Sweet Potato Sushi with Brown Rice

Roasted sweet potato and fresh green onion make a healthy, satisfying filling for this brown rice sushi roll.

Making Sushi at Home with Less Time

Making sushi from scratch is a little bit time-consuming, but it’s also a lot of fun! The rice takes quite a bit of time to cook, and then you need to wait for it to cool before you can get rolling. I haven’t had great success making sushi rice ahead of time, since it tends to get hard and unworkable if you refrigerate it for too long.

What you can do to speed things up is make the rice, then stick it in the fridge to cool. This brief stint in the fridge won’t harden the rice too much, and it will get you from chop to finish a little bit faster.

You can also save time by overlapping your steps. While the rice cooks and cools, make your sweet potato and prepare your fillings.

Roasted sweet potato and fresh green onion make a healthy, satisfying filling for this brown rice sushi roll.

How to Roll Sushi

I do not use a rolling mat to make sushi. It’s definitely nice to have, but it’s not needed. There are a few keys to successful sushi rolling:

  • A small bowl of water - Damp (but not dripping wet) fingers will make it easier to spread the rice onto your sushi roll. If your hands are dry, the sticky sushi rice is going to stick to them, Dip your fingertips in your bowl of water, as needed, and shake off excess water before working with your roll.
  • Self control – It’s tempting to really pile on the delicious toppings, but hold yourself back! If you overstuff your roll, it will be very hard to wrangle and more prone to falling apart or splitting.
  • Gentle, even pressure – A sushi mat certainly helps here, but you can make your sushi rolls without one. Just roll slowly, pressing evenly. If you press too hard, the nori will split, if you don’t press hard enough, your roll will fall apart. You’ll get a feel for it as you go. Just take your time.

Got your little bowl of water at the ready? Let’s make some vegan sushi!

Serves 1 roll

Sweet Potato Sushi with Brown Rice

Roasted sweet potato and fresh green onion make a shockingly satisfying filling for this brown rice sushi roll.

30 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

1 hr, 15 Total Time

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    For the Sushi Rice
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • For the Sweet Potato
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and sliced into long, thin pieces (think sweet potato fries)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • For the Sushi Rolls
  • 3 sushi nori sheets
  • 2 green onions (green parts only)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Make the Sushi Rice
  3. Combine the sushi rice ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, until the rice is tender. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the lid on for another 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the sushi rice to a large bowl and until it's cool enough to handle. You can stick it in the refrigerator to speed up cooling.
  5. Make the sweet potatoes while the rice cooks.
  6. In an 8x8" glass pan, toss together the sweet potato pieces with the soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil. Bake for 30-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  7. Make the Sushi Rolls
  8. Lay out a sheet of nori on a dry surface. With slightly damp fingertips, grab a handful of rice, and spread it onto the nori, pressing down firmly. Brown rice will not be as sticky as white sushi rice, so you really need to press and compact it down to get the roll to hold together well. The idea here is to get a thin layer of rice covering almost the entire sheet. Along one edge, you'll want to leave about 1/2" of naked seaweed. Think of this as the flap that will seal your roll shut.
  9. On the end of the seaweed opposite that naked part, lay out 2-3 pieces of the cooked sweet potato and 1-2 pieces of green onion, where the fillings are parallel to the naked part of the seaweed. Don't pile on a ton of fillings - it's very easy to overload a sushi roll!
  10. Starting on the end with the filling, roll up your sushi, pressing gently to get a nice, tight roll. When you get to the end, use that naked bit of seaweed to seal the roll closed. If needed, moisten your fingertips, and use them to moisten that bit of seaweed to make it stick.
  11. Repeat to make 2 more sushi rolls.
  12. Use a sharp knife to gently slice the rolls into 6-8 pieces, turn the pieces so they're rice-side-up, and sprinkle the pieces from each roll with the sesame seeds. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.

Related at Care2

Photos and video by Becky Striepe.


Marie W
Marie W8 months ago


Jack Y
Jack Yabout a year ago


Jack Y
Jack Yabout a year ago


John J
John Jabout a year ago

thanks for sharing

John J
John Jabout a year ago

thanks for sharing

heather g
heather gabout a year ago


Janis K
Janis Kabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.

Paulo R
Paulo Reesonabout a year ago


Elaine W
Elaine Wabout a year ago

It looks good but I haven't much patience anymore for presentation. I might use the recipe in a kind of stir fry.

Stephanie s
Stephanie Yabout a year ago

Thank you