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How to  make your own sushi

Photo credit: Artit_Wongpradu

How to Make Your Own Sushi

January 10, 2019

You don’t have to be a master chef or have the dexterity of a ninja to make your own sushi. All it takes is some specific (but easy-to-procure) ingredients and equipment, an hour of your time, and—at least the first couple goes—a good sense of humor. And ta da! Not only will you have sushi but you’ll now be able to tell people that you make your own sushi, which is reason enough to make the effort.

But really, making sushi at home is fun, especially when you’re doing it with friends or family, and it’s probably easier than you think. The following is a step-by-step guide for making salmon maki rolls (but really, just switch up the fillings to make your own favorite maki rolls). 


What You Need to Make Sushi

  • Sushi rice (such as Nishiki)—The type of rice is essential; for sushi, you need to use short grain sticky rice. If you can’t find it at your local market, you can get it easily online.
  • Nori—These are roasted seaweed sheets. Make sure the package indicates the seaweed is for sushi-making.
  • Seasoned rice vinegar—It’s important to flavor your sushi rice. You can often find seasoned rice vinegar in the Asian food section of your local supermarket. Or, get it online.
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt and sugar
  • Fillings can include raw fish such as salmon or tuna, crab, tempura, avocado, cucumber, carrots, cream cheese, jalapeños—the list goes on.
  • Pickled ginger and wasabi (optional)
  • Bamboo mat (such as these) for rolling the sushi
  • Bamboo rice paddle for removing the rice from the rice cooker (metal paddles may react with the vinegar and affect the flavor of the rice)
  • A sharp knife

Note that instead of buying the mats and paddle separately, you could buy a sushi making kit, which often comes with items such as rolling mats, a paddle and spreader, and chopsticks.


How to Make Sushi in 7 Steps

(Recipe adapted from Fifteen Spatulas)

Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 rolls



  • 6 sheets of nori
  • 2-3 cups of prepared sushi rice
  • ½ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • ½-pound sushi-grade raw salmon or other raw fish
  • 4 oz. of cream cheese cut into strips
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • Soy sauce (and optional pickled ginger and wasabi) for serving


Step 1

Wash and cook your rice. You’ll need about one cup of rice for three rolls of sushi. 


Step 2

Remove the rice from the pot using a bamboo or wooden spoon. Don’t scrape any rice that’s sticking to the bottom of the pot; it will be dry and burned.


Step 3

Add the seasoned rice vinegar to the cooked rice. For three cups of uncooked rice, use a half cup of rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Pour this mixture over the rice and mix well.


Step 4

Lay the bamboo mat out and place a sheet of nori down. Make sure the rough side of the nori is facing up. Cover the sheet with an even, thin layer of the prepared rice. Use the rice paddle to gently smooth out the layer. Make sure the rice is “lacy,” which means you should be able to see some of the nori through the rice. 

Step 5

Place about ¼ cup of the fillings in a horizontal line in the lower third of the rice. 


Step 6

Carefully pull up the mat to roll the nori over the fillings (rolling away from you). Tuck the front edge of the nori into the roll and continue to roll the sushi slowly, pressing gently and making sure the ingredients stay in place. Remove the mat as you roll.


Step 7

Wet the tip of your knife and cut the roll in half (crosswise). Then, slice each half into several smaller rounds. Serve with soy sauce, and pickled ginger and wasabi if you’d like.

The last step, of course, is to enjoy your magnificent creation. Itadakimasu!

Written by Whitney Currier for Knockaround

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