rice with alfalfa, baked tofu, English cucumber and kiwi, with white miso sauce.
  • GREEN MACHINE: Six grain rice with English cucumber, basil leaf, marinated veggies and white asparagus,with jalapeño wasabi sauce.
  • LA FIESTA: Black rice with avocado, chayote, cilantro and picked red onion, with mango chili sauce.
  • HARICAT: Black rice with carrot, grilled haricots vert (green beans) and mango, with sweet soy mirin sauce.
  • MIGHTY MUSHROOM: Six grain rice with arugula microgreens, enoki and shiitake muchrooms and tofu, with shiitake teriyaki sauce.

    Black rice, avocado, cucumber, mango and spicy veggies, topped with toasted cayenne sauce. Photo courtesy Beyond Sushi.


  • NUTTY BUDDY: A wrap roll with avocado, baked tofu, buckwheat noodles, carrots, cilantro, crushed peanuts, jalapeño peanut butter and romaine dressed with sesame oil and served with sweet soy mirin sauce.
  • PICKLE ME: Six grain rice with avocado, carrot, gobo, and pickled daikon, served with carrot ginger sauce.
  • SPICY MANG: Black rice, avocado, cucumber, mango and spicy veggies, served with toasted cayenne sauce.
  • SWEET ANGEL: A wrap roll with angel hair whole wheat noodles, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, baked sweet potato, chili flakes and romaine, served with toasted cayenne sauce.
  • SWEET TREE: Six grain rice with alfalfa sprouts, avocado and sweet potato, served with toasted cayenne sauce.
    There are also a special Rolls Of The Month. You can enter your idea for the chance to win dinner for two. Some recent winners:

  • Broccolini, beets, mango, sautéed Swiss chard and coriander-tumeric chickpea purée with chia seed encrusted black rice, topped with roasted red pepper sauce and fresh tarragon.
  • Tamarind-red wine vinegar heirloom tomato marmalade with six grain rice, garnished with a dehydrated cherry tomato chip.
  • Roasted cumin cauliflower with six grain rice and coriander chickpea purée, topped with roasted red pepper sauce and cilantro.
    September’s special roll is black rice with Dijon-crusted roasted celery root and peaches topped with a blend of red cabbage, cilantro and celery and finished with celery root purée and whiskey marinated mustard seeds.

    Are you ready to roll?

    Check out our Sushi Glossary.


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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