How To Make Sushi: Recipe In 6 Easy Steps

Sushi rolls are prepared from rice, which is a very rich and healthy food.

Sushi is a food which is present in our diet every day more, and even if it looks difficult to make, this dish can be prepared at home in 6 easy steps.

It has not only become popular because of its delicious taste but also because of the nutrients it provides. Also, the original sushi recipe does not include many saturated fats, because its preparation is based on fresh and natural ingredients. 

In this article, we will show you how to make sushi, following the traditional homemade recipe, in order to obtain a result as similar as possible to the classic Japanese sushi.

Sushi or maki?

Before starting, we are going to distinguish between sushi and maki. Sushi is the specific way of preparing the rice, the main ingredient in the Japanese diet. Among other ingredients, sushi is necessary to make the stuffed rolls that we know as "maki."

So, sushi is used to prepare other typical Japanese dishes such as "onigiri" (small triangle of rice with some algae); "nigiri" (small amount of rice with a thick slice of raw salmon, fish or tuna on top); or "temaki" (algae cone stuffed with rice, which in some places has become a "sushi burrito").

Maki is the roll that can be filled with seafood, avocado, cucumber, among other ingredients, and can be covered with algae, rice, bread, dressings, sesame, and so on. That said, let's see how to make sushi and homemade maki with a simple recipe.

Makis and sashimis are made with sushi rice.
Makis and sashimis are made with sushi rice. |

How to make sushi

Making homemade sushi rolls is a good way of impressing your friends and relatives. Like any recipe, preparing sushi requires learning some steps, choosing the right ingredients and utensils, and also, practicing.

Although preparing sushi is not something complicated, it does take some time, so it is essential to be patient. This is how we will be able to make this typical Japanese dish correctly and with many varieties.

In the same way,  the ingredients you need to make sushi rice are not many, but they must be the right ones. Do not use generic products or ingredients with characteristics similar to those of the original recipe. To prepare the rice you will need: 

  • A 200-milliliter glass to measure.

  • Round grain rice (it has to be this type of rice as it is the essential ingredient in the preparation of sushi).

  • Apple vinegar

  • Sugar

  • Salt

On the other hand, the ingredients you need to prepare the fillings of the sushi are:

  • Surimi sticks

  • A ripe avocado

  • Smoked or fresh salmon

  • Nori algae to wrap the sushi

  • A bamboo rolling mat to make the roll

  • Mayonnaise or mild sauce

1. Rince and cook the rice

This is a crucial step if you want your homemade sushi to come out well. This is how you rinse the rice: put a glass of rice in a strainer and rinse it with plenty of water.

Repeat the process 5 or 6 times. You will know you have finished rinsing the rice when the water stops having a whitish color. The purpose of this process is to soften the rice and get the exact texture that the Japanese sushi rice has. 

Once you have rinsed the rice, put some water to boil and cook it for as long as the label of the product says. Use 2 or 3 measures more of water than rice, so it is well cooked. Then put a bit of salt in it

2. Cool and dry the rice

This step is also essential in your homemade recipe. Once the rice is done, put it on a flat plate or on a platter and let it cool for some minutes

While you leave the rice to cool, put a finger of sugar in your measuring glass and then a little more than a finger of apple vinegar in the same glass. Mix both ingredients in the glass until the sugar dissolves, and incorporate this mixture progressively to the rice, once it is dry.

It is important not to put all the vinegar with the sugar at once on the rice. It is enough to spread the liquid slowly with the help of a spoon and stir the rice gently so that it is impregnated with the vinegar.

Sushi can be prepared at home with an easy homemade recipe.
Sushi can be prepared at home with an easy homemade recipe.

3. Start shaping the rice

For this step, it is important to have a bowl with clean water in it, because you will wet your hands with it and you will give shape to the rolls. 

Once you have clean and wet hands, take some rice and knead it a bit, giving it a slightly elongated shape. It is important to compact the rice and give it a cylindric shape without losing thickness. 

4. Put rice on the algae

On the bamboo rolling mat, but without covering it completely, place a sheet of nori algae. On top of this, extend the amount of rice that we have taken with our hands. It is important to set the algae and the mat on a large table or any stable flat surface.

Create a flat layer of rice which will cover the rest of the ingredients. Extend the rice throughout the whole surface of the algae; except for a space of two centimeters at the end of the seaweed opposite to you, which you should leave without any rice.

To extend the rice, do it slowly and without pressing it too hard. Wet your hands from time to time so the rice moves easily.

5. Make the sushi roll

This is the last step in this sushi recipe.  Once you have the layer of rice, put a bit of mild sauce or mayonnaise across the width and more or less in the lower third of the surface covered with rice (this step is optional).

Then put the chosen ingredients on the layer of rice. For instance, the surimi sticks, and the avocado, the salmon or any other ingredient you want next to it. 

To create the sushi roll, roll the algae forward with the help of the bamboo mat, making stops each time we have completed a turn. It is important to press the algae towards you so that the roll is compressed, but without pressing it too much.

Once the roll is done and the bamboo mat removed,  cut the sushi so that all the pieces are the same size.  To do this, the knife should be very sharp, and it helps to wet it a bit before cutting. It is also important to cut fast and precise, to avoid losing the shape.

6. Serve

To finish we serve the maki and you can eat them with soy sauce and other complements, such as wasabi paste or ginger slices. You can also add a little sesame.


Kawasumi, K. (2001). The Encyclopedia of Sushi Rolls. Graph-Sha