Vegan Muscle Building Quinoa Sushi Sandwich

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I came across this creative idea quite by accident while surfing around on Instagram.  I shared it with Nikki and together we decided to our own spin on Onigirazu β€” traditionally sushi rice wrapped with a nori sheet to form a pocket, with whatever filling suits your fancy. We decided to switch things up a bit, and instead of using white sushi rice, we substituted it with turmeric quinoa. Worked like a charm… a healthy little charm πŸ˜‰

Onigirazu sandwiches are a fast, easy to prepare and you don’t need any special tools to make it. Feel free to experiment with the fillings, you can use any vegetables, sprouts, lentil or whole grains. Also feel free to use any leftovers you might have around the house and make your own onigirazu in about 5 minutes or less! 

Depending on what fillings you use, this can be a very healthy and satisfying dish. You could even use some tempeh to boost the protein content – great for any plant-based athletes out there! 

Now let’s give this baby a try, shall we? 

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5 from 1 vote

Vegan Quinoa Onigirazu aka Muscle Building Sushi Sandwich

Some brilliant person created what they call an onigirazu, which is a LARGE nori sheet warped sandwich that can fit lots of fun fillings and the perfect refuel meal after your workout. In this version of Onigirazu we decided to use turmeric quinoa instead of the traditional white sushi rice and accompany this sandwich with our very own delicious miso ginger sauce.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Servings: 2


  • 2 organic nori sheet 

Turmeric Quinoa:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of salt


  • Any veggies of your choice will work here. Be creative. We use:
  • 1/4 English cucumber sliced
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 roasted/cook or pickled beet
  • 1 leaf of Swiss chard or Romain lettuce gives the sandwich a nice crunch
  • Handful of fresh cilantro

Miso Ginger Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoon miso
  • 2 β€³ fresh ginger root peeled
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoon coconut nectar or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup water less or more


Turmeric Quinoa

  • Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse under running water for at least 30 seconds. Drain well.
  • Combine the rinsed quinoa and water with turmeric, pepper and salt in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat a bit to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce heat as time goes on to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
  • While the quinoa is cooking prep your veggies. Wash, peel, slice, shred, etc.

Miso Ginger Sauce

  • Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy, adding water as needed.


  • Lay out individual nori sheet on a length of cling wrap, on a working surface, shiny side down.
  • Drop 1/4 of the quinoa in the center, and flatten.
  • Now pile veggies of your choice (chard, avocado, carrot, beet, cucumber, cilantro) over the quinoa (right to the edges of the quinoa).
  • Top with second 1/4 of quinoa.
  • Fold the nori as a package, bringing up each corner to meet in the middle, with some overlap.
  • Fold the cling wrap up over, seal relatively tightly, then flip over and let sit five minutes.
  • Prep up the second nori wrap in the same way.
  • Slice packets in half using a sharp, wetted knife, and enjoy either warm or (same day) cold. Dip in the miso ginger sauce as desired.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @activevegetarian on Instagram so we can share it.

Check out this quick video on how to assemble:

Enjoy making these fun Onigirazu “sandwiches” and remember to be creative, choose different fillings, take photos, share them with us and keep on being awesome! 

Love & Light,

8 responses to “Vegan Muscle Building Quinoa Sushi Sandwich”

  1. Hi! How well will this keep in the fridge? One or two days at the most? Thank you!

    • Hello Jess,

      I would say it is best to eat it fresh or keep it in the fridge for one day. Any longer than that I think the nori sheet would get soggy – ew! πŸ˜›

  2. oh wow! Delicious indeed. I made a very quick totally bastardised version of this, because i wanted to try it immediately, and had to use what I had on hand. I’m absolutely going to make it again (and again). I took a pic and tagged you on my instagram account (If I didn’t take good photos, it would be much more of a “nailed it” kind of vibe.. I will have to practice the folding a bit more, and it may help to give it 5 seconds before I cut and wolf it down.)

    I have been stalking your blog for 2 days now and it is so inspiring. I’m a chef, and cooking for a client who has been walking a journey with cancer. She’s doing the whole nutrition and I’m trying to keep things interesting for her, because there’s nothing worse than eating boring food.. and I would love to share with others how absolutely fun healthy food can be. Your recipe was incredibly fun for me to just whip up (because I LOVE having nori sheets around).. I also managed to get my paws on some sea lettuce, so I’m going to be having fun working that into my meals πŸ™‚ Thank you πŸ™‚

    (Note to self, sprout more quinoa before I eat ALL my client’s stash)

    • Hello Janet!

      Sorry for the late response – that’s so wonderful we can help inspire you and create some interesting recipes for your clients! Thank you for sharing, and for tagging us on social media. We would love to see other creations you come up with πŸ™‚

      Kind regards!

    • Hi Holly,

      Good question. There are several reasons this tasty creation could be considered a “muscle- building” meal.
      It’s no secret that in order to get into good physical shape, we need to combine regular strength training with high-quality nutrition.Choosing the right kind of protein that can help you build and sustain muscle. The best protein comes from whole food, alkaline-forming sources, such as lean, plant-based protein β€” found in sprouted nuts, seeds, or pseudo-grains. In this recipe we are using quinoa – a pseudo-grain that provides complete, plant-based proteins that are rich in antioxidants which help to reduce the inflammation caused by exercise, helping you to recover faster from your training.
      Another great addition to this recipie is the turmeric. The curcumin (found in turmeric) may be beneficial in adding lean mass and recovering from exercise. Studies have shown that curcumin supplementation following eccentric exercise led to reduced post-exercise inflammation and markers of muscle damage while also improving exercise recovery.

  3. Hello, your sandwich sounds so good, but I have one question: did you use miso paste or dry miso powder for the sauce?

    • Gulfira,
      my apologies for the delayed reply, I answered your question right away, unfortunately it didn’t get posted ;-(
      We used chickpea miso paste.

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