Sushi is back! And this time with brown rice. I was inspired by the season, and the abundance of beautiful winter squash in the market. This recipe is so satisfying, and full of unique flavors that marry insanely well together. The savory-sweet creaminess of the kabocha squash balanced with the earthy meatiness of the mushrooms, the sharpness of pickled onions, and the surprise sweet and spicy kick from the wasabi corn sauce.


Use all or some of the ingredients to make your own fall inspired sushi! Be inspired by this roll! Make it your own. Not all vegan sushi rolls need to contain plant ingredients trying to be animal ingredients. Let the veggies be veggies!

I should also mention that this recipe is WFPB, and is accidentally gluten and oil free. Enjoy!

Vegan Kabocha Squash Sushi

Vegan Kabocha Squash Sushi with Wasabi Corn Sauce

This is a fall inspired sushi roll that just happens to be full of incredible whole plant foods, and is accidentally oil and gluten free. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese, sushi
Servings: 4 people
Author: Michael Monson
For the rice:
  • 2 cups short grain brown rice
  • water
  • seasoned sushi rice vinegar
For the squash
  • 1/2 kabocha squash, sliced into 1/4 inch “moons”
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
For the oyster mushrooms:
  • 1/2 pound oyster mushrooms
  • reserved sauce from the squash
For the pickled onions:
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
For the wasabi corn sauce:
  • 2 cups of corn, frozen is fine
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons wasabi powder
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of maple syrup
Remaining ingredients:
  • 4 to 6 sheets of nori
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced into thin strips
  • pea shoots (optional)
To make the rice:
  1. Cook your rice according to package directions. I use a rice cooker set to the brown rice setting.
  2. Toss your cooked rice in lots of seasoned sushi vinegar. Taste for seasoning. Cover and let cool to room temp.

To make the kabocha squash:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375  degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Carefully cut the top and bottom off of your squash. Cut the squash in half by inserting your knife in the exposed top, and cutting down through the exposed bottom. Remove the seeds. Slice your squash into ¼ inch thick half moons and place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Mix together the LIquid Aminos and maple syrup. Brush the top of each piece of squash with the mixture.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping the squash over after about 15 minutes, and basting the other side with the sauce.
  5. When the squash is soft and slightly caramelized, remove from the oven, and brush one last time with the sauce.
  6. Allow to cool before using in your sushi.
To make the oyster mushrooms:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (or cook them in the oven along with the squash)

  2. Place the mushrooms into a silicone baking bag or wrap them in foil, Bake them for 30 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature before removing the from the bag or foil.

  3. Break the mushrooms up into tendrils, and then toss them with a tablespoon or two of the Bragg’s/Maple sauce.

To make the pickled onions:
  1. Thinly slice your onions. Fill a small, sealable container with equal parts water and vinegar. Place the onions inside, and allow to pickle for a few hours or overnight.
  2. To make the corn wasabi sauce:
  3. Place your corn and wasabi powder into a high speed blender, and blend until very smooth. It could take a couple of minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add a pinch of salt and a dash of maple syrup to boost the flavor. If your corn sauce is not yellow enough, add a pinch of turmeric to bump it up.
To assemble:
  1. Place a sheet of nori on your sushi mat. If you are using a bamboo mat, you might want to line it with a sheet of plastic wrap to avoid sticking.
  2. Cover the nori with the brown rice, dipping your fingers in water to help you distribute the rice without it sticking to your hands.
  3. Flip the nori over so that the rice side is on the mat. (This is optional. If you don’t want to worry about rice sticking to your mat, or you don’t really care about the rice being on the outside, then just skip this step.)
  4. Lay two slices of squash onto the nori, opening the moons ups to that they pieces lay flat. It’s good if the points stick out of the edges. Continue to add the mushrooms, red pepper, pickled onions, and avocado. Roll the sushi, and then slice it into 8 equal portions. Letting the ingredients hang out of the sides makes for a pretty presentation. 

  5. To plate, drizzle a generous amount of wasabi corn sauce onto your serving plate, and place the sushi on top. You could also just drizzle the sauce over the top just before serving.