Sweet potato sushi? This recipe for sweet potato sushi recreates a recipe I loved when I worked in New York City. It blends the tastes of sushi with an entirely vegan recipe that’s wonderful!
Recipe for Sweet Potato Sushi
When I worked on the Upper West side of Manhattan between 1999 and 2004, I used to love to take guests to a restaurant called Pacific Echo. It’s since gone out of business, but when I worked nearby, it was my special secret hideaway.
Nestled among nondescript stores and apartments on West 57th or 58th street near Columbus Avenue, it featured Asian fusion cuisine. One of its star dishes was the sweet potato sushi recipe.
Wait, what? Sweet potato…sushi? Isn’t sushi raw fish?
Not necessarily. Sushi recipes can include cooked fish such as salmon or tuna or, in this recipe for sweet potato sushi, cooked sweet potatoes, and other vegetables.
I’m not a fan of raw fish although I do enjoy some sushi. But sweet potato sushi? Yes, please. More, please. I used to make it a point to go out to dinner every few weeks with friends if guests from our regional offices weren’t in town to take out to dinner!
The Ingredients and Original Recipe for Sweet Potato Sushi
I was lucky enough to find a recipe online that inspired my own creation. I changed several things in the base recipe, however. I did not have scallions for the interior, so I substituted diced kale and cabbage, which was the perfect foil for the sweetness of the sweet potato. I also eliminated sesame oil from the marinade, mainly because I didn’t have it on hand.
I bought the sushi ingredients at Walmart, of all places. Yes, they had nori rolls, sushi rice, and sushi sesame seeds. I found them in the “International” aisle hidden on the top shelf near the Thai and Chinese foods.
Working with Nori
I had never worked with nori before and needed a video to help me understand how to roll the sushi up. I also did not have a bamboo mat. Substituting the clean dish towel and plastic wrap and working on the granite kitchen island surface worked perfectly. I was able to roll up the sushi. A very sharp serrated Cutco bread knife did the trick and sliced through the nori perfectly.
Nori is made from seaweed. My husband can’t stand it and describes the taste as “dead fish” (appetizing, huh?) For me, the taste is the ocean and I don’t taste fishy at all. I love it. I actually have seaweed snacks in the pantry!
Each thin sheet of nori is placed on a flat surface. True sushi is made using a bamboo mat but if you do not have one, the technique shown in this video worked perfectly well for me.
The Importance of Using Sushi Rice
Do not substitute regular long grain white rice for sushi rice. Sushi rice forms a sticky surface that holds the sushi together. It’s easy to work with but no other rice provides an adequate substitute. The texture will be wrong and the sushi won’t hold together.