How To Make Sushi: A Beginner's Guide

4 - 6
40 min

Our guide to making sushi. We love sushi, as do our kids and it's easy to make. Sushi makes a great weekend dinner and is always a crowd pleaser. You can make a variety of fillings to meet a range of tastes and dietary requirements.

Sushi chefs in Japan take decades to learn their trade, perfecting rice and slicing raw fish. While we can aspire to produce Japanese dishes like the masters, let's start at the beginning, with simple yet tasty homemade sushi.

Follow our full sushi guide where we share all our tips to making great sushi!

What you need

  • A bamboo sushi mat, these are inexpensive and easy to find.
  • Nori sheets, these are sheets of seaweed for making sushi and can be found in most supermarkets.
  • Sushi seasoning (vinegar), you can make this at home and it's fairly easy to do. But for a beginner's guide to making sushi, let's keep it simple and use store bought sushi seasoning / vinegar.
  • Rice, you can buy sushi rice but you can use medium grain rice which is normally cheaper and easier to find.

homemade sushi roll

We love to serve sushi with soy sauce, pickled ginger, wasabi, Japanese mayo, edamame and miso soup. You can also top the rolls with toasted sesame seeds, tobiko, togarashi, check out your local Asian supermarket!

The beauty of making sushi is you can serve it exactly how you like, adding all your favourite ingredients.

We hope our beginner's guide has given you the inspiration to get rolling!

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How To Make Sushi: A Beginner's Guide
Recipe details
  • 4  - 6
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 40 min
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  • 5 Nori sheets / sushi sheets
  • 2/3 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
  • 1/2 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.
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