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plated homemade sushi on a bamboo mat
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5 from 9 votes

How To Make Sushi: A Beginner's Guide

Our guide to making sushi keeps it simple. Get creating your favourite sushi at home, its great crowd pleaser and easy to make a variety of fillings for taste and dietary requirements.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Homemade sushi
Servings: 4 - 6
Author: Sara-Jane Bowness


  • 1 Bamboo sushi mat


  • 5 Nori sheets / sushi sheets
  • tablespoon Sushi seasoning / sushi vinegar Adjust to taste, see note 1
  • 1 cup Sushi rice See note 2

Your filling of choice: Our suggestions

  • 1 protein Tuna/ salmon/ chicken/ tofu/ crab sticks
  • ½ veg capsicum (peppers)/ avocado/ carrots/ cucumber.

To serve (Optional)

  • 1 serving soy sauce/ pickled ginger/ wasabi/ Japanese mayo (per pserson)


To make the rice use the absorption method

  • Take 1 cup of your rice, rinse well in cold water.
  • The rice needs to be cooked 1 part rice to 1.5 part water. So place the cup of rice in a pot and add 1.5 cups of water, add the lid and bring to the boil.
  • Once its boiling reduce to simmer for around 8-10 minutes but keep an eye on it. You want the rice to absorb all the water but not burn or stick to the bottom on the pot!
  • Once the rice is cooked, cool it quickly by spreading it out on a tray, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the sushi seasoning and mix well. Taste and adjust to your preference.

Prepare your sushi sheet

  • Place your nori sheet longest edge at the bottom, shiny side facing down. You can place this on the sushi mat to help you roll it but you don’t have to at this stage. Wet your hands to prevent the rice from sticking, then place a thin layer across the sheet leaving about an inch gap at the top.
  • Add your filling of choice.
  • Make sure your ingredients are thinly sliced and a similar length, so they can be lined up on the rice. Place your filling half way up the rice and let it hang over the sides, to make sure the whole roll is filled.

How to roll sushi

  • Make sure you have some water to hand. Take the bottom of the sheet and roll it up so that the bottom meets the top line of the rice.
  • Try to make one full roll of the rice keeping it tight, hold the roll in place. Then wet your fingers with the water and slightly dampen the remaining edge of the nori sheet then continue to roll the sheet, sealing the roll.
  • Place the roll on the sushi mat, roll the mat around the sushi giving it a gentle yet firm squeeze. You want to compact the roll keeping it round but not squash it.
  • Once you have made up all your rolls, make sure your knife is sharp and run the edge of the knife under a running tap. Cut the roll in half then keep cutting the pieces in half again until you have 8 pieces. (Keep running the knife under a little water in between cuts to prevent the rice from sticking to it).


Note 1 You can make your own sushi vinegar but for beginners ease here we recommend buying.
Note 2 If you cant find sushi rice you can replace with medium grain rice.
To make sushi with rice on the outside: Uramaki sushi
  • Follow the process as above but start by cutting your nori sheet in half. This will give you one whole circle when you roll the sushi. Then layer on the rice covering the whole surface.
  • Flip the roll over and add your fillings of choice to the middle of the roll.
  • Roll the bottom the sheet over once to meet the top and make one whole roll.
  • Place on sushi mat and gently roll to tighten it up and seal it. But don’t over squeeze. Once you are ready to serve use a sharp knife and cut the roll in half then keep cutting the pieces in half again until you have 8 equal piece. As with a maki roll keep dipping the edge of the knife under running water to stop the rice from sticking.