Sushi is almost as fun to make as it is to eat. To roll your own sushi at home, you’ll need several sheets of nori (dried seaweed), a batch of sticky sushi rice, and some fresh fish or other fillings of choice. Start by spreading the cooked rice in a thin layer over the nori, leaving room in the center for your main ingredients. After adding everything you want, roll it all up using your makisu (a type of flexible bamboo mat) as a guide and slice it into yummy bite-sized pieces!
1 cup (190 g) sushi rice (glutinous rice)
1/2 tablespoon granulate white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 sheet nori (dried seaweed)
cucumber, avocado, daikon radish sprouts, or other assorted vegetables
fresh sushi-grade fish (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, etc.)
Toasted sesame seeds (for uramaki-style rolls)
Makes 1-2 servings
EditPreparing Your Sushi Rice
Cook a batch of sushi rice in your rice cooker. Combine 1 cup (190-285 g) of sushi rice and of water in your rice cooker. Stir the ingredients until they’re thoroughly mixed, then close the lid and hit the start button. It should only take about 15-20 minutes for your rice to finish cooking.If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can also boil your sushi rice on the stovetop until all the water has cooked out of it. This method is typically a little slower, and may take 20-25 minutes.
Cooking 1 cup (190 g) of rice will give you enough for 1-3 rolls.
Heat your vinegar, sugar, and salt together in a small saucepan. Add of rice vinegar, ½ tablespoon of granulated white sugar, and ½ teaspoon of salt to the saucepan and place it on the stove over low heat. These ingredients will serve as the seasoning mixture for your sushi rice. Warm the mixture for 2-3 minutes, stirring it occasionally to prevent it from scorching.
Look for the sugar and salt to dissolve completely before you remove the mixture from the stovetop.
Be careful not to use more than the recommended amount of vinegar. Doing so could make your rice soupy and cause it to fall apart when you attempt to roll it.
Add your seasoning mixture to the cooked rice and let it cool. Drizzle the vinegar, sugar, and salt over your freshly-cooked rice while it’s still warm. Stir the rice thoroughly for 1-2 minutes to ensure that the seasoning mixture is fully incorporated throughout. When you’re done, leave your rice out on the countertop to cool at room temperature.
The addition of the seasoning mixture will both flavor your rice and give it the perfect sticky texture for rolling.
EditAssembling Your Roll
Cut your filling ingredients into small pieces. Slice veggies like cucumber, avocado, and daikon sprouts into thin slivers to make sure they’ll fit in your roll comfortably. If you want to incorporate fresh fish, shrimp, eel, or any other type of seafood, you can either cut it into strips or opt for a finer chop, dice, or mince. You’ll only need about of veggies or fish (or both) to fill your sushi roll.The tuna used for spicy tuna rolls, for example, is typically diced into tiny cubes and combined with spicy mayo or other condiments.
Bulky pieces of fish or veggies will make it harder to close your roll.
Place a sheet of nori on your rolling mat with the shiny side down. The nori is an essential component of any sushi roll—it serves as both the base and wrapper for your roll. Nori is quite delicate, so handle it gently to avoid accidentally crinkling or tearing it while removing it from its packaging.
You can find nori, along with the other ingredients you need to make homemade sushi, at any major supermarket or Asian grocery store.
Make sure your mat is positioned so that the bamboo slats are lying horizontal to you.
If you don’t own a sushi rolling mat, a kitchen towel topped with a sheet of plastic wrap can serve as a useful substitute.
Wet your fingers to keep the rice from sticking to them as you work. Hold your hands under a stream of cool water, then shake off the excess moisture. It may also be a good idea to keep a bowl of clean water next to your work area if you’re going to be putting together more than one roll.
Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before you begin, since they’ll be coming into direct contact with your food.
If you don’t wet your hands, you’ll quickly find them covered in sticky rice, which can make it next to impossible to roll your sushi successfully.
Spread a thin layer of sushi rice onto the sheet of nori. Grab ¾-1 cup (140-190 g) of rice and place it in the center of the sheet. Pat the rice down gently with the flat of your fingers until it’s evenly distributed over the surface of the nori. Leave about of empty space at the top of the nori—this will allow it to close once it’s been rolled.Be careful not to spread the rice too thick, as this will make it difficult to roll the sushi, and could even cause the nori to break.
After your first few attempts, you’ll start to get a sense of how much rice to use.
Avoid smashing or handling the rice too roughly, as this may affect the texture of the finished roll and throw off your rice-to-filling ratio.
Make a shallow depression near the bottom of the rice with your finger. Press your entire pointer finger into the rice in a straight line widthwise across the bottom third of the nori. The idea is to hollow out a slender area to make sure your ingredients will fit and prevent them from spilling out over the nori once you begin rolling.This step is more or less optional, but it can be helpful if you’re working with multiple ingredients or especially small pieces.
Add roughly of filling ingredients to the rice. Take about ⅓ of a cup of sliced veggies, fish, and other ingredients of choice and arrange them in a line in the depression you made along the lower part of the rice. Again, avoid overfilling your roll, as this could cause it to rupture or make it hard to close.A classic California roll, for example, contains kanikama (imitation crab meat), avocado, and cucumber.
Other sushi staples include the Philly roll, which consists of salmon and cream cheese, and the spider roll, which is made with soft-shell crab meat, cucumber, avocado, and spicy mayo.
To make uramaki-style rolls with the rice on the outside, simply turn the nori over after spreading on the rice and add your ingredients the same way.
EditRolling and Cutting Your Sushi
Roll the sushi up from the bottom using your mat as a guide. Slide your thumbs under the lower edge of your mat and gently lift it up and forward to fold the bottom of the nori over on itself. Once you’ve done this, continue pulling the mat forward slowly, applying light pressure to help mold the roll until it closes.Be careful not to roll your mat or towel up in your sushi by mistake!
Rewet your fingers as often as needed to keep the rice from sticking to them.
Wet a sharp knife with cool water. Just like you wet your fingers before building your roll, it’s important to wet your knife before you cut it. Dip the blade of your knife into a container of water, or run it under the tap from tip to handle. A dry blade is more likely to mangle than make a clean cut. The last thing you want is to make a mess of your roll after spending so much time getting it just right!
If possible, use a knife designed specifically for cutting sushi, such as a yanagiba, deba, or usuba. These knives boast thin blades with incredibly sharp edges that will slice effortlessly through even the most overstuffed rolls.
Assuming you can’t get your hands on a special sushi knife, an ordinary paring knife should work just fine, as long as it’s recently been sharpened.
Cut your roll into pieces. For standard hosomaki rolls, each piece should be about wide. Chumaki rolls can be slightly bigger at around , while futomaki (the largest type of hand-rolled sushi) pieces may be up to wide.Wet your knife again before each cut to keep the blade from mashing the roll out of shape.
There’s no need to get too wrapped up in the particulars of different styles of sushi. Just go with a size that works for you.
Serve your roll with other toppings and condiments of your choosing. You might slice your leftover fish into strips and place a strip over each piece, or do the same with a fresh avocado. If you want to get really fancy, you might even drizzle it with a little eel sauce or spicy mayo, pile on diced scallions, or add a dash of bonito flakes for a subtle smokey taste.For the full sushi bar experience, plate your roll with a dollop of wasabi, a few slices of pickled ginger, and a dish of shoyu (soy sauce).
If you tried your hand at uramaki, sprinkle a pinch of toasted sesame seeds over the top of the roll to add the finishing touches.
WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5cafff324db67’)Sushi FillingsWH.shared.addScrollLoadItem(‘5cafff324de7f’)Vegetarian Sushi Variations
Most types of sushi rice come with cooking instructions on the package. Be sure to follow these instructions to the letter to ensure that your sushi turns out with the right flavor and texture.
Get creative with your filling ingredients. You can put just about anything in your rolls as long as you cut it into thin strips!
Be patient and do your best. Rolling sushi is an art that requires an enormous amount of skill and grace, and it may take many tries before you begin to get a feel for it.
Don’t sweat it if you’re not great with chopsticks. In Japan, sushi is often enjoyed as a finger food.
The consumption of raw seafood has been linked to certain foodborne illnesses. Unless you can find real sushi-grade fish in your area, it may be best to stick with veggies and other ingredients.
EditThings You’ll Need
Makisu (bamboo sushi rolling mat)
Shallow bowl for water
Pot or saucepan (optional—for cooking rice)
Kitchen towel and plastic cling wrap (optional—as substitute for makisu)
Make Sushi Rice
Make Temaki Sushi
Practice Sushi Etiquette
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