Homemade Sushi Rolls

Ever wondered how to make sushi rolls? Sure, it looks easy to make, but I think it would take more than a few tries to master the technique. Unless you have one of those “perfect sushi roll makers.” Do they actually turn out perfect? I’ve always wondered. Anyways, making sushi is as fun as it is to eat. It’s great to get a group of friends together or even your family to enjoy creating your own masterpieces suited to your tastes. I am in no means saying that this is the traditional way to make it, but this way definitely works for those that are starting out. It was my first time making rolls and it turned out just fine. :)

You will need:

  • Bamboo mat
  • Saran wrap
  • Nori (seaweed)
  • 2 cups of Rice (Japanese rice or short grain will do)
  • 3-4 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Various fillings (ie. crab meat, cucumber, avocado, radish, salmon etc.)

(This amount of rice makes about 6 sushi rolls.)

First you need to cook the rice and then let it cool for 20 mins. After the rice has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to a large pan/bowl.

Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat it in the microwave to dissolve the sugar or you can heat it over the stove. Once done, mix it and slowly drizzle it on top of the rice. Gently toss the rice with the vinegar mixture to get an even coat. Set aside.

While the rice is cooking, you can prepare your fillings by chopping everything up. You want to cut larger pieces that would fit across the size of the nori.

Once everything is prepared, place the bamboo mat on your counter/table and cover it with sarah wrap, but extend the wrap about 3-4 inches on the top and bottom. Then place your nori on the saran wrap and cover it with a thin layer of rice.


Layer your fillings lengthwise on the bottom. Here comes the tricky part: rolling! You want to start rolling from the bottom and slightly squeeze the filling in tightly. Press the roll firmly with your fingers then open the bamboo mat up. Make sure you pull the saran wrap up & away so that it does not get rolled in with the sushi. Continue with this motion until you get to the end of the roll. With a sharp knife, cut your roll into 0.5-1 inch pieces and voila! You made your very first sushi roll.

We decided to make variations of the california roll (crab meat, avocado, cucumber) to start off. I added pickled radish, seaweed, ginger and cream cheese randomly and I think it tasted pretty good! With the rice on the inside, it is called “maki” and with the rice on the outside, it is called “uramaki.” To make the rolls with rice on the outside, prepare it as a maki roll and then flip it over. Easy as that!


I hope you are inspired to make your own sushi rolls one day; making dinner/lunch was never so simple and you can have fun while doing so :)

Not sure if I would ever try using raw fish though.. I may just leave that to the pros.

Have you made sushi before? Any tips for a beginner?

– Kathy


5 thoughts on “Homemade Sushi Rolls

  1. I’m Japanese so growing up I’d always watch my mom prepare sushi for special occasions like our birthdays! The rice is one of the most important parts of sushi and takes years to really master on its own. One thing you might wanna try is fanning (or get someone to do it) the rice while you fold the rice to evenly distribute the vinegar. This helps the rice cool down and absorb the vinegar mixture as well.

    With practice you’ll be rolling like a pro for sure! :)

    1. The rolling part definitely takes some getting used to. The first roll was a little messy, but the rolls thereafter turned out slightly better. Give it a try and let me know how it goes :)

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