Over the holidays my partner and I prepared a sushi night for some friends. One of our guests were vegan and I was so excited to experiment with ingredients so they wouldn’t be stuck with just cucumber avocado rolls. I discovered using watermelon for tuna and had to try it for myself.

Guys, let me tell you. I was thoroughly impressed with myself. It looked and felt like tuna and had a sweet and smokey taste to it. Give this recipe a try the next time you really want to impress your guests. It won’t disappoint.

Prep Time – 1.5 hours
Cook Time – 1.5 hours
Servings – 4 rolls
  • Quarter wedge of Watermelon (preferably de-seeded)
  • 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce or Soy Substitute
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • Tsp Chili Flakes
  • 4 Sheets of Nori
  • 1 Cup of Cooked Sushi Rice
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Vinegar
  • Avocado – Sliced
  • Cucumber – Sliced
  • Sesame Seeds- optional
  1. Cut watermelon into 1.5 inch cubes and place in a large Ziploc bag. Season with soy sauce, sesame oil and chili flakes and place in the fridge to marinate for 1-3 hours.
  2. In a medium sized pot, cook the sushi rice with 2:1 ratio of water until all the water is absorbed. In a small sauce pan, bring the sugar and rice vinegar to a boil until the sugar is dissolved and add into the rice. This allows the sushi rice to get nice and sticky for easy rolling.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325F. Take out the watermelon and place on a cookie sheet making sure they all have room. Place in the oven for 1.5 hours tossing frequently. The watermelon will start to darken in colour and change into a “Tuna” like texture. Once baked to your liking allow to cool, you can serve the watermelon immediately or allow to chill in the fridge for up to 3 days. I found that the watermelon the next day was even better for colour and flavour.
  4. Now to start rolling. Place your nori on a bamboo sheet and spritz nori with water. This allows the nori to be played with more without breaking any dry pieces off. Take your rice and begin to spread across the seaweed with a light layer leaving a 1/2 inch space at the top. You can use a spatula or your fingers with a bowl of water nearby so the rice doesn’t stick to your fingers. Place your ingredients along the bottom of the sheet, the watermelon, cucumber, avocado, whatever you want to put in your sushi. Remember “Less is more!”.
  5. Begin rolling your sushi tightly until you get to the end. Using the bowl of water you have, drag some water on the nori with your finger where you left a gap at the top. Once you roll over it the paper will stick well to the rest of your roll. Use the bamboo sheet to fold over your roll and gently pull towards your body to tighten up your sushi roll. Once you are satisfied with your roll slice with a very sharp (clean) knife.
  6. Serve with wasabi, soy sauce and/or spicy mayo. Enjoy!

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