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Vegan Spicy “Tuna” Maki Sushi

Spicy, creamy, and delicious! These Vegan Spicy Tuna Maki Rolls are two bites of bliss. Made using beefsteak tomatoes to make vegan tuna and tossed in a eggless spicy mayo.

We’re big fans of sushi! Before we went vegan and after, sushi is our go-to meal when were looking to treat ourselves. Inspired by all-you-can-eat memories, we’re re-creating classic sushi dishes all month long and veganizing them along the way. From Crispy Avocado Maki to Veggie Tempura – we’re veganizing our way through sushi favourites.

Is it possible to have a sushi series without talking about fish? Obviously, fish isn’t vegan. But we still wanted to make a fish-inspired sushi recipe that we’ve loved before going vegan: Vegan Spicy Tuna Maki Rolls. Made using a secret ingredient, you won’t believe these aren’t fish!

What is maki sushi? 

Originating in Japan, sushi is a popular dish around the world. Maki is often misidentified as sushi, when actually maki is a type of sushi. Maki is made in rolls and sliced in bite-sized round pieces. Consisting of fish, vegetables and other ingredients rolled inside nori and rice. There are also often sprinkled with toppings. Maki often contains seafood, but there are plenty of traditionally vegan options.

What is vegan tuna sushi made of?

To get the right texture of tuna that would also absorb flavour of a marinade we used beefsteak tomatoes! You start by boiling the tomatoes for a short amount of time and then submerging them in ice water. This allows you to peel off the skin of the tomato leaving a soft, tender flesh that you will make your vegan tuna with. Then you will marinate them in a delicious fish-y mix that will give them a lot of the “tuna” flavour. Lastly we toss the finished vegan tuna in some spicy mayo and roll it into a maki roll.

Top tips for making Vegan Spicy Tuna Maki:

  • Pick large and firm tomatoes. For the best results the beefsteak tomatoes should be large and firm so that they keep their firmness when boiling.
  • Blanch tomatoes to easily peel. Removing the skin is key for the perfect texture! To easily peel the tomatoes, quickly boil them and then blanch them in ice cold water. Once they’ve cooled gently peel the skin from the flesh of the potatoes.
  • Marinate for at least 30 minutes. To infuse as much flavour as you can into the tomatoes, let them marinate for at least 30 minutes, but more if you have the time.
  • Wet your hands to keep rice from sticking. When making the maki rolls, keep your hands wet to keep the sticky rice from sticking to your hands.

Vegan Spicy Tuna Maki Recipe FAQ:

Do you roll maki shiny side up or down?

When rolling maki sushi make sure the nori is shiny side down. This ensures the shiny side is on the outside when rolled up.

How to make Vegan Spicy Tuna Maki:

Vegan Spicy "Tuna" Maki

Spicy, creamy, and delicious! These Vegan Spicy Tuna Maki Rolls are two bites of bliss. Made using beefsteak tomatoes to make vegan tuna and tossed in a eggless spicy mayo.
4.18 from 29 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 14 pieces


Spicy "Tuna"

  • 3 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp sriracha

"Tuna" Marinade

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 sheet nori, shredded
  • 1/4 cup water

Maki Roll

  • 2 nori sheets
  • 2/3 cup cooked sushi rice


  • In a small bowl combine the marinade ingredients and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  • Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil - enough water to completely cover the tomatoes.
  • With the tip of a sharp knife cut a small X into the top of the tomato.
  • Once water is boiled, place tomatoes in. Have a bowl of ice cold water handy. Boil until you see the skin start to rip. Once they start to rip quickly take them out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon and put them in the ice cold water.
  • Using your hands peel the skin off the tomatoes and set them aside. Repeat for all tomatoes. Cut tomatoes into wedges and remove the watery core & seeds. Dice into 1cm cubes.
  • Marinate in soy mixture for about 30 minutes.
  • Drain marinade (you can save this as it makes a delicious dipping sauce) and add mayo and siriacha. Mix until completely combined.
  • Place a thin layer of rice on your nori sheet (make sure you hands are wet to avoid sticky rice). Leave about 1/2" of space at top and bottom of nori. Scoop spicy "tuna" in a line on the middle of the rice. Roll tightly and use a little bit of water on your finger to seal.
  • Serve with more spicy mayo or the soy dipping sauce!


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