How to Roll Sushi at Home



by Jessica at SEE Salt

It seems like sushi is one of those things many of us love—and crave! But we tend to only eat it when we go out. Why is that? I really want to encourage everyone to try rolling their own! It is so simple.

The fabulous thing is that you can keep the primary dry ingredients (uncooked rice and nori/dry seaweed) in your pantry at all times. We keep a small basket in ours where we store those ingredients along with rolling mats (bamboo or silicone) and chop sticks to grab and roll whenever we like. We love to entertain with sushi-rolling parties. It is so fun to get everyone working together in the kitchen!

Locating your local Asian market is your best bet to find fresh sushi-grade fish. Or you can buy pre-made coconut shrimp or imitation crab from your local grocery and add avocado and cucumber to make California Rolls (a guaranteed crowd pleaser). Keep it simple!


Play around with adding crunch and fun sauces to your sushi—it’s part of the fun of making your own! We love to add Panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs) and eel sauce. Wasabi peas and black sesame seeds are great additions, too. Being that we are in Arizona, we often spice it up by adding a thinly sliced, fresh jalapeño to the top. Or for a spicy sauce, we might mix a little mayonnaise with a touch of Sriracha. Yum.

A word on rice, because you can’t just use any white rice: You must use Japanese sticky rice for sushi-rolling. The process of making homemade rice can be tedious and a bit time consuming. The first time we tried, we were laughing so hard as my husband had to stand over a bowl of steamy rice “fanning it” with a paper fan for 45 minutes per the instructions! Totally not worth it with our crazy family life, but it was fun to learn the authentic technique. [Ed. note: Here’s a recipe for making sushi rice in a rice cooker.]

Another option is buying pre-done rice at your local Japanese restaurant or at the Asian market (if they carry it). Most of the time we actually prefer to swing in and get take-out rice. The consistency always is correct, allowing for beautiful rolls. Plus you don’t have to “fan” it. Much easier.


Sushi rice: Cooked short-grain Japanese rice (see above for recipe suggestion, or opt for take-out)
Nori (seaweed wrapper)
Bamboo or Silicone Rolling Mat(s)
Soy sauce, ginger, wasabi, thinly sliced lemon
Your choice of fillings. (Examples: Julienned cucumber, sliced avocado, sushi grade tuna, imitation crab, sesame seeds)
[Ed. note: You’ll also need vinegar, sugar, and salt if following the linked recipe for sushi rice in a rice cooker.]


We have figured out a couple of tricks (through much trial and error) that might help you.

1. If your are going to roll “sushi-rice out” (uramaki) and are using a bamboo mat, place the mat in a gallon-sized Ziploc to create a non-stick barrier. It’s a must-do for this style of roll. However, many stores are now carrying silicone sushi-rolling mats—which are amazing!

2. Have a bowl of water sitting next to your rolling station. Dipping your hands in the water will prevent the rice from sticking to you.

3. Prep your ingredients in advance, and have them beside you.

4. Tuck-and-roll. When you are ready to roll your sushi, be sure to pull back the mat (up and away from you) and tuck under your ingredients under until finished rolling.

5. Run water along the edge of the nori to help seal it closed.

Sushi_4 (1)


Use a very sharp or serrated wet knife. Start by cutting the roll in half. Then, line the two halves before slicing to ensure uniform sizes.



Watch SEE Salt TV’s “How to Roll Sushi 3 ways” for a demonstration and more tips.

Thank you so much, Jessica!
Have you made sushi at home? What do you include?

SEE Salt is created by Jessica with her mom Terri, who has always taught her the confidence to create. Together they love to play in the kitchen and hug n’ kiss on Jessica‘s two little babes, Caroline and Benjamin.

P.S. In addition to creating gorgeous recipe videos for her own site, Jessica contributes recipes to Hither and Thither on a regular basis—some original and some from SEE Salt. See one of my favorites, a couscous salad you can make for dinner tonight. 

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category