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Vegan Tuna Sushi Bowl

This Vegan Tuna Sushi Bowl has plant-based tuna made with tomatoes, and all the fixings of your favorite poke bowls (including the spicy mayo)!

Vegan tomato tuna sushi bowl with rice, avocado, and cucumber in a bowl on a blue background

I always thought I was allergic to fish. Okay, I was allergic to fish as a kid, and assumed the allergy had stayed with me. So when I last visited Hawaii to visit my mermaid of a sister, the concept of trying a bite of the spicy tuna poke she bought from the back of a liquor store was simply off the table for me (the least of the reasons being because it was raw fish sold from the back of a liquor store).

But partially because I read that childhood allergies disappear in adulthood, and partially because I was just intrigued by this big bowl of fish, I tried a bite.

Vegan tomato tuna sushi bowl with rice, avocado, and cucumber in a bowl on a blue background

Not only did I not have a reaction, but I suddenly understood what all the fuss was about. This spicy tuna was soft and silky and spicy and umami, and I finally understood.

But the thing is, not only is tuna not vegetarian (duh), but it’s not all that sustainable. So I started digging into plant-based tuna alternatives and landed on this approach…tomato tuna!

Tomatoes on a blue background

Ingredients for these Vegan Sushi Bowls

  • Tomato: Tomato naturally has a meaty texture and umami taste, making it a great substitute for raw tuna. We’ll use roma tomatoes, which have less water and a meatier texture.
  • Marinade: To infuse our tomato tuna with flavor, we’ll marinate it in a mixture of soy sauce, fresh ginger, sesame oil, lime juice, and sriracha.
  • Sushi Rice: No good sushi bowl is complete with the slightly sweet, slightly vinegar sushi rice!
  • Fillings: We’ll pile on some of the vegan sushi bowl classics, like nori, avocado, cucumber, carrot, and fried onions.
  • Spicy Mayo: I have a hard time eating sushi that’s not doused in spicy mayo. We’ll make our own by quickly combining mayonnaise (traditional or vegan) with sriracha.
How to peel tomatoes by blanching

How to make vegan tuna with tomato

Making this tomato sushi recipe is so simple, and goes something like this:

  1. Peel tomatoes: We’ll blanch them to make this super easy.
  2. Marinate tomatoes: Salty soy sauce, smoky toasted sesame oil, and acidic lime juice combined with the flavors or fresh ginger and sriracha transform the humble roma tomato into vegan spicy tuna.
  3. Serve: Piling this tomato tuna onto an equally flavorful sushi bowl is key. You can taste the tomato a little if you eat the “tuna” alone, but when you eat it with the sushi bowl fillings and spicy mayonnaise it really tastes like tuna!
Marinating tomatoes to make vegan sushi

Variations on these vegan sushi bowls

The nice thing about sushi bowls are how flexible they are! Here are a few possible variations:

  • Change up the grains: To make this bowl a bit more nutrient-packed, you could substitute the sushi rice for quinoa, brown rice, or even cauliflower rice (though I would still recommend seasoning it with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt like we do with the sushi rice).
  • Watermelon instead of tuna: Not a fan of tomatoes? Try using watermelon to make your tuna!
  • Flexible fillings: And of course, you can fill your sushi bowls with whatever your favorite sushi vegetable fillings might be. The fillings I’ve included are just my favorites!
Vegan tomato tuna sushi bowl with rice, avocado, and cucumber in a bowl on a blue background

Hungry for more sushi? Here are more of our favorite plant-based sushi recipes!

Tempura Tofu Sushi
Cucumber Sushi Rolls
Green Goddess Sushi Bowl
Greek Sushi Rolls
Tofu Cucumber Sushi

Vegan tomato tuna sushi bowl with rice, avocado, and cucumber in a bowl on a blue background

Vegan Tuna Sushi Bowl

This Vegan Tuna Sushi Bowl has plant-based tuna made with tomatoes, and all the fixings of your favorite poke bowls (including the spicy mayo)!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes, Salads
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: tomato tuna, vegan sushi bowls, vegetarian sushi bowl
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Time: 30 minutes or less, 45 minutes or less
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 2 large sushi bowls
Calories: 798kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
4.84 from 6 votes


Tomato Tuna
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce 30 mL
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger 15 g
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil 15 mL
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha 15 g
  • 1 tsp lime juice 5 mL
Sushi Rice
  • 1 cup uncooked sushi rice 240 g
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar 30 mL
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 carrots
  • Nori, pickled ginger, wasabi, fried onions
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise vegan or traditional
  • 2 tsp sriracha


  • Prep Tomatoes: Score a small “X” in the bottom of each tomato. Drop into a pot of boiling water, removing after just 10 seconds, when skin begins to peel away. Immediately plunge tomatoes into a bowl of very cold water. The skin should come right off! Cut in half, remove seeds and insides, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Marinade: Stir together soy, ginger, sesame oil, sriracha, and lime juice, then drizzle over the tomato. Toss to coat, and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Rice: Meanwhile, prepare your sushi rice. Add 1 cup cold water to the rice and set over high heat until water boils. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and let cook for 15 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and let rest while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Stir together rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Right before serving, stir this into the rice.
  • Assemble: Chop or thinly slice your fillings. Stir together mayonnaise and sriracha. Spoon rice into each serving bowl, topping with fillings and tomato tuna.


Serving: 1large bowl | Calories: 798kcal | Carbohydrates: 115.1g | Protein: 12.5g | Fat: 32.6g | Saturated Fat: 6.1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 1757mg | Potassium: 1422mg | Fiber: 12.5g | Sugar: 17.2g | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 6.1mg
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Recipe Rating

  1. Jordan says:

    I NEVER would have thought of using tomato!! How cool!! Do you think this would be any good leftover or would the tomato break down too much?

    1. Sarah says:

      Good question! These will be good for 1 to 2 days after mixing the tomatoes with the marinade (and the flavor will be even more infused in the tomatoes, double win!)

  2. Tiffany R says:

    Wowza! My partner and I made this last night and it is so good!

    Our tomatoes did not want to cooperate when it came to peeling them. I think mostly because I didn’t fill the pot enough to boil them so they were a bit out of the water while boiling. We ended up boiling them a lot longer than 10sec each, and our I’ve bath was more like really cold water cause we ran out of ice haha. Most of them ended up peeling fine and the few that were fussy we used a veggie peeler to finish the job. I saved the guts from the tomatoes to make a quiche later, and the tomatoes sliced well.

    The flavors of everything are super awesome. The marinade is spicy but just the right amount. The rice is tasty with the vinegar mixture you pour over, and I added some rice seasoning (sesame, seaweed, etc) that really elevated the rice.

    All in all, it SEEMS like a lot of work, but it really isn’t when you have two people doing it and you prep before you start. Will most likely be making these more often since they are very easy to meal prep. And! My partner plans on reusing the leftover marinade for soaking chicken when we use all the tomatoes! Win, win, win!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      YAY! So happy to hear it, Tiffany! Those tomatoes can be pesky sometimes, but so worth it in the end 😛

  3. James Strange says:

    I will give this a try. I love tuna but due to medical things it’s currently off the menu.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy you could find this alternative. Enjoy! 😀

  4. Em says:

    Just had this for dinner tonight! Flavours were spot on. Not at all difficult to make and we drizzled a bit of the marinade over the top along with the mayo.

    Obviously it’s not tuna or salmon or anything but the texture is nearly there. It’s a super satisfying way to have a poke bowl without getting take out 🙂 I zoned out a bit while I ate and forgot it wasn’t vegan for a sec.

    Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Ah so happy to hear it, Em! 😀