Sushi is delicious. But want to know what's better than sushi? Fried Vegan Sushi Balls. Seasoned sushi rice filled with sweet and spicy tofu, rolled in a ball, tossed in flour and breadcrumbs, then fried until crispy. Health food? Probably not. But is it a delicious treat that will make you so happy? YES! This dish could be served as a meal or as an appetizer. Daniel and I ate them as a meal but next time I definitely want to serve these fried vegan sushi balls at a fun dinner party as an appetizer.
Let's Break it Down:
I expected this recipe to be a long process but it surprisingly ended up being very simple! Make and season the sushi rice. Then, pulse the nori sheet and toss in the rice. This makes this dish taste a lot more like sushi so definitely don't omit it! Then, we make our sweet and savory filling! This filling is a almost exact to the tofu that I put in my Steamed Bun recipe. If you're up to it, double the tofu filling from this recipe listed below and save the other half to make those buns. Highly recommend! The next step includes shaping and filling the rice balls, freezing them for a few moments, toss in a simple dredge, then fry! So fun, easy, and WORTH it. Sushi with a crunch! Doesn't get much better?
Learn more about making the best tofu ever in the Ultimate Guide to Cooking Tofu.
What You Will Need For These Fried Vegan Sushi Balls
- Sushi Rice
- Rice Vinegar
- Red Onion
- Panko Breadcrumbs
I love this recipe because it's super customizable! The filling can be changed however you'd like. You can use mushrooms or vegan beef crumbles instead of tofu or make the sauce spicier or sweet. It's up to you!
More Recipes You Might Like:
If You Make This Recipe:
Tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I would greatly appreciate if you share your review in the comments below. Don’t forget to add if you made any fun substitutions. Thank you!
Fried Vegan Sushi Balls
- 1 cup Sushi Rice dry
- 1 ½ cups Water
- 2 tbsps Rice Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Organic Brown Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Nori Sheet pulsed
- Half of a Block Firm Tofu drained
- ¼ cup Red Onion
- 3 tablespoon Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoon Water
- 2 tablespoon Organic Sugar
- ½ tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- 1-2 teaspoon Chili Garlic Sauce depending on spice level
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice optional
- ½ cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 can Aquafaba canned chickpea water
- ½ cups Panko Breadcrumbs
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Vegetable or Canola Oil for frying
- Add the sushi rice and water to a pot. Bring to boil, cover, and lower the heat. Cook rice for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off heat and keep covered for 10 minutes.
- Add the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a small dish and stir. Add the vinegar mix to the rice and mix well.
- Rip up a piece of nori and blend in a food processor or blender until fine. Mix in pulsed nori sheet to the rice. Set aside.
- Squeeze as much water out of the tofu as you can and mince red onion.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, water, organic sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, and Chinese five spice in a small bowl.
- Crumble the tofu and add the minced red onion to a large pan on medium heat with a little bit of oil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly browned.
- Once the tofu is browning, add sauce. Lower heat & cook until the sauce has absorbed in to the tofu, about 7 to 8 minutes.
- Grab a small bowl and fill it up with water. This will help the sushi rice not stick to your hands. Take ¼ cup of seasoned Sushi Rice and make a nest in the palm of your hand. Add 1 tablespoon of filling to the middle and wrap the rice around the filling. If some filling is sticking out, just add a little bit of rice to cover. Squeeze carefully but firmly to pack the rice ball together and place on parchment lined baking tray. Continue until all 6 to 7 balls have been formed.
- Place rice balls in the freezer for 15 minutes which will make them easier to roll in breadcrumbs.
- Fill small pot halfway with canola or vegetable oil. Heat oil to roughly 375F. Turning heat down as needed. Always be careful when frying.
- Grab 3 small bowls. Place the all purpose flour in 1 of the bowls. Pour the aquafaba in another. Followed by the breadcrumbs in the third bowl. Add the salt to the breadcrumbs and mix together.
- Toss the rice ball in to the flour, shake off excess. Then, toss in the aquafaba. Finally, place the rice ball in to the breadcrumbs and coat evenly.
- Carefully place the rice ball in to the hot oil and fry for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove and set aside on a wire rack. Continue until all rice balls have been fried. Mix together a dipping sauce of your choice. I chose to simply whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, & sesame seeds.