Quinoa & tahini sushi

Nov 14, 2014

This recipe has been on my list of recipes to share with you since the launch of Jessipes as I love sushi, it’s one of my favourite ways to eat, however, I’ve found a way to make traditional sushi healthier by switching rice for quinoa. Often white rice in sushi is sweetened which causes people to feel bloated and lethargic afterwards, but this adapted quinoa-based version leaves you feeling energised and happily full.

Quinoa is a seed, not a grain, and contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein and therefore an amazing addition to any diet, particularly if you are vegan or follow a vegetarian based diet. It’s naturally very fibrous, a great source of iron, magnesium and manganese and it contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients making it a much healthier alternative to rice! When cooking with quinoa I usually recommend making sure you add flavour during the cooking process (lemon juice or stock work amazingly) as the quinoa will lock in any flavours you give it. However, with this recipe, a dressing is made seperately and then combined with the quinoa to stick it all together so it’s not so important. Quinoa & tahini sushi, vegetarian sushi recipe, how to make healthy sushi Nori is naturally high in minerals and a great source of iodine which is needed for healthy skin, breasts, ovaries, brain function, nervous system and thyroid. The quantity in the recipe below makes around 40 sushi pieces and you can be as creative as you like with the fillings. I have experimented with salmon, raw sushi grade tuna, garlic, eggs, bean sproutes, asparagus, courgette, spinach, coriander and lots of other veggies and find it’s a great way of using up the last bit and bobs in your fridge and they always come out delicious. Quinoa & tahini sushi, vegetarian sushi recipe, how to make healthy sushi Sushi is a great one to have in the fridge pre-preapred as a light snack and it’s such a sociable way of eating if you make it for a dinner party. If you chop up the veg beforehand and cook the quinoa, friends can assemble their own rolls depending on their veggie preferences and it’s really fun to do! Quinoa & tahini sushi, vegetarian sushi recipe, how to make healthy sushi

I can’t wait to see these sushi rolls being made by you and shared around. Share your recreations of this recipe with me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #Jessipes and tag me using @JessipesRecipes in your posts. I love seeing them, or post your comments below!

All the healthy best,

Jess x

Quinoa & tahini sushi
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 40 pieces
  • For the sushi
  • 220g/ 1 cup tri-coloured quinoa
  • 6 sheets of nori (I use Clearspring)
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • ½ cucumber, julienned
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • ½ avocado, cut into small cubes
  • 3 tablespoon pickled ginger, finely sliced (I use Clearspring)
  • 1 handful parsley, finey chopped
  • ½ red pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • sesame seeds
  • tamari (optional)
  • For the sushi dressing
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I use Biona)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • ½ lemon squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon pickled ginger, finely sliced (I use Clearspring)
  1. Rinse or soak the quinoa in cold water before cooking to remove it’s bitter coating.
  2. Add quinoa and 600ml (2 cups) of water to a large pan and bring to a boil in a covered pan and then simmer for 20 – 25 minutes (until the spiral or “tail” is visible, the water is absorbed and the grain is fluffy).
  3. Meanwhile, finely slice the carrot, cucumber, red pepper (optional) into thin strips or use a julienne peeler if you have one.
  4. Finely slice your spring onion and parsley and lastly cut half your avocado into small cubes.
  5. For the sushi dressing, thoroughly mix the apple cider vinegar, tahini, lemon juice and pickled ginger into a bowl. Once the quinoa is cooked and the water has evaporated, thoroughly combine the quinoa with the dressing until the quinoa becomes sticky.
  6. Wet your hands and place the 6 nori sheets either on a work surface or a sushi rolling mat.
  7. Spread the seasoned quinoa over ¾ of each sheet using a knife to spread the quinoa evenly, taking the quinoa right up to the edge of the sheets on three of the sides.
  8. Arrange the carrot, cucumber, pepper, sliced ginger, avocado and parsley along the middle of the nori sheet and sprinkle each sheet with sesame seeds.
  9. Then roll each sheet as tight as possible, starting from the end that has been spread with quinoa and finishing with the end that has been left the unfilled. You may need to seal the seam with some water using your finger tips.
  10. Place the rolls seam-side down, on a clean work surface and cut each roll into 6-8 pieces.
  11. Serve with tamari and a seared piece of tuna for added protein if you wish.
  12. Enjoy!

Hi, I’m Jess! Nutritional Therapist  & Personal Trainer, sharing workouts & nutrition made simple from my island home in Menorca. My mission? To educate & inspire people to achieve & sustain their personal health & body shape goals. I love to hike, cook, and bring inspiring people together.


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