Umami-packed shiitake roll that is also healthy, thanks to the brown rice added. Step-by-step photos are included, making it a beginner-friendly recipe!
In this post you’ll learn:
- Why you will love this recipe
- Serving suggestions
- Meal prep and storage instructions
- More recipes like this!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Easy and approachable: Perfect for those who are new to cooking, this recipe provides simple step-by-step instructions to create delicious shiitake rolls.
- Healthy and vegan-friendly: Packed with nutritious ingredients like shiitake mushrooms and optional spinach, these rolls cater to individuals seeking a healthy and plant-based meal option.
- Bursting with flavor: The combination of savory shiitake mushrooms, tangy rice vinegar, and a hint of soy sauce creates a burst of umami flavors that will leave your taste buds craving more.
- Customizable fillings: Whether you prefer adding vibrant spinach or creamy avocado, this recipe allows you to personalize your shiitake mushroom rolls with additional fillings to suit your taste and preferences.
- Delicious: Make your own homemade mushroom maki rolls that rival your favorite restaurant’s offerings.
- Super fun to make: Well, alright, you might end up with them falling apart on your first try but hey I’ve also seen a lot of people getting them right on their first try! And trust me, once you got it right, you will just absolutely love making this recipe over and over again!
For the Sushi Rice
- White short-grained sushi rice: A type of rice commonly and traditionally used in sushi preparation, known for its sticky texture.
- Brown rice: A whole grain rice option that adds a nutty flavor and additional fiber and protein to the shiitake mushroom sushi rolls.
- Rice vinegar: The classic vinegar used in sushi rice seasoning.
- Sugar: Adds sweetness to the sushi rice and helps balance the flavors.
- Salt: A natural flavor enhancer which also rounds off the rice seasoning mixture well!
For the Vegetables
- Olive oil: Used for cooking the shiitake mushrooms, adding a light flavor.
- Shiitake: Sliced mushrooms that provide a meaty texture and earthy flavor. Both fresh and dry work well in this recipe!
- Soy sauce: I just love the mushroom + soy sauce combination! So sauce adds both savory and umami flavors.
- Nori sheets: Dried seaweed sheets to wrap the sushi roll.
- (Optional) Spinach: Leafy green vegetable that can be added as a filling, adding freshness and color.
- (Optional) Avocado: Sliced avocado, if used, provides a creamy and buttery element to the roll which will make everyone want to grab an extra sushi!
- (Optional) Sesame oil: A flavorful oil that can be added for extra aroma.
- Soy sauce or vegan mayo: Soy sauce is the classic condiment, while vegan mayo provides a more modern twist to serve the shiitake sushi roll with.
What is Shiitake Made Of?
Shiitake is a type of mushroom that is made of the Lentinula edodes fungus. It is native to Japan, China, and Korea and it is known for its meaty texture and earthy flavor.
What is the Flavor of Shiitake?
Shiitake has a rich and savory flavor with umami notes, often described as meaty, smoky, and slightly nutty. It adds so much flavor to any dish, which is the reason why I love using them in cooking!
Why is Shiitake So Expensive?
Shiitake mushrooms are more expensive compared to other mushrooms due to factors such as their longer growing time, labor-intensive cultivation process, high demand, and low supply. For instance, they need to grow on wood whereas button mushrooms grow in composted manure.
Step 1: Cook the Rice
In a medium saucepan, combine the sushi rice, brown rice, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer simmer for 10-15 minutes, or according to package instructions.
Or if you have a rice cooker, of course, you can always use it at this step.
As the rice cooks, mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt until they are somewhat dissolved. If there are clumps, microwave in 10-15 second increments.
Step 2: Cook the Shiitake
Pan-fry your sliced shiitake mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms shrink and turn darker brown.
Stir in the soy sauce and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the mushrooms are well coated. If you have sesame oil, add them now so it makes your mushroom extra fragrant.
Step 3: Mix Rice with the Rice Vinegar Mixture
Now your rice should also be done. Cover the saucepan with a lid to let the cooked rice steam for about 5 minutes.
Transfer rice to a baking sheet or a large plate and gently flatten out the rice. This is important to get sticky but fluffy sushi rice.
Pour the rice vinegar mixture over the rice. Then use a rice spoon or spatula to mix it evenly. Continue mixing in a ‘slicing’ motion until all grains of rice are coated with the rice seasoning.
Allow the rice to cool down for about 10-15 minutes. You can also use a fan to speed up the process.
Step 4: Roll and Serve!
Now gather up all your friends, family, and whoever you want to invite to the sushi party!
Place a nori sheet on the sushi mat with the shiny side of the nori facing down. Spread the rice over the nori, leaving an inch (2.5cm) at the top. Be sure to fill in the left and right sides completely. You can use your hands to do this the more traditional way, or use a (rice) spoon.
(Optional) If you are using more fillings, add the spinach and sliced avocado, about an inch (2.5cm) from the bottom. Next, add the shiitake on top of the other vegetables.
Roll the sushi tightly using the sushi mat, applying gentle pressure by pressing the sushi roll (and sushi mat) to keep it secure. It’s kind of as if you’re giving it some massage. If needed, seal the roll by moistening the edge of the nori with a bit of water.
Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. Once you’ve rolled all the sushi, slice them into bite-sized pieces, about 8 pieces per roll. Serve the Shiitake Rolls with soy sauce or vegan mayo for dipping!
How to Roll Nori Sheets?
Place a nori sheet on a clean surface with the shiny side down. Then spread the sushi rice evenly over it, leaving some space at the top but making sure that the sides are filled. Add your desired fillings, then use a sushi mat or your hands to tightly roll the nori sheet, applying gentle pressure to create a compact roll. Then cut them into bite-sized pieces and you’re done!
Can You Make Sushi Without the Roller?
Yes, you can make sushi without a roller. Simply place the nori sheet on a clean and thick kitchen towel, spread the rice and fillings evenly, then tightly roll the nori using your hands, applying pressure to ensure a secure and compact roll. It may take some practice, but it’s also doable without a special sushi mat!
And in case you’re not up to experimenting with this, you can always just make a deconstructed sushi aka Poke Bowl instead! The same ingredients, the same deliciousness, but without the hassle (or should I say, fun??) of having to roll the sushi!😋
Here are some fun ideas to serve your shiitake rolls with!
Garnish with spring onion and sesame seeds. Sprinkle them over the shiitake rolls for added visual appeal and a burst of flavors. The green freshness of the spring onion and the nuttiness of sesame seeds complement the roll nicely. You can also choose to mix them in as the fillings.
For the dipping, serve with soy sauce or this 3-minute oil-free mayo. You can also customize your mayo and make flavors such as this Kimchi Aioli or Gochujang Aioli. Want more inspiration? You can try sriracha mayonnaise or even wasabi mayonnaise. To make it even more complete, serve it with pickled ginger so you have that restaurant-like experience with this sushi!
I also love to make a sushi party out of it!🥳 Sushi is such a versatile recipe and you can include so many options as the fillings! How about also making other sushi recipes such as this Kimchi Sushi, Natto Rolls, Umeshiso Roll (Japanese pickled plums and shiso leaves sushi), or Kappa Maki (Cucumber Rolls)?
And pair it with this super pretty 5-Minute Strawberry Oat Milk to impress your guests!
Storage and Meal Prep Instructions
Storage: It is best to consume these shiitake sushi fresh, or at least within 24 hours.
Meal prep: If you want to meal prep though, you can make the sushi rice and prepare the vegetables separately, but only roll the sushi when you want to consume them.
To rehydrate dried shiitake mushrooms, place them in a bowl of water and let them soak for about 10-15 minutes until they become soft and pliable. Note that this only applies to sliced dried mushrooms.
For whole mushrooms, you would need at least 2 hours of soaking to rehydrate them fully. And afterwards, I would advise you to boil them for about 30 minutes because otherwise, the stems will still be hard.
Yes, it is safe and perfectly fine to eat the stems of shiitake mushrooms! They are edible and have a similar texture and flavor to the caps, although they may be slightly tougher.
While shiitake mushrooms are commonly cooked before consuming, it is safe to eat them raw!
Shiitake mushrooms are generally safe to eat every day as part of a balanced diet. They offer various nutritional benefits and are enjoyed regularly in many cuisines.
However, individual dietary needs and preferences may vary, so it’s always good to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns!
Yes, shiitake mushrooms do grow in the wild, particularly in East Asia where it is native. However, commercially cultivated shiitake mushrooms are more commonly available in markets and grocery stores due to controlled growing conditions and consistent quality.
Want More Recipes Like These?
Check out my other vegan sushi recipes below!
- Kappa Maki (Cucumber Rolls)
- Natto Maki (Japenese fermented soy beans sushi)
- Umeshiso Roll (Japanese fermented plums and shiso leaves rolls)
- Brown Rice Kimchi Sushi
Don’t want to bother with rolling? Try this deconstructed sushi aka Rainbow Poke Bowl recipe!
A fan of mushrooms? Check out this 4-ingredient Caramelized Mushrooms and Onions recipe.
Have an adventurous palate? Then check out my Authentic Vegan Rendang (Indonesian Curry-like Dish) recipe and this Indonesian Sticky Tempeh recipe!
- ½ cup white short-grained sushi rice (110 grams) uncooked
- ½ cup brown rice (105 grams) uncooked, feel free to sub with regular sushi rice for a more traditional recipe
- 1.5 cups water or according to package instructions
- ¼ cup rice vinegar (60ml) see notes for substitutes
- 2 Tablespoons sugar (30 grams) see notes for substitutes
- 1 teaspoon salt (5 grams)
- ½ tsp olive oil for cooking
- 150 grams shiitake sliced (5.3 oz) or sub with 30 grams dried shiitake, after being rehydrated (see the FAQ section above on how to rehydrate them)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
- 4 nori sheets
For More Fillings (Optional)
- 1 cup spinach (optional) 30 grams
- 1 medium avocado (optional) sliced
- soy sauce or vegan mayo
Cook the rice and prepare rice vinegar mixture
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sushi rice, brown rice, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer simmer for 10-15 minutes, or according to package instructions.
- As the rice cooks, mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until they are somewhat dissolved. If there are clumps, microwave in 10-15 second increments.
Cook your shiitake mushroom
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the shiitake mushrooms to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms shrink and turn darker brown.
- Add the soy sauce, turn the heat to low, and stir for 1 more minute until the mushrooms are well coated. If you have sesame oil, add them now so it makes your mushroom extra fragrant.
Mix rice with the sushi rice seasoning
- Now your rice should also be done. Cover the saucepan with a lid to let the cooked rice steam for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer rice to a baking sheet or a large plate and gently flatten out the rice. This is important to get sticky but fluffy sushi rice.
- Pour the rice vinegar mixture over the rice. Then use a rice spoon or spatula to mix it evenly. Continue mixing in a ‘slicing’ motion until all grains of rice are coated with the rice seasoning.
- Allow the rice to cool down for about 10-15 minutes. You can also use a fan to speed up the process.
Roll, roll, roll!
- Once the rice cools down, place a nori sheet on the sushi mat with the shiny side of the nori facing down.
- Spread the rice evenly on the nori, leaving an inch (2.5cm) at the top. Be sure to fill in the left and right sides completely. You can use your hands or a (rice) spoon.
- (Optional) If you are using more fillings, add the spinach and sliced avocado, about an inch (2.5cm) from the bottom.
- Next, add the shiitake on top of the other vegetables.
- Roll the sushi tightly using the sushi mat, applying gentle pressure by pressing the sushi roll (and sushi mat) to keep it secure. If needed, seal the roll by moistening the edge of the nori with a bit of water.
- Repeat the process with the remaining nori sheets, sushi rice, and vegetables.
- Once you’ve rolled all the sushi, slice them into bite-sized pieces, about 8 pieces per roll.
- Serve the Shiitake Rolls with soy sauce or vegan mayo for dipping!
- Brown rice: If desired, you can use only white short-grained sushi rice instead of combining it with brown rice. This is the traditional method but will result in lower fiber and protein content.
- Rice vinegar: Diluted white vinegar (2 parts white vinegar to 1 part water) can be used as a substitute. Other clear vinegars may impart a subtle flavor, such as an apple-like aroma with apple cider vinegar.
- Sugar: If you don’t have sugar, you can use any flavorless sweetener of your choice. However, sweeteners with intrinsic flavors like honey or maple syrup will slightly alter the taste of the rice (e.g., honey’s taste or maple syrup’s mapley flavor), so keep that in mind when using them.
- It is best to consume these shiitake rolls fresh, or at least within 24 hours.
- If you want to meal prep though, you can make the sushi rice and prepare the vegetables separately, but only roll the sushi when you want to consume them.
- Sushi mat: If you don’t have a sushi mat, you can also use a clean and thick kitchen towel.
- The calorie calculation includes all the optional ingredients but excludes the dipping sauce.