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  • Writer's pictureAliza Strock

Vegan 'Tuna' Sushi

I'll start by saying, I've never had actual fish tuna. Not raw on sushi, not in a can, nada. No tuna. Even before I went vegetarian nearly a decade ago and vegan about 5 years ago, it never appealed to me. But when shopping at Whole Foods one day, my mom was picking out a canned tuna, and my eyes went straight to a can that read "Plant Based Toona." I thought, what? I picked up the can and started reading every single word. It appeared there was this vegan tuna alternative in the midst of all these true tuna cans. I hadn't even realized this was a faux animal product there was demand for. I took it home out of pure curiosity.

The brand I discovered is called Sophie's Kitchen - unfortunately my Whole Foods doesn't seem to carry it anymore, but you can order it on if you can't find it in yours either (here's my referral link so you can get $10 off your order:! It's made from 100% plant based and actually healthy ingredients. The main ingredient is pea protein, and it's essentially just that + seasonings to give it that ocean/fishy flavor. For the suggested serving size there's only 100 calories and 9g of protein! There's no nasty ingredients, which I love, is affordable, and you get 3 servings per can. I recommend when you open the can, pressing the metal top down onto the toona and draining some of the olive oil into your trash can!

There are some other tuna alternatives on the market such as Good Catch which has 3 different flavors - naked, mediterranean, and oil & herb. I haven't tried it, but mostly because it's packaged in a plastic bag, and I work very hard to minimize my plastic use! Also, if I'm not eating fish as an attempt to save fish, why would I consume a fish alternative in a plastic bag that has a high chance of ending up swirling around in the ocean? Food for thought...

If you're in Australia, there's a canned brand called Tuno that is sold in most Coles and Woolworth's supermarkets I believe, and the vegan community has seemed to rally behind it!

Anyways, homemade sushi is a ton of fun to make if you've never tried it before! It can seem a bit intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it it's very therapeutic. You can customize it to your taste completely, and it's great to make at the end of the week when you have some veggies you need to use up. If you have kids I think this would be such a great way to get them involved in the kitchen - they can choose the ingredients they want to roll up, and that satisfaction of creating something on their own feels like a wonderful accomplishment.

P.s. I recommend investing in a bamboo sushi mat - they're super cheap and you can find them at most kitchen stores or online. Something like this:

Let's roll!


-3 nori sheets

-1 cup rice of choice (sushi rice or white rice works best, but you could experiment with brown)

-1 avocado, sliced

-1 cucumber, halved then sliced

-1 carrot, halved then sliced

-1 cup Sophie's Kitchen sea salt vegan toona

-optional: vegan mayo (I use Sir Kensington's fabanaise that's made from aquafaba, you could mix it with sriracha or sweet chili sauce too for an extra kick!)

1. Cook your rice at least 4 hours ahead of time according to packaging. Place in the fridge until you're ready to roll.

2. Prepare your veggies, slicing them long and thin.

3. When you're ready to roll, lay out your sushi mat and 1 nori sheet on top with the shiny side facing up.

4. Wet your fingers and pat rice down as flat as you can on the nori sheet so that it covers about half, leaving about a 1/2" space that's nearest you (the rice should be sticky).

5. In the middle of the rice pile, lay down your toona and veggies. If you're using vegan mayo, spread it first on top of the rice before you put the rest of the filling down.

6. Time to roll! Take the bamboo mat and roll the sushi away from you so that it covers the filling and closes up.

7. Use your fingers to add a bit of warm water to the exposed nori, uncover the sushi from the mat, and continue to roll away from you until you've made a sushi!

8. Use a serrated knife to slice your sushi into desired roll thickness. Keep making rolls until you've used up all the ingredients! When serving, dip in tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos.

Enjoy! Tag me in your creations on Instagram @shaktifresh so I can see!

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