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Vegan Watermelon Tuna Sushi

Elevate your sushi experience with this refreshing Vegan Watermelon Tuna Sushi. Thin slices of watermelon mimic the texture of tuna, providing a juicy and sweet contrast to the savory rice and crunchy vegetables. Roll it up in nori seaweed for a delightful sushi experience that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious.

Vegan Watermelon Tuna Sushi



Prep time


Cooking timeminutes




  • For Watermelon “Tuna”:
  • 1 small seedless watermelon

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste (optional for heat)

  • For Sushi Rice:
  • 2 cups sushi rice

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • For Sushi Assembly:
  • Nori seaweed sheets

  • Avocado, thinly sliced

  • Cucumber, julienned

  • Carrot, julienned

  • Sesame seeds for garnish

  • Soy sauce and wasabi for dipping


  • Prepare Sushi Rice:
  • Rinse the sushi rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Cook the rice according to package instructions.
  • In a small bowl, mix rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Fold this mixture into the cooked rice while it’s still warm. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • Marinate Watermelon “Tuna”:
  • Cut the watermelon into thin, rectangular slices resembling tuna.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, agave nectar or maple syrup, grated ginger, and wasabi paste if using.
  • Gently brush the watermelon slices with the marinade and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Assembly:
  • Place a bamboo sushi rolling mat on a flat surface and put a sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the mat.
  • Wet your hands to prevent the rice from sticking and spread a thin layer of sushi rice evenly over the nori, leaving a small border at the top.
  • Add Watermelon and Vegetables:
  • Arrange a few slices of marinated watermelon in the center of the rice.
  • Add slices of avocado, julienned cucumber, and carrot.
  • Rolling:
  • Carefully lift the edge of the bamboo mat closest to you and roll it over the filling, tucking in the ingredients as you go.
  • Seal the edge of the nori with a little water to secure the roll.
  • Slice and Garnish:
  • Using a sharp, wet knife, slice the roll into bite-sized pieces.
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds on top for added texture.
  • Repeat:
  • Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients.
  • Serve:
  • Arrange the watermelon tuna sushi on a plate.
  • Serve with soy sauce and wasabi for dipping.

Tips and Tricks for Vegan Watermelon Tuna Sushi:

  • Choosing Watermelon:
    • Select a seedless watermelon that is ripe and firm for the best texture.
  • Marinating Time:
    • Allow the watermelon to marinate for at least 30 minutes to absorb the flavors.
  • Rice Consistency:
    • Ensure the sushi rice is slightly sticky for better adherence.
  • Wet Hands:
    • Keep your hands wet when handling sushi rice to prevent sticking.
  • Sharp Knife:
    • Use a sharp, wet knife to make clean cuts through the roll.
  • Customize Fillings:
    • Feel free to add or swap vegetables according to your preferences.
  • Dipping Sauce:
    • Mix soy sauce with a bit of wasabi for a dipping sauce with a kick.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories150
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 3g 5%
    • Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%
  • Sodium 300mg 13%
  • Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
    • Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    • Sugars 12g
  • Protein 2g 4%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    Vegan Watermelon Tuna Sushi – Alterations and Modifications


    1. Different Marinade Flavors:
      • Alteration: Experiment with different marinade flavors. Consider using lime juice, tamari, or a touch of sriracha for a unique twist.
    2. Alternative Protein Sources:
      • Alteration: If you’re looking for more protein, consider adding marinated and baked tofu, tempeh, or plant-based “crab” sticks to the filling.
    3. Gluten-Free Option:
      • Alteration: Use gluten-free soy sauce and ensure the rice vinegar and other ingredients are gluten-free for a gluten-free version.
    4. Cauliflower Rice Substitute:
      • Alteration: Swap traditional sushi rice for cauliflower rice if you’re looking for a lower-carb option.
    5. Spicy Mayo Drizzle:
      • Alteration: Drizzle a vegan spicy mayo made from vegan mayo, hot sauce, and a touch of agave over the rolls for a spicy kick.


    1. Fruit Additions:
      • Modification: Add thin slices of mango or avocado to enhance the flavor profile and add creaminess.
    2. Sesame Seed Varieties:
      • Modification: Use black sesame seeds in addition to or instead of white sesame seeds for a visually striking effect.
    3. Rice Paper Wraps:
      • Modification: Instead of traditional nori seaweed, use rice paper wraps for a lighter and gluten-free alternative.
    4. Different Dipping Sauces:
      • Modification: Create a sweet chili dipping sauce or a mango-lime sauce for an extra burst of flavor.
    5. Warm Rice Option:
      • Modification: Serve the sushi with warm rice for a different textural experience.
    6. Quinoa Substitute:
      • Modification: Use quinoa instead of sushi rice for a higher protein and nutrient content.
    7. Pickled Vegetables:
      • Modification: Add pickled radishes, carrots, or daikon for a tangy kick and extra crunch.
    8. Herb Infusion:
      • Modification: Mix finely chopped fresh herbs like cilantro or mint into the rice for a fragrant and herbaceous touch.
    9. Soy Paper Wraps:
      • Modification: Replace traditional nori with soy paper wraps for a milder taste and different texture.
    10. Avocado Wasabi Sauce:
      • Modification: Create a creamy avocado wasabi sauce by blending avocado, wasabi, and a bit of plant-based milk. Drizzle over the rolls.

    Tips for Customization Vegan Watermelon Tuna Sushi:

    1. Customize Filling Ratios:
      • Adjust the quantity of watermelon, vegetables, and other fillings to suit your personal taste preferences.
    2. Play with Color:
      • Experiment with colorful vegetables like bell peppers, purple cabbage, or even edible flowers to make your sushi visually appealing.
    3. Mix and Match Toppings:
      • Combine different toppings such as crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, or even a sprinkle of nori flakes for added texture.
    4. Fusion Flavors:
      • Infuse flavors from other cuisines. For example, add a hint of Thai with a peanut dipping sauce or Mexican with a touch of guacamole.
    5. Temperature Variation:
      • Try serving some rolls at room temperature and others chilled for an interesting mix of temperatures.
    6. Create a Sushi Bowl:
      • If rolling seems challenging, turn this into a deconstructed sushi bowl by layering all the ingredients in a bowl and drizzling with the marinade.
    7. Sweet Options:
      • For a sweeter option, add a drizzle of sweet chili sauce or mango puree over the rolls.
    8. Experiment with Fruit Fillings:
      • Besides watermelon, try using other fruits like pineapple, papaya, or even strawberries for a fruity twist.

    Storage and Freezing Instructions:

    • Storage: Keep any leftover sushi rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Beyond this timeframe, the nori may lose its crispiness, and the rice may harden.
    • Freezing: Sushi, especially with fresh produce like watermelon, is not typically suitable for freezing. The water content in fruits can alter the texture upon thawing, making it less appealing. It’s recommended to enjoy sushi fresh.
    • Tips for Storage: If you’re making sushi rolls in advance, store the components separately. Keep the rice covered with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out. Slice the watermelon just before assembling the rolls to maintain its juiciness.

    Vegan Watermelon Tuna Sushi is best enjoyed fresh, so it’s advised to prepare it just before serving to ensure the optimal texture and flavor.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    Can I use any type of watermelon?

    It’s best to use seedless watermelon for easier preparation.

    Can I use pre-made sushi rice?

    Yes, you can use pre-made sushi rice for convenience.

    Is it necessary to marinate the watermelon?

    Marinating adds flavor, but you can skip it if you prefer the natural sweetness of watermelon.

    Can I make the rolls in advance?

    It’s best to assemble and slice the rolls just before serving to maintain freshness.

    What other vegetables can I add?

    Get creative! Try adding bell peppers, sprouts, or even mango for extra sweetness.

    Can I make the sushi gluten-free?

    Yes, use gluten-free soy sauce and ensure all ingredients are gluten-free.

    How do I store leftover rolls?

    If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within a day for the best quality.

    Can I use a sushi rolling machine?

    While a bamboo mat is traditional, a rolling machine can be used for convenience.

    Is wasabi necessary for dipping?

    It’s optional. Some prefer a mix of soy sauce and wasabi, while others enjoy the rolls as is.

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