Try Sushi for Thanksgiving-With Wild Rice, Sweet Potatoes, and Apple!

Maple Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice and Hazelnut Sushi for Thanksgiving

Shake up Thanksgiving with Sushi!

Try Thanksgiving Sushi, Really

Last week, I posted an updated Shepherd’s Pie, with a few delicious tweaks that made it oh so delicious. This week, I’m giving you a Thanksgiving option that might seem a little bit radical. Are you ready for Thanksgiving Sushi?

Before you hit the brakes, let me tell you just what qualifies this sushi to serves as an appetizer or side at this most hide-bound and traditional of meals. First, the sushi rice is laced with wild rice, a Thanksgiving regular. Inside the roll, you have sweet potatoes that have been roasted in a maple syrup and soy sauce glaze. Then there are crisp apples alongside. To take it a step further, a dab of sage-laced mayonnaise, and crunchy roasted hazelnuts complete the theme.

Are you with me? Good.

If you are sharing a meal with people who love sushi, or just a bunch of people who like a little something different, this could be your new tradition.


Thanksgiving Sushi

You Can Make Simple, Round Rolls, Too

It’s still sushi, with vinegar-laced, tender sushi rice, nori, and the usual dipping sauces and condiments. Trust, me, all the flavors work together. I love the snap of the honeycrisp apples and toasty hazelnut chunks.

Thanksgiving Sushi

Arrange Your Sushi Like a Flower

Sushi may seem intimidating, but don’t worry. You can make it at home. I did use an bamboo rolling mat, or takisu, to make the rolls, and then shape the roll into petal forms. It’s such an easy trick, once I show people at my sushi classes, they get it right away. If you don’t have a mat, you can use plastic wrap to form the roll, too.

One caveat: you do need to use real, hand harvested wild rice for the filling. It cooks in the same amount of time as sushi rice, so you can cook them together. If you must use cultivated wild rice, cook it separately and fold it in. But seriously, the real thing is worth seeking out.

Thanksgiving Sushi with Hazelnuts

Pretty Little Sushi Rolls for Thanksgiving

Have a great holiday meal, no matter what you serve. This sushi would be a perfect meal for the week after, too!

Thanksgiving Vegan Sushi

It’s Easy to Make Your Sushi Into Petal Shapes

Thanksgiving Sushi with Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving Sushi with Wild Rice, Sweet Potatoes, and Apple

Ditch those tired sweet potato sides, and try roasting slices of sweet potato with maple, tamari and sesame oil, then rolling it in sushi with wild rice, hazelnuts, and crisp apple.


  • 12 ounces sweet potato a small one
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sushi rice
  • 1/2 cup real wild rice
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 large honeycrisp
  • 6 nori sheets
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts toasted, skinned and chopped
  • wasabi, pickled ginger, soy sauce for dipping


  1. Put the sushi rice into a bowl of cold water and swirl and swish until the water turns white, then pour off the water, drain well. Put washed rice, wild rice and 2 1/4 cups water in pot on stove and bring to a simmer. Stir and cover, lower heat. Cook 15 minutes, until water is absorbed; stir, cover, and cool. Stir together vinegar and sugar, stir into rice.
  2. While rice is cooking, heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice sweet potato into long french fry shapes, toss with maple, tamari and sesame oil on a sheet pan. Roast uncovered for 15 minutes, then turn the strips and bake for 20 minutes longer, until tender when pierced with a paring knife. Remove to rack to cool.
  3. Slice the apple into 1/2 inch thick batons, about the same size as the sweet potato pieces. Mix the mayo with sage in a small cup.
  4. To assemble, place a sheet of nori on a bamboo rolling mat. spread 3/4 cup cooked rice on each sheet of nori, leaving a strip about 1 inch wide along the top edge exposed. Sprinkle hazelnuts over the rice. Smear a teaspoon of mayonnaise across the bottom of the rice. Lay two rows of strips of sweet potato on the bottom third of the rice, place a couple rows of apple. Brush water on exposed nori. Roll up with even pressure, lay with seam side down to seal.
  5. To make the flower petal shape, use the mat to shape by pressing down on one side after you've made the roll, using the mat to create the angle down to a point.
  6. Let sit to firm up for a few seconds, then slice with moistened serrated knife into 6 to 8 slices per roll. Arrange each on a plate. Sprinkle hazelnuts over the slices, and garnish with wasabi, pickled ginger, and shoyu or tamari for dipping.











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