How to Make Sushi Without Seaweed – 6 Proven Ways

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Sushi is the first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think about sushi made from dried seaweed, also known as nori in Japanese. In addition to adding to the distinctive taste of sushi, it also has a practical purpose in that it assists in maintaining the shape of the dish by helping to bind all of the other components together.

But is it impossible to make sushi without using seaweed? What if you don’t like eating seaweed or if you can’t locate any? Exist viable options that might be used instead?

How to Make Sushi Without Seaweed

You may omit the usage of seaweed in sushi by replacing it with soybean paper, rice paper, or the skin of tofu instead. Alternatively, you might wrap your sushi with sliced cucumber, lettuce, or shiso leaves. You may alternatively prepare classic sushi that does not include the use of seaweed, or you could just exclude the seaweed from your dish.

How to Make Sushi Without Seaweed – 6 Ways

There are a number of substitutes you may use in place of seaweed if you don’t like the taste of it or if you’re required to prepare sushi without it for whatever reason.

1. Soybean Paper

Soy paper is an ideal substitute for seaweed when it comes to making sushi since it is made from compressed soybeans and other components, which might vary from brand to brand. In Japan, it is referred to as “Mame nori,” and it is utilized in a lot of sushi restaurants to produce rolls of sushi that are both visually appealing and innovative.

Its applications are not restricted to sushi alone; in addition to appetizers and wraps, it may also be utilized in desserts. Since the taste of soybean paper is unobtrusive, you may use it as a background or as a complement to more assertive flavors and textures in your sushi without distracting from the overall experience. Additionally, they do not contain any gluten.

Soybean paper, as opposed to nori, which has a very distinct taste profile, does not have a very strong flavor, and as a result, it provides you with the ability to explore your more creative side in the kitchen.

The appearance of your sushi may be improved visually by using soybean wrappers, which are available in a wide variety of hues and designs. Who doesn’t like some deliciously adorable sushi?

2. Rice paper

Sushi made using rice paper is an excellent alternative to using seaweed. Because of its subtle, almost flavorless flavor, it will not compete with the tastes of the sushi you are eating.

It is simple to work with, simple to get since it is sold in the majority of grocery shops, and it can be used to produce a variety of different foods, including spring rolls prepared in the Vietnamese way. In fact, it is used in the preparation of a traditional Japanese dish known as Nama Harumaki, which is a fresh spring roll.

Rice paper comes in a variety of thicknesses; thus, it is essential that you locate a sheet that is neither so thick that it will alter the texture of your sushi nor so thin that it will not be able to contain all of your ingredients.

Rice paper may be created entirely out of rice flour, or it can be combined with other flours, such as tapioca flour, which changes the paper’s thickness, consistency, and pliability.

In order to prepare it for usage, it is normally soaked in water for some period of time before being used. Rice paper, which is a common ingredient in many Asian dishes, may effectively stand in for the seaweed that is often used to bind sushi rolls together.

3. Tofu Skin or Yuba

When soymilk is heated, the proteins and lipids rise to the surface, and a thin film with a yellowish tint appears on the surface of the soymilk. After removing this coating and allowing it to air-dry, we are left with what is known as “yuba.”

Yuba, also known as beancurd skin, is a nutritious dish that is high in protein and is often used in both Chinese and Japanese cooking.

It may be sprinkled on top of a variety of foods, added to soups and stir-fries, or even eaten on its own with some soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi, similar to how sashimi is prepared. Noodles are another form that may be produced from this material.

Because it has a subtle taste, yuba is quite adaptable and may be used in a wide variety of contexts and applications. It has a great history of service as a substitute for meat in vegetarian cookery.

I’ve seen it converted into a vegetarian version of duck or chicken, and I’ve used it myself to make vegan bacon. The possibilities truly are limitless in scope!

It is possible to use it as the wrapper for your sushi rolls instead of using seaweed. The composition of the flavors and the texture could shift somewhat, but this is not always a negative thing.

You might try using it in lieu of seaweed when making regular sushi, or you could try these vegan yuba rolls instead.

4. Cucumber

The usage of cucumber is yet another alternative to using seaweed while making sushi. Simply use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to cut the cucumber into thin strips. If you don’t have any of those tools, you can instead use a knife to cut the cucumber into as thin of strips as you can.

After removing extra moisture from the cucumber slices using a towel, place the contents on the slices, and then start rolling the cucumber into a spiral from one side and continue until you reach the other end. Voila! Roll made with cucumber sushi!

5. Lettuce or Shiso Leaves

If you don’t have any seaweed on hand, you may create sushi using lettuce or the leaves of Japanese basil instead. If you take your time and wrap the shiso leaves properly, you should be able to successfully enclose all of your fillings despite the fact that the curvature of the leaves sometimes make it more difficult to do so.

In terms of lettuce, I believe that Romaine lettuce is the most superior kind to utilize. You only need to remove the tough white core, lay the strips out on your bamboo rolling mat, add the rice and contents, then wrap them up as you would with seaweed if you were making sushi.

6. Leave It Out

And lastly, if you don’t like using seaweed in your sushi, you can create it without it by just omitting it from the recipe. You may prepare what some chefs refer to as “ghost rolls,” which are rolls of sushi that do not employ seaweed or nori in their construction.

They are manufactured and rolled in exactly the same manner as conventional maki rolls, right down to the way they appear.

Simply ensure that you press your rice with a little bit more pressure than usual since this, rather than an exterior covering, will be what keeps your rolls together.

To do this task properly, you will need a bamboo mat and some plastic wrap, as well as the appropriate amount of pressure to guarantee that everything will stay there.

You may also choose to prepare other varieties of sushi that do not include seaweed, such as sashimi, nigiri, or even a chirashi bowl, which is basically a sushi rice bowl, but omit the seaweed topping instead. Other examples of these varieties include chirashi and sashimi.

Inari is a different kind of sushi that is created using deep-fried tofu pockets and does not include any nori or seaweed in its preparation. This is another method for preparing sushi that you may use.

You now have six options for preparing sushi without resorting to the use of any seaweed. Although the use of nori, or seaweed, is intrinsically linked to and intertwined with the craft of preparing sushi, there are a number of alternative ingredients that may be used in its place if you discover that you are out of nori or if you just do not love it.

What is Nori or Seaweed in Sushi?

Nori is the component that resembles green or black paper and is used to wrap sushi or as a thin ribbon to keep your sushi together. Nori may either be green or black. It is manufactured from red algae that has been dried out and then processed.

Because it comes from the ocean, it has a flavor that is similar to umami and sometimes smells and tastes fishy. It is a common ingredient in dishes prepared in both Japanese and Korean cuisines; in Korea, you will most often come across it in dishes such as sushi or gimbap.

Although there are many who do not really like for the flavor of nori, others consider it an essential component of a genuine sushi dining experience.

Other Types of Sushi With No Seaweed

There are a few varieties of sushi that do not use nori in their preparation. Below, you’ll find an examination of a few of them.


Typically, sashimi consists of raw fish that has been sliced very thinly and is presented in its natural state. It does not include the vinegared sushi rice that is often associated with sushi, nor does it have any seaweed or nori in its composition.


Tamagoyaki is a kind of Japanese omelet that is prepared and consists of numerous layers of scrambled eggs that are folded into one another. Sashimi-style, the fish is often presented as thick slices and eaten without rice.


Nigiri is generally raw or cooked fish that is served on top of rice, with or without a ribbon of seaweed around it. Nigiri may be made with a variety of different ingredients. If you are unable to consume nori, ask for your nigiri to be prepared without the seaweed wrapping.


There is also a variety of sushi known as inari that does not include any seaweed. Inari is a form of sushi that uses deep-fried tofu pouches as its basis rather than a layer of seaweed to keep it together like traditional sushi does.


In its most basic form, chirashi sushi takes the form of a sushi bowl or, if you like, “deconstructed sushi.”

It is simple to put together and comes in a format that makes it straightforward to include or exclude any components that you do not want included in the finished meal. Nori, also known as seaweed, is often used just as a topping in this context and may be simply omitted from the dish.

Conclusion to How to Make Sushi Without Seaweed

Even though seaweed is considered to be one of the most essential components of sushi, one may still enjoy sushi even without it. You may still make sushi that is tasty and delightful despite using replacements such as soy or rice paper, the skin of tofu, cucumber, or the leaves of lettuce. This sushi can be tailored to your particular preferences and dietary restrictions.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Make Sushi Without Seaweed

What is Ghost Roll Sushi?

A ghost roll is a kind of sushi that is rolled and assembled in the customary manner but does not utilize seaweed or nori on the exterior of the roll to retain the contents. To make it work, the rice has to be packed tightly and shaped appropriately so that it can keep the other components together.

 What Can I Substitute for Dried Seaweed in Sushi?

If you are unable to get dried seaweed, you may substitute it with soy or rice paper, the peel of tofu, lettuce, shiso leaves, cucumbers, or you can just omit it from the dish altogether.

Can You Find Sushi Without Seaweed?

Sashimi, tamagoyaki, and several varieties of nigiri, inari, and chirashi are examples of sushi preparations that do not use seaweed as an ingredient. Other examples include chirashi.


How do you make sushi if you don’t have seaweed?

Soybean paper may be used in place of seaweed in sushi.

Compressed soybeans are the primary material in the production of soybean paper, which is used as an alternative to nori seaweed as a wrapping component as well as for the purpose of wrapping spring rolls and sweets.

How do you make sushi in 6 steps?

  • First, prepare the rice and the nori. Arrange the nori sheets in a single layer on the bamboo mat (or another surface, if you like)…
  • Step 2: Evenly distribute the rice over the nori….
  • Step 3: Distribute the Fillings Over the Lower One-Quarter of the Nori…
  • Fourth Step: Roll the Sushi About Half Way…

  • Fifth Step: Complete the Rolling of the Sushi…
  • Proceed to the cutting board in Step 6….
  • The seventh step is to cut the sushi….
  • Eighth Step: Serve.

Can you eat soy paper?

It’s possible to eat sushi wrapped with soy paper. Soy paper has a subtle taste due to the fact that soybeans are the primary ingredient in its production. Your taste buds won’t have anything to get excited about if you eat quite much of it. Because of this, a wide variety of additional components are usually added.

Can you make sushi with normal rice?

In addition, in contrast to conventional rice, sushi rice is steamed, which causes it to become stickier. There are several other kinds of rice that may be used in its place if you are unable to get white Japanese short-grain rice. When all else fails, rice with a medium grain size may do the trick. However, you should never use long-grain rice since it does not have the appropriate texture nor the required amount of starch.