How To Make Sushi : Maki Rolls

Sushi refers to the short-grain rice, cooked and seasoned with sushi vinegar. Once the rice is made, you can use it in maki rolls (described below). Alternatively make temaki or hand rolls by scooping rice and some fillings (raw or cooked fish, cooked egg omelette, herbs, avocado, cucumber, mayonnaise, chilli) onto a nori seaweed sheet, and roll into one large cone to eat with your hands. Or form into balls, and serve as part of a bento box lunch. It is best to make the sushi just before eating.

If you're new to sushi making this Sushi Making Kit has everything to start making authentic Japanese sushi - except the fish! And if you're looking to entertain friends the Deluxe Sushi Box Set comes with chopsticks and rests and a stylish sushi serving platter.

To explore sushi-making further, we highly recommend Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by Tsuji, and Hashi: A Japanese Cookery Course by Reiko Hashimoto. The film Jiro Dreams of Sushi is also a fascinating look at the life and art of a sushi master in Japan.

 For the rice Serves: 2

For the maki rolls

  • Sushi rice, made as above
  • 3-4 nori sheets, cut in half

Filling ideas

  • Cucumber batons
  • Red pepper batons
  • Avocado, cut into strips
  • Pickled daikon radish
  • Sashimi grade tuna or salmon
  • Seafood sticks
  • Tinned tuna mixed with a little mayonnaise

To cook the rice

  1. Rinse the rice in cold water and drain. Place water and rice into a cold pan, and bring to the boil. Lower heat to a very gentle simmer for 10-15 minutes. Keep checking to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
  2. Remove from heat, cover, and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Pour into a wide dish, add the sushi vinegar, and keep mixing until cool.

To make maki rolls

  1. Lay the bamboo mat in front of you, with the struts lying parallel to the edge of the work surface. Place a sheet of nori seaweed on top with the long side in line with the struts.
  2. Using damp fingers, scoop a little rice onto the nori sheet. Pat out the rice with finger tips, leaving the centimetre furthest away from you bare. This will overlap to seal the roll. The rice layer should be around half a centimetre thick.
  3. Place the chosen filling in a line along the edge of the rice closest to you. Lift the sushi mat with your thumbs, holding the fillings close with your fingers, and push forward firmly - lift and roll the rice away from you, to form a firm cylinder. Press to seal.
  4. Using a sharp knife, slice into 6 to 8 bite-sized pieces just before serving. Serve with soy sauce on the side, a little wasabi paste, and sushi ginger to cleanse the palate.

To make an inside out roll

  1. Line the mat with cling film, and then follow steps 1 and 2 above, covering the whole sheet of nori in sushi rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  2. Flip the nori sheet over so the rice touches the clingfilm, and lay fillings directly onto the nori sheet. Use the clingfilm to help you form the rolls.


  • The sushi vinegar that is used in the recipe is a ready-to-use blend of blend of Japanese vinegar, sugar and salt. If you don’t have any sushi vinegar, that’s fine, you just need to do a little more measuring!

    nicola on

  • Ahhh this is perfect! My little one has really gotten into sushi (thank god it’s something that’s not chicken nuggets) so I’ve promised her that we’ll start having it for dinner (only problem being I literally have no idea at all how you go about making sushi haha). So this is such a great guide! Thank you! In terms of the rice do you need to add anything else? I’ve been going around the internet and printing out various guides I can find (I’m trying to build up a collection haha) and anyway one says that you need to add vinegar, salt and sugar to make sushi rice. Are there different ways to make it then or different versions of the rice? If so which would you recommend? X

    Izzy on

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