Tahini-Kale Vegetarian Sushi Roll

A vegan sushi roll featuring tahini-marinated kale, roasted red peppers and tofu wrapped in a quinoa-sushi rice.

Round 4 of my On A Roll vegetarian/vegan sushi series is the Tahini Roll featuring a healthy amount of lemony tahini-kale salad paired with tofu and roasted red peppers. Don’t skip the sesame seeds in the kale salad!

Keep It Skinny

My first tip for making homemade sushi this week is to focus on keeping the rice layer thin. It’s easy to slap a lot of rice on in order to cover the nori but if you use wet fingers and carefully pack and push the rice into a thin layer, you’ll get a better result.

Tip #2 is to go easy on the filling ingredients. While it seems tempting to load up, you’ll end up with a roll too big for a single bite. It’s a pet peeve of mine when sushi restaurants serve rolls that are too big to eat easily in one bite.

I’ve figured out that you only need to cover about 3/4 of the nori sheet. You just leave more exposed and use that naked piece to get the roll nice and tight. Think of the rice as just the final step in the roll.

Keep the rice layer thin and just enough for one complete turn when rolling.

Kale Salad Leftovers

Since you are only using a tiny bit of your beautiful kale in your Tahini Roll, you might as well make a larger batch of the tahini-kale salad. Take it for lunch this week. Kale is hearty enough to stand up to the lemon-tahini dressing for days without getting soggy. Throw some chickpeas on top and some pumpkin seeds.

Or, you can check out these kale recipes:

There are more vegan/vegetarian sushi rolls coming up in this series. Subscribe below to make sure you don’t miss them! To see them all in one place, visit my Recipe Collections page.

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Tahini-Kale Salad Roll

A vegan sushi roll featuring tahini-marinated kale, roasted red peppers and tofu wrapped in a quinoa-sushi rice.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword: kale, sushi, tahini, tofu
Servings: 2 rolls
Calories: 376kcal


  • sushi mat wrapped in plastic wrap plus extra plastic wrap for cutting


Sushi Quinoa Rice

  • 3/4 cup sushi rice, rinsed several times
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (tri-color is prettiest!)
  • 1 cups water
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds


  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup kale, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 slice tofu, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 roasted red pepper (from the jar), sliced
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 sheets nori
  • soy sauce for dipping
  • wasabi paste, optional


Prepare the Sushi Quinoa Rice

  • Place the rinsed sushi and quinoa in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup water and place over med-high heat. As soon as bubbles start to form on the edges, stir to release anything sticking and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes and then turn off heat (don't open the lid). Allow to steam for another 15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with fork. Add rice vinegar, sugar, salt and sesame seeds and fluff again. Set aside.

Preparing the Roll

  • While rice is cooking, prep your filling ingredients. In a small mixing bowl whish together the tahini, lemon juice and water. Add kale and sesame seeds, toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Once rice is done, place one nori sheet (bumpy side up) on a sushi rolling mat that has been wrapped in plastic wrap. Using a fork or wet fingers, press cooked sushi quinoa rice onto the mat firmly leaving 1 inch of nori uncovered. Carefully pick up the nori and flip over.
  • Start layering filling ingredients on the section of nori opposite where the rice begins on the other side but closest to the nori edge that you left without rice. You are going to roll that uncovered nori around the filling to get it started. Tofu first, then roasted red pepper strips, cucumber and avocado. Top with kale salad. **You are going to make 2 rolls so use about half your filling ingredients on each.
  • Pick up the edge of your rolling mat and start to flip the exposed piece of nori over the filling ingredients. You essentially want to tuck that piece around and under to get your roll sealed. Use the mat to pull it back towards you, and use your fingers to pinch the roll firmly as you go. You want to get things tight on that first turn and then continue rolling about a half turn at a time, pulling the mat free as you continue to roll forward and continuing to pinch along the length of the roll as you go. Unroll the mat and you should have a beautiful sushi roll!
  • The hardest part IMO is cutting. Move the roll to a cutting board. I use a separate piece of plastic wrap which I lay over the top, pull snug and tuck in slightly all around (some people fully wrap the roll before cutting but I found that left me with shreds of plastic wrap to pick off). Using a serrated knife, gently cut your sushi into pieces and then carefully remove the plastic wrap. Stand back to admire what you've created, then go ahead and make your second roll. Serve immediately or keep wrapped in plastic and refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Serve 1 roll per person with soy sauce for dipping and wasabi paste on the side (optional).


Feel free to make a larger portion of the tahini kale and keep in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch salad.  


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 793mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2036IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Published by Jenny G

I'm sipping coffee in the morning, reading a cookbook for fun. Always planning my next trip and what I'll eat when I get there. Hoping to inspire others who share my love of cooking and eating, and to celebrate the wonderous diversity of food. I love to explore the world so I'll share my best itineraries and travel tips. Of course, sometimes I'd rather be snuggled up with a glass of wine and a good book so let's discuss those here too. And don't forget to feed the birds!

2 thoughts on “Tahini-Kale Vegetarian Sushi Roll

    1. Glad you liked the idea for the Tahini-Kale Roll! You should give it a try. It was so satisfying to make a few rolls at home – half for dinner and half for lunch the next day!

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