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Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi with Quinoa Rice

This Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi with Quinoa Rice recipe is a healthy, vegetarian sushi that fish-lovers and vegetarians will both love!

Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi with Quinoa Rice

I love traditions. And maybe it’s just the Type A in me that secretly really loves structures and order. Or maybe I just really love pizza. Because as soon as I landed in Holland 9 months ago, I initiated pizza Friday’s. But then the boyfriend tulip-man dropped the fact that he doesn’t like pizza on me, and all structure nearly went out the window. But pizza was quickly replaced by sushi Friday’s, and things haven’t been tastier (or more $$$$) since. That is until this Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi.

Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi with Quinoa Rice

Around the time that sushi Friday’s began, Marisa Baggett, author of the new cookbook Vegetarian Sushi Secrets, reached out to me. What stemmed from this were a few very exciting things:

  1. Her book encouraged me to successfully fry my very first thing (!!!)
  2. I learned to make sushi rice with quinoa
Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi with Quinoa Rice

Today we’re rolling up the Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets, using quinoa rice instead of sushi rice! It’s a really customizable sushi recipe, so use whatever sushi rice variation suits your fancy (she has many kinds of sushi “rices” in the cookbook), or whatever fillings you’re feeling.

Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi with Quinoa Rice
Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi with Quinoa Rice

Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi with Quinoa Rice

This Coconut Tempura Tofu Sushi with Quinoa Rice recipe is a healthy, vegetarian sushi that fish-lovers and vegetarians will both love!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Snacks
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: tempura sushi, tofu suhi
Diet: Dairy-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: Game Day, Valentine’s Day
Time: 60 minutes or more
Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 1 hr
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 670kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
5 from 1 vote


Quinoa Rice*
  • 1 1/4 cup uncooked rinsed quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2.5 Tbsp honey or sorghum syrup
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 oz firm tofu 115 g
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch + more for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cold carbonated water
  • Handful of ice cubes
  • 4 Tbsp unsweetened shaved coconut
  • 4 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying
Odds and Ends
  • 4 4×7-inch nori sheets 10×18 cm
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1/2 of a carrot thinly sliced
  • 1 green onion sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 avocado thinly sliced lengthwise
Curry Mayo***
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp Madras curry powder**
  • 1/4 tsp chili garlic paste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Quinoa Rice

  • Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Quinoa should be just a tad undercooked and not quite transluscent.
  • While quinoa cooks, whisk together vinegar, honey, sugar, and salt.
  • Spoon cooked quinoa onto a large cutting board and drizzle on half of the dressing. Toss together, add the rest, and toss again. Spread quinoa into a thin layer and let it cool for 10 minutes. Gently turn it over and let it cool for 5 more minutes. Transfer to a large non-metal bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside.


  • Press excess moisture out of tofu by placing it between a few layers of paper towels and setting a heavy pan on top. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 inch (2.5 cm) of oil to 350 degrees F (175 C) in a large pan or wok (if you don’t have a thermometer, drop a touch of batter in. If it sizzles right away, it’s ready)
  • To a medium bowl add flour, cornstarch, salt, and carbonated water, stirring just until mixed. Gently stir in ice cubes, coconut, and breadcrumbs.
  • Pat dry the tofu and cut into chopstick wide lengths. Dust with cornstarch, shake off the extra, then dip into the coconut batter. Coat well and transfer to the oil. Cook until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Set cooked tofu on a wire rack.


  • Set a sheet of nori on a bamboo rolling mat, rough side facing up. Spread about 3/4 cup (150 g) of the quinoa rice onto the bottom 3/4 of the nori. Lay 1/4 of the tofu horizontally across the center of the rice, followed by 1/4 each of the cabbage, carrot, green onion, and avocado. Optionally sprinkle with peanuts.
  • Slide your thumbs under the mat and use your fingers to hold fillings in place as you roll, tucking the fillings tightly under the fold. Roll up, gently shape if needed, and set sushi roll seam side down.
  • Let rest a few minutes before cutting into 5 pieces with a sharp, slightly wet knife. Repeat to make 3 more rolls
  • Serve fresh with curry mayo (mix together all “Curry Mayo” ingredients”.


  • *You can definitely just use normal sushi rice instead of the quinoa.
  • **Madras is a spicy Indian curry powder. If you don’t have it (I didn’t), just go with regular curry powder.
  • ***For vegan option, just go with soy sauce.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 670kcal | Carbohydrates: 89.9g | Protein: 13.6g | Fat: 28.1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 1006mg | Fiber: 7.5g
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Recipe Rating

  1. Rachel Ritlop says:

    Delicious!!! I can’t wait to try this!

    Rachel |

  2. Chrissa - Physical Kitchness says:

    That little video is so cool!! It should go viral! I made sushi at home once and it didn’t turn out well. I think I need to give it another try!

  3. Ruthie says:

    Ok, I need to try this!! I love sushi!!

  4. Nicole Parise says:

    This looks amazing! I love sushi and this seems like a great one to try with all the alternative ingredients! Love it.

  5. Lexi Kritzer says:

    These look and sound absolutely delicious!

  6. Joanna says:

    I LOVE sushi! I am dying to get this cookbook to try it out for myself. I love the video you added in this post. So cool!

  7. Amy Katz from Veggies Save The Day says:

    I love veggie sushi! That sauce looks so yummy!

  8. Derek | Dad With A Pan says:

    Such a cool alternative! I love sushi but sometimes I feel guilty about all the rice I’m eating!

    1. Sarah says:

      I totally feel ya! I had no idea you could make sushi rice with quinoa until I got this book!

  9. Alyssa says:

    This looks so professional and delicious. Definitely, something that’s restaurant-worthy!

    1. Sarah says:

      Aw thanks so much, Alyssa! 🙂

  10. Lisa says:

    I’m not usually a sushi fan, but this vegetarian version looks amazing! Pretty sure I’d suck at making it – but it would be fun and challenging to give it a try! ?

    1. Sarah says:

      This was actually only my second time ever attempting to make sushi, so if I can do it I know you can too! 🙂

  11. Kristen Kavan says:

    Ive never made my own sushi, but these look incredible!! I cannot wait to try this!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      It’s so much fun! (not to mention a good bit cheaper!) If you try it out I’d love to hear how it goes!

  12. Evi says:

    I LOVE making sushi at home. These look so healthy and tasty!

    1. Sarah says:

      You’re probably much better at rolling than me then! I think you’d really love this book, especially if you’re a sushi regular 🙂

  13. Savannah says:

    OMG, sushi rice from quinoa-say whaaaa?!?! Seriously, I am so impressed, and so bewildered as to why I never thought of such a thing. This looks absolutely delicious. I love sushi so much!!

    Also, that gif thing you have is awesome. Rock on! <3

    1. Sarah says:

      Right?? I guess I just never thought there would be a way to make quinoa as sticky and sushi rice, but here we have it! Thanks so much for dropping by, Savannah!

  14. Rochelle says:

    Those looks so yummy ! I can’t wait to try this recipe !

  15. Melissa Chee says:

    Looks delicious! I love that it includes coconut

  16. Katie says:

    What a tasty and refreshing treat! Look amazing! I have to try this at home <3 xo Katie

  17. Marly says:

    This looks amazing…and is now in my Pinterest sharing queue…not to mention my weekend “to do” list!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks so much, Marly! I’ve also put “learn to roll better sushi” on my to do list. Now that I know how to make good vegetarian rolls I just need to work on the presentation! Lol (the pictures above were the result of much trial and error)