Sushi Rolls

If there is one word, which everyone automatically connects to Japan, it would be the ultimate crowd-pleaser fare ‘sushi’. Sushi is one of the most popular dishes of Japan which is available throughout the world. With only a handful of ingredients, this meal is simple to throw together and the flavours shine on their own.

Here, we are going to make sushi rolls or ‘makisushi’ as it is known in Japan. “Maki’ in Japanese means roll. These rolls are also known as ‘beginner’s sushi’ as they are easy to make compared to ‘nigiri sushi’ which requires so much expertise to make. Furthermore, making these homemade sushi rolls are such fun.  These rolls are a rolling of fillings and rice in seaweed cover. Believe me, you can never go wrong with this recipe. Master the simple technique and you are gonna roll. 

Handmade sushi rolls

Preparation Time: 1 Hour

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Serving Size: Makes 10 rolls


For the sushi rice:

  • 4 tbsp. Rice Vinegar
  • 2 cups Japanese Short-Grain Rice
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 × 2’ 2-inch Kombu or Kelp, dried
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt

For the filling:

  • 1 Japanese Cucumber, ends discarded & sliced lengthwise into 4 strips, deseeded
  • 7 oz. Sashimi-Grade Tuna, slice into ¼ inch and ½ inch slices
  • Avocado
  • Crab Sticks
  • 1 box of Fermented Soybean

For the tezu:

  • 1 tbsp. Rice Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Water

Other Ingredients:

  • 5 sheets of Nori or Seaweed
  • Wasabi, as needed
  • Soy Sauce, as needed

Equipment Needed:

  • Hangiri or a large glass bowl
  • Wide Rice Paddle
  • Bamboo Sushi Sheet
  • Sharp Knife


Method of Preparation:

  • First, to make sushi rice, you need to place the rice in a large bowl along with water. Wash it immediately with your hands three to four times until the rice is clear. Tip: Make sure to wash and drain the rice fast as it absorbs water quickly. Drain well.
  • After that, rub the Kombu gently with wet cloth to remove dirt patches. Tip: Do not soak.
  • Now, cook the rice in the rice cooker or in a pot. Place the kombu on top of the rice and allow it to soak in the water for half an hour. Tip: Follow the rice to water ratio according to the instruction given in the rice cooker manual. Otherwise, it should be a 1:1 ratio between rice and water.
  • In the meantime, to make the sushi vinegar, mix the vinegar, salt and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Heat it over medium-high heat until the mixture starts boiling.
  • Stir continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved. Keep it aside to cool.
  • Then, moisten the hangiri or the bowl with water. Transfer the cooked rice to the bowl and spread it out so that the rice cools faster. Pour the sushi vinegar while it is hot.
  • Once the rice is spread out, using a rice paddle, slice the rice at 45◦ angles so that the rice is separated.
  • Then, flip the rice gently between the slices. Repeat the procedure until the rice is cooled to the room temperature.
  • Make sure to keep the rice covered with a damp kitchen towel all the time until it needs to be used as it can dried fast. At this point, the rice should be fluffy with a firm bite yet sticky enough to retain its shape.
  • Now, to make the filling, combine the fermented soybean with the soy sauce and seasoning until slimy and bubbly.
  • Next, combine the rice vinegar and water to make the tozu. Slice the nori into half along the longer side of the sheet. Tip: Make sure you use only that much which is needed since nori sheets get stale easily when not stored properly.
  • Keep the bamboo sheet on the working station with the bamboo strips going parallel to you. Tip: You can wrap your bamboo sheet with cling film to avoid the rice getting stuck to the mat.
  • Place the nori sheet on the mat with the longer side close to the back edge of the mat. Tip: The shiny part of the nori sheet should be down.
  • Brush your hands with water to avoid the rice sticking to your hand and take ½ cup of the cooked rice. Tip: Moisten the cup also.
  • Arrange the rice in the left-center of the sheet while leaving 1/2” inch free on the side further from you. Tip: The place where you leave free space will be where you will finish rolling.
  • With one hand, spread the rice towards the right and keep the other hand over the rice to make sure the rice is away from the 1’inch at the top portion.
  • Spread the rice while leaving the space at the top.
  • Finally, spoon each of the fillings into each of them according to your desires in the middle of the rice lengthwise while being parallel to you. Hold the filling down.
  • Quickly, roll the sushi over the filling right over to the edge of the rice.
  • Don’t take the mat off now rather shape the sushi by tightening it from outside the mat. Tip: Don’t pressure it too much since the filling will spill out then.
  • Shape the roll into squares and finally lift the mat and rotate the mat to seal the edge of the nori.
  • Squeeze it again and tighten the roll.
  • For slicing the roll, wet the knife with the damp towel and slice it into half. You should push and pull the knife to slice it.
  • Wet the knife again and cut into three.
  • Serve it by dipping it in wasabi and soy sauce.

Tip: If you are storing it, make sure to place it in an air-tight container that is wrapped with plastic. Then, wrap it again with a damp kitchen towel.

Toppings: You can have it with pickled ginger as a cleanser between the bites.

Serve with:  Pair with miso soup & green salad with ginger carrot dressing. Finish with Sencha Green Tea.

Substitutions: Instead of making sushi vinegar at home, you can also buy seasoned readymade vinegar.

Nutritional Information per serving:

  • Calories: 83Kcal
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.2g
  • Proteins: 5.9g


This recipe has been written by Nakano. Find out more about Japanese cookware here.

Author: Takahashi Sakura 

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