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Sushi Made Simple: A Beginner's Guide to Making Japanese Sushi at Home

Making Japanese sushi at home can be a fun and rewarding culinary experience. Here's a step-by-step guide to making basic sushi rolls, also known as Maki Sushi:


  • Sushi rice (short-grain Japanese rice)

  • Nori sheets (seaweed sheets)

  • Sushi vinegar (rice vinegar mixed with sugar and salt)

  • Fresh fish (such as tuna, salmon, or shrimp)

  • Fresh vegetables (cucumber, avocado, carrot, etc.)

  • Soy sauce

  • Wasabi (optional)

  • Pickled ginger (gari, optional)


  • Bamboo sushi rolling mat (Makisu)

  • Plastic wrap

  • Sharp knife

  • Bowl of water with a little rice vinegar (for dipping fingers)

Step 1: Prepare Sushi Rice

  1. Rinse the sushi rice under cold water until the water runs clear.

  2. Cook the rice according to the package instructions.

  3. Once cooked, transfer the hot rice to a wooden or plastic bowl.

  4. Gently fold in sushi vinegar while fanning the rice to cool it down. Use a wooden spatula to mix and ensure every grain is seasoned. Be careful not to smash the rice.

  5. Cover the seasoned rice with a damp cloth and set it aside to cool to room temperature.

Step 2: Prepare Ingredients

  1. Slice your choice of fresh fish and vegetables into thin strips. For fish, it should be cut against the grain.

  2. Lay out your nori sheets, shiny side down.

Step 3: Assemble the Sushi Rolls

  1. Place a bamboo sushi rolling mat on a clean, dry surface.

  2. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the bamboo mat.

  3. Put a nori sheet, shiny side down, on the plastic wrap.

  4. Wet your fingers in the vinegar-water bowl to prevent the rice from sticking, and then take a handful of sushi rice and evenly spread it over the nori, leaving a small strip at the top free from rice.

  5. Add your choice of fish and vegetables in a line along the center of the rice.

Step 4: Roll the Sushi

  1. Hold the bamboo mat and the edge of the nori closest to you. Lift the edge and the filling, and roll it over the filling.

  2. Tuck the edge of the nori under the filling and continue rolling until you reach the free strip.

  3. Wet the free strip with a little water to seal the roll.

Step 5: Cut the Sushi Rolls

  1. Use a sharp, damp knife to cut the sushi rolls into bite-sized pieces.

  2. For cleaner cuts, wet the knife with a little vinegar-water mixture before each cut.

  3. Wipe the knife between cuts to prevent sticking.

Step 6: Serve

  1. Arrange your sushi rolls on a plate, and serve them with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

  2. You can also garnish with sesame seeds or thinly sliced green onions.

Enjoy your homemade sushi! Be creative with your fillings and presentation, and don't be discouraged if your first rolls are not perfect—it takes practice to become a sushi-making expert.


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