Sweet Potato Sushi Rolls are filled with roasted sweet potatoes and creamy avocado, then rolled in fluffy sushi rice and a nori seaweed sheet! It’s a kid-friendly vegan recipe that’s easy to make at home. I’ll share with you my secret to making the best sweet potato rolls, with step by step photos!
My family loves Japanese sushi rolls. California Roll, Spicy Salmon Roll, Boston Roll, and this sweet and savory sweet potato sushi roll are my favorites! They are great for a healthy and delicious lunch, dinner or snack.
It may seem intimidating to roll sushi at home, but it’s actually quite easy if you follow a few simple tips. This recipe is great for beginners, and here you’ll find all the equipment and techniques for your first sushi rolls!
I lived in Tokyo for 3 years where I learned making sushi rolls and other Japanese food such as Teriyaki Chicken Bowls. Traditional sweet potato rolls use tempura sweet potato pieces, which are dipped in the batter and then deep fried in hot oil. To make a healthy vegetable roll recipe, my version uses baked sweet potatoes. I bake them with vegetable oil, and then roll them up with avocado in sushi rice – sweet, salty, and creamy – so delicious! It’s healthy but still full of authentic flavors!
What is A Sweet Potato Roll?
A sweet potato roll consists of sushi rice, sweet potatoes (usually roasted), creamy avocado or other vegetables of your choice all rolled up in a nori seaweed sheet. The best part is that they are vegetarian and easy to make!
Ingredients for Sweet Potato Sushi
Unlike nigiri sushi or sashimi, sweet potato sushi doesn’t include any special ingredients. All you need is a few items that’s easy to find:
- Sweet Potatoes: I like to use the ones with orange flesh for the bright color.
- Avocado: Try to find ripe but still firm avocados!
- Sushi Rice: It’s best to use Japanese short grain rice for the best result.
- Nori (seaweed sheets): You can find it at your local supermarket or order on amazon.
- Sesame Seeds: If you’re not in a hurry, it’s best to toast the sesame seeds slightly in a frying pan, as it will add wonderful nutty flavor and aroma to your rolls.
You’ll also need a sushi rolling mat to make the sushi. Alternatively, you can use a piece of parchment paper.
How to Make Sweet Potato Sushi Roll
1. Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Add it to the rice maker together with water. Cook according to the instruction. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can cook on the stove top (see the recipe for details).
2. Once cooked, transfer the hot rice to a large bowl and let it cool down slightly. When it’s still very warm, stir in the sushi vinegar (the mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt).
3. Peel the sweet potato and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick strips. Then mix them with olive oil.
4. Bake for 25 minutes, until soft and tender.
5. Lay out the bamboo mat with an optional piece of plastic wrap on top. Cut off 1/3 of the nori seaweed sheet using kitchen scissors. Then place the remaining nori sheet towards the bottom of the mat, shinning side facing down. Evenly spread over nori with rice while leaving 1/2 inch at the top of the sheet.
6. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the rice, and then place sweet potato strips and avocado slices on top.
7. Place the thumbs underneath the bamboo mat and lift the edge up and over the filling. Roll the bamboo mat away from you and press the rice and filling together. Use the bamboo mat to continue rolling until reaching the blank nori on the edge.
8. Place the roll on a cutting board and use a long sharp knife to cut the roll into 6-8 pieces. Serve with optional soy sauce and wasabi.
Trouble Shooting Sushi Rolls
- Why is rice sticking to my hands while making sushi? You can make Tezu, which is hand dipping liquid made with 1/4 cup water and 2 teaspoons rice vinegar. Wet your hands with Tezu, and it will prevent sticking.
- Why does my sushi roll fall apart? This could be caused by wrong types of rice you use or you didn’t squeeze the rolls tightly enough. You need to tuck in and pull the bamboo mat while rolling. After that, place the bamboo mat over the sushi roll and gently squeeze the roll again.
Dipping Sauces for Sweet Potato Rolls
When it comes to choosing the dipping sauce, there are a few options available. You can keep it simple with some soy sauce and wasabi or branch out and try your rolls with something else.
Other popular dipping sauces include unagi sauce, Japanese mayo, sriracha mayo and black tahini.
How to Make the Best Sushi Rice
To start, you will need short-grain Japanese sushi rice, rice vinegar, salt and white sugar. You can also add in a sheet of seaweed (Kombu), if you’re after a more traditional flavor.
You can use the stove, a rice cooker or an instant pot, with the stove being the easiest method. Start by rinsing the rice, add to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook the rice vinegar, salt and sugar in another pot, once the sugar has dissolved,
cool the mixture and combine the rice with the liquid. The whole process from start to finish takes about 25 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Sweet Potato Roll Sushi?
Sweet potato roll sushi is a type of Maki sushi including cooked sweet potatoes and other vegetables, rolled inside of nori (seaweed sheet) and sushi rice.
Is Sweet Potato Roll Sushi Healthy?
Thee sweet potato roll sushi is a healthy sushi recipe as it’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol. This recipe is healthier than the tempura sweet potato sushi roll, and it has some healthy fats like avocado.
How to Store Sweet Potato Sushi Rolls
To store your sweet potato sushi rolls in the fridge, simply wrap them in plastic wrap, place them in an airtight container, and refrigerate them right away. They will last for about 2-3 days when stored this way.
How Long Does Sweet Potato Roll Sushi Last?
Store the leftover sushi rolls in an airtight container and they can last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Sweet potato sushi rolls taste the best the day they’re made as the seaweed paper can become limp, and rice will get harder in the fridge.
How to Make Sweet Potato Tempura Roll
Fun and easy to make, sweet potato tempura rolls are perfect to enjoy with your friends and family. Simply replace the baked sweet potatoes with sweet potato tempura.
For the tempura you will need sweet potatoes, flour, unsweetened almond milk, sriracha and bread crumbs.
Begin by mixing all of the tempura ingredients together except for the breadcrumbs, dip each sliced sweet potato in the mix, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake for 30-40 mins or until browned.
Sweet Potato Roll Calories
Sweet potato rolls are low in both saturated fat and cholesterol. While you will have to watch the amount of saturated fat you have a day, you may also need to watch the calories here. With just about 244 calories in a 100 gram serving, sweet potato rolls sit on the higher side of calories.
Other Popular Sushi Roll Recipes
I hope you like this recipe, and if you tried it, let me know how your Sweet Potato Sushi Roll turns out in the comments below!
Sweet Potato Roll Sushi Recipe
For sushi rice:
Sweet potato sushi rolls:
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 sheets nori (seaweed)
- 1 avocado ripe but still firm
- white sesame seeds you can toast them in a skillet on low for a few minutes until they're lightly browned.
Optional for Serving:
- soy sauce
- wasabi paste
Make the sushi rice
- Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Add it to the rice maker together with water. Cook according to the instruction. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can cook on the stove top (see recipe notes*).
- Once cooked, transfer the hot rice to a large bowl and let it cool down slightly. When it’s still very warm, stir in the sushi vinegar (the mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt).
Bake sweet potatoes
- Peel the sweet potato and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick strips.
- Mix them with olive oil and bake for 25 minutes until soft and tender, turning half way through.
- Let them cool down before adding to sushi rolls.
Make sweet potato sushi rolls
- Lay out the bamboo mat with an optional piece of plastic wrap on top (this will make clean-up easier). In the meantime, set aside a small bowl of Tezu vinegar water** (regular water mixed with some vinegar) to dip your hands to prevent sticking.
- Cut off 1/3 of the nori seaweed sheet using kitchen scissors. Then place the remaining nori sheet towards the bottom of the mat, shinning side facing down.
- Take 3/4 cup of cooked rice and evenly spread over nori while leaving 1/2 inch at the top of the sheet. Wet your fingers in the vinegar water to spread the rice in a thin layer. Don't use too much pressure, otherwise you'll make the rice mushy.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the rice, and then place sweet potato strips and avocado slices on top (towards the bottom, see the photo below). Make sure not to add too much filling or your roll won’t seal properly.
- Place the thumbs underneath the bamboo mat and lift the edge up and over the filling.
- Roll the bamboo mat away from you and press the rice and filling together. Use the bamboo mat to continue rolling until reaching the blank nori on the edge.
- Peeling the mat back away as you continue to roll, so that the nori can be rolled into a cylinder. Press the mat gently so that the roll won't fall apart when you cut it.
- Place the roll on a cutting board and use a long sharp knife to cut off the edges on each side. Then cut each roll into 6-8 pieces. Serve with optional soy sauce and wasabi.
- *How to cook rice on the stovetop: Place the washed and drained rice in a medium saucepan and add cold water. Turn the heat on high and bring it to a boil. Once boiled, reduce heat to medium and cover with the lid. Cook until the water is absorbed about 8 minutes. Then reduce the heat to very low and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it stand for 15 minutes covered.
- * *Tezu water for dipping hands: Mix together 1/4 cup water and 2 teaspoons rice vinegar.
- Don’t put warm sushi rice to the fridge to cool down as this will affect the taste and texture.
Editor note: Originally published December 13, 2019 and updated September 30, 2020.