Toasted Quinoa Sushi

A simple spin on the usual sticky white rice sushi, this light and nutty variation uses toasted quinoa instead. Sushi is a fun way to mix-and-match your favourite post summer and autumn vegetables: capsicums, carrots, beans, mushrooms and most of all avocado. Fresh sushi tastes best, so serve shortly after rolling to keep the crunchiness of the seaweed. Enjoy with a bowl of hot miso soup sprinkled with chopped fresh spring onion.

Serves 4-5 rolls


  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or apple cider vinegar
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (optional)
suggested vegetables:
  • 4-5 nori (dried seaweed) sheets
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 small avocados, sliced
  • handful of alfalfa sprouts
to serve:
  • soy sauce/ tamari
  • mayonaise
  • sesame seed oil
  • pickled ginger
  • wasabi


  1. To toast, place quinoa in a non-stick pan and dry roast over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes until grains turn golden brown and begin to pop. Stir frequently to ensure an even roast.
  2. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear.
  3. Place toasted quinoa in a medium sized pot with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until water has been completed absorbed and the germ ring has separated from seed.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in sugar, salt and vinegar, cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool.
  5. Place nori sheet on a sushi mat with slats running horizontally. Spread 1/4 to 1/5 of the cooked quinoa onto sheet and press evenly with wet fingertips, leave a 1-2 inch gap at far edge.
  6. Arrange chopped vegetables and tightly roll sushi as usual.
  7. Check the back of the nori packet for illustrated instructions on how to roll sushi (practice makes perfect!)
  8. Serve with an array of condiments: soy sauce, tamari, mayonnaise, sesame seed oil, pickled ginger and wasabi.


Hints and Tips

If using black or red quinoa, stir one tablespoon of tahini through cooked quinoa as this will help stick the grains together. Before cooling white quinoa, check to see that the grains are moist and slightly sticky (a little more overcooked than usual). As the quinoa needs to stick together for sushi. If they don't, add 1 tablespoon of tahini as suggested for red/black quinoa.  
  • emm

    Aw yumo girls! 🙂 I’m going to have to try this one out.

  • Omar

    That is a great suggestion, Carmen. I am looking for ways to add calorie counts to the recipes. If anyone has any good suggestions for adding nutritional info to recipes, I would love to hear them. I have used in the past.

  • Hendro

    I have never cooked with quinoa and would love to know a most basic recipe that is vegetarian which I can cook, hopefully with mostly ingredients I would find in my own cabinet or at a regular, non-specialty, grocery store. Can you help?

  • Eleonore

    Hi Hendro,

    Quinoa is just great as a rice substitute in salads, or with curry.

  • What do you think

    Your email address will not be published.