Spicy Eggplant Sushi

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This spicy eggplant sushi is made with tender eggplant strips that are pan-fried in garlic and chili paste and rolled up with sushi rice and nori.

So continues my unending quest to stuff every plant-based item of food in existence into a sushi roll. So far I haven’t gone wrong.

For the last few weeks I’ve been able to harvest about an eggplant or two a week from the garden. Initially I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea to plant two eggplant plants, thinking I’d be overrun with eggplant, but now I’m glad I did. Those eggplants that go straight from the garden and into a recipe are by far the tastiest I’ve ever had.

So, you can expect a few eggplant recipes from me in the coming weeks. What better way to get started than with eggplant sushi? When I first decided I was going to try this, the ever popular spicy tuna rolls came to mind. Okay, so I’ve never actually had a spicy tuna roll, but then again I’ve never had any kind of sushi that wasn’t totally vegan. In fact, I can’t even remember what tuna tastes like. (If anyone does, and has any thoughts on whether or not this tastes like a spicy tuna roll, my ears are open.)

Whatever the case, these rolls are really tasty. I dined on them with my boyfriend, who, as I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, isn’t a big fan of spicy. He loved these. Sniffled his way through the whole batch, and finished with a big “Wow! Delicious!” He also commented that this was about at the top of his spicy threshold, so for those of you that follow the Alissa’s boyfriend spicy food scale (which I recognize is becoming a thing), there you have it. Cut back on the chili paste as needed.

4.67 from 3 votes Print

Spicy Eggplant Sushi

This spicy eggplant sushi is made with tender eggplant strips that are pan-fried in garlic and chili paste and rolled up with sushi rice and nori. CourseEntree CuisineAmerican, Japanese Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Total Time 45 minutes Servings 2 Author Alissa


For the Rice

  • cupsushi rice
  • ¾cup+ 2 tbsp. water
  • ½tbsp.salt
  • ½tbsp.rice vinegar

For the Filling

  • 2tbsp.vegetable oil
  • 1garlic cloveminced
  • 2tbsp.Asian chili paste
  • 1scallion
  • ½medium eggplantsliced into thin strips

For Finishing and Serving

  • 2nori sheets
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce or tamari
  • wasabi
  • pickled ginger


Make the Rice

  1. Place rice in a strainer and rinse under cold, running water for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Place in a small saucepan with other rice ingredients, stir and heat to a simmer. Cover and allow to continue simmering for about 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to sit for another 10 minutes, covered.

Cook the Eggplant

  1. Place oil in medium skillet and over medium heat. Add garlic clove and chili paste. Sauté about 1 minute.
  2. Add eggplant strips in a single layer. Cook until tender and browned on each side, about 5 minutes per side.

Roll the Sushi

  1. Cut about ⅓ of the length off of each nori sheet and discard or save for another recipe.
  2. Place one of your sheets on a bamboo mat.
  3. Keep a little bowl of water close by. Using wet hands, cover nori with a thin layer of rice.
  4. Arrange half of your eggplant in a single line along the width of nori, about one inch away from you. Arrange half of your scallion stalks alongside your eggplant strip.
  5. Take the bamboo mat and end of nori closest to you and tightly roll it over your filling. Tuck the end of the nori in and continue rolling, using the mat to press your roll tight.
  6. Once completely rolled, slice into eight pieces. Repeat using your other nori sheet and remaining rice and filling.
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with soy sauce or tamari, wasabi and pickled ginger.

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How long do you think it would keep in the fridge if I made a bunch up at the weekend to take for packed lunches at uni?


  • I would cut down the salt to 1/4 tbsp, it was too salty when I made it.


  • I have made this a few times now, and my husband and I both love them! Tonight I made them and had leftover spicy eggplant after, so I used it as a pizza topping. So Tasty!


    • Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

      More about me →

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