Spicy Tempeh Crunch Roll

Who else loves sushi?! I’ve loved sushi since I was a kid. Weird thing for a kid to enjoy but I was never a normal child. I remember going to the mall with my dad and my sister and always opting for the sushi bar in the food court. Food court sushi? Told you, I’m weird. I would always get cucumber and avocado rolls but I wish this spicy tempeh crunch roll was available! Back then, vegetable rolls were as adventurous as vegan sushi could get.

When ever my (non-vegan) boyfriend and I order sushi, I get my normal veggie rolls and he gets spicy tuna crunch rolls! I got curious and decided to try to veganize his favorite sushi roll and then this happened. MAGIC! This Spicy Tempeh Crunch Roll is the perfect amount of spicy and the crunch really adds to this dish so don’t omit it! I wanted to keep the ingredients in this dish easy to find and simple. Tempeh just seemed like the perfect choice. All right, let’s make sushi!

Servings: Makes 3-4 Rolls


  • 1 cup Sushi Rice, dry
  • 1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups Water, check sushi rice package
  • 2 tbsps Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tbsps Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3-4 sheets of Nori
  • 1 block of Tempeh
  • 1/3 cup of Vegan Mayo
  • 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce
  • Pinch of Salt + Pepper

For Serving:

  • 1-2 Avocados
  • 1/4 cup Mayo
  • 2-3 tsps Chili Garlic Sauce or Sriracha
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Green Onion


Prep sushi rice + spicy tempeh:

  • Make Sushi Rice: Follow package directions. I used 1 cup dry sushi rice to 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to boil, then lower to a simmer, cook covered for 20 minutes. Turn off heat. Let sit, with the lid on, for 10 minutes.
  • After your rice is cooked, add to a medium sized bowl. Mix in vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste). Place in fridge to let cool.
  • Fill a pot less than half way and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, place sliced tempeh in a steamer basket over the pot, and steam for 20 minutes.
  • Add steamed tempeh to a bowl and cool until you can handle it with your hands. Once cooled to the touch, crumble your tempeh the best you can.
  • In a separate bowl mix together the mayo, lemon juice, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add mayo mixture to crumbled tempeh and mix well until coated evenly in the sauce. Set aside.
  • Slice 1-2 Avocados and set aside.

Assemble sushi rolls:

  • *I recommend watching a how-to youtube video showing you how to properly roll sushi- I am not an expert. Here’s how I did it.
  • Place your sheet of nori (rough side up) on a sushi mat. Keep a small bowl of water close by to dip your fingers in so the rice won’t stick to you. Place a good amount of sushi rice on your sheet of nori and spread out thinly across the sheet of nori but leave about an inch without rice at the end.
  • Add your spicy tempeh and avocado in a straight line about 2 inches away from the side closest to you. Roll the sushi by lifting the nori over the filling tightly. And then continue rolling while using your mat to keep it tight.
  • Use a sharp knife to slice your sushi rolls.
  • Once all your sushi rolls have been completed and cut, add mayo and chili garlic sauce or sriracha to a small bowl and whisk together. Taste and add more heat if desired.
  • Next, toast panko in a few teaspoons of oil on medium heat until golden and crispy.
  • Dip the top of each piece of sushi in to the spicy mayo and then directly in to the toasted panko until all have been dipped.
  • Top with sesame seeds and green onion if desired and serve!

SAVE FOR LATER? Pin it on Pinterest!

  1. Cindy says:

    This is literally a top tier recipe. Found it with my random “vegan sushi” search function, had all the ingredients on hand. Entire household loved it. Thank you for this masterpiece!

    My rating: *Chef’s kiss*

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