How to Make Sushi Rolls – How to Make Sushi

how to make sushi rolls

Have you been to a great Sushi bar and wondered how to make Sushi rolls? This article is for you.

Makimono, or norimaki, is a general term for sushi roll. It means “rolled product”, or “seaweed roll”. It was created for keeping the hands clean while eating sushi on the streets and considered a more casual style, and is not limited to the Edo style sushi.

Original sushi rolls are cylindrical and have two sizes:the thin hosomaki (thin roll) and the thicker futomaki (thick roll). Thin rolls usually consists of one main ingredient(sometimes accompanied by a condiment), but the Osaka style sushi‘s thick roll holds multiple ingredients.

As delicious as it may be, it is not all difficult to make a delicious sushi roll at home. All you need is a couple of ingredients, a sharp-edged sashimi knife, a plastic sheet and bamboo mat. You can also prepare sushi without a bamboo mat and if you keep reading this article, you’ll learn how to in just a few minutes.

Sushi recipe might not be a very difficult one but there are a few pointers that you need to remember so before we proceed towards the recipe, here’s a list of some important things that you need to keep in mind in order to make perfect sushi Roll.

Sushi rolls are also rolled inside out as a uramaki (outside roll, or reverse roll) with the rice facing outside. The gunkanmaki, or ship roll is a type of roll with a sushi rice shaped into a small oval ball is surrounded with nori “walls”. This is roll was created to hold loose ingredients such as sea urchin and salmon roe. The temaki or hand roll is a cone shaped roll also wrapped with seaweed.


How to Make Sushi Rolls 1E   How to Make Sushi Rolls 1D
ShinySide of Nori                                                        Rough Side of Nori

The nori has two sides. One side is shinier than the other and the shinier side should always face outside, so the sushi rice is always applied on the rougher side. The sushi rice must be placed on the rougher side because it absorbs more moisture and sticks to the rice better.

How to Make Sushi Rolls 1C
Nori dimensions:

The nori is not a perfect square. It is normally 7 inches (18 cm) in length and 8.4 in (21 cm) in width . The longer side is used for the length of the sushi roll.

Since the thick roll was not made in Edo style sushi, the term for the fusion style outside rolls (uramaki) refer to both thin and thick sizes.



Make sure you cover your bamboo mat with a plastic sheet so that sushi rice doesn’t get stuck on it and destroy the shape of your sushi.


How rto Make Sushi Rolls 1A   How to Make Sushi Rolls 1B

When your roll is ready, dip the sashimi knife in water before cutting the sushi rolls to make it easier to cut through the Nori and always wipe it clean with a towel after you are done slicing. It is important to repeat this process and keep the sashimi knife clean and wet before cutting rolls.

Now that you know all the important things; let’s proceed towards the recipe!

Note: This is a general sushi recipe; you can make variations in it by changing the fillings and toppings of your choice.


Ingredients for a Sushi Roll:

  • Seafood of your choice, e.g. Crab, shrimp tempura, eel, prawns, tune etc. (I am using grilled eel)
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 2 Tbsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 sheet of Nori
  • 2 medium-sized avocados
  • Few drops of lemon
  • 1 medium-sized cucumbers (or any other vegetable of your choice)

For toppings

  • Soya Sauce
  • Spicy Mayo
  • Unagi Sauce (optional)
How to make Sushi Rolls: A step by step guide. Click To Tweet

How to make a Sushi Roll: Step by Step Instructions

Step#1:  Prepare Sushi Rice

  • Boil the rice in a cooker (sushi rice are a bit overcooked than normal rice).
  • Dish them out.
  • Add rice wine vinegar into the rice and put it aside.

Step#2:  Prepare the meat

(Since I am using eel, I have described how to grill it)

  • Buy a packet of frozen grilled eel from a superstore.
  • Re-grill it in a griller or toaster.
  • Add some Unagi sauce on it while grilling.
  • Set it aside.

Step#3:  Prepare the vegetables

  • Cut avocado lengthwise, making ¼ inches thick slices.
  • Spray some lemon juice on top of the avocado to keep it from turning brown.
  • Cut cucumber into thin and around 2 inches long slices.

Step#4: Finally, Prepare the Sushi Roll

  • Place the Nori on top of your plastic covered bamboo mat.
  • Dip your hands in a bowl of water or vinegar and start spreading the rice on top of the Nori sheet. Do not press the rice too much or it would lose all the texture and fluffiness.
  • Place the grilled eel (or any meat of your choice) on the Nori sheet and put cucumber strips on top of it. Add some more unagi sauce if you want and a bit of soya sauce.

Step#5: Start Rolling!

  • Now hold the bottom edge of the bamboo mat and start folding firmly and tightly. Keep pulling the bamboo mat away as you wrap your sushi.
  • Roll it until the last of nori has been wrapped.

Step#6:  Slice it and enjoy!

  • Cover the roll again with a plastic sheet. Now using a sharp-edged knife cut 8 equal pieces as evenly as possible. Be very gentle so that you don’t break or squish the avocado slices.
  • Before serving, add some spicy mayo and soya sauce on each piece. You can also serve some unagi sauce on the side if you want.

Here are more ways in which you can make amazing sushi rolls:

How to make Sushi Roll without Bamboo Mat:

If you do not have a bamboo mat, you can use a small towel (a tea towel), fold it from the center and spread it on a flat counter. Place a plastic wrap on top to cover it. Lay the Nori sheet on top of it the same way.  While rolling, avoid pressing too hard, otherwise, the wrapping will tear the delicate nori. Keep pulling the towel wrap away as you roll.

How to make Sushi Roll with Rice on the outside:

Sushi rolls are also rolled inside out as a uramaki (outside roll, or reverse roll) with the rice facing outside. In order to roll your sushi this way, you’ll have to flip the Nori sheet after spreading rice on it and then stack other ingredients on the nori. It is advisable that you use a bamboo mat to roll an inside-out sushi otherwise it will be very hard to do it. [Read more about Outside rolls here]

How to make Sushi Roll without Seaweed:

There is a type of sushi, called Nigiri which is served without seaweed. Simply stack your vinegar rice in a nice square and put the meet on top of it. You can also add vegetables of your choice and serve it with sushi sauces. [Read more about Nigiri here]

How to make Hand Rolls (Temaki):

Hand rolls are a casual way of making sushi and often made at home. They are made in sushi restaurants as well for rolling lose ingredients.

Since the thick roll was not made in Edo style sushi,  the term for the fusion style outside rolls (uramaki) refer to both thin and thick sizes. [Read more about how to make hand rolls here]

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