Maki Sushi

sushi rice
sushi filling- I used thinly sliced avocado, masago* and surimi**
>bowl of water to dip your finger tips in


First, place the nori shiny side down on a bamboo rolling mat. If there are lines or bumps in the nori, they should be horizonal on the mat. Break it in half horizonally if you want to make the small, single filling rolls (maki) or use the whole sheet to make large (futomaki) rolls. For example, I used the whole sheet because I used the crab stick and avocado but if you are just making a tuna roll, avocado roll, etc, only half a sheet is needed. Spread the nori evenly with sushi rice. Try not to make too thick of a layer and keep away from the top edge***. The rice is very sticky so it might help to wet your finger tips before and during this step.

Then arrange your filling towards the center of the rice. If I am using masago, I tend to spread it over all of the rice, or you can keep it in the middle.

After that, begin rolling. Use firm pressure and start to curl the mat up. Hold the filling in towards the center of the roll as you bring the edge of the mat up and over to start forming the roll. When the mat hits the edge as you are rolling, then just pull it back towards you. Once the maki is rolled all the way, gently squeeze it to pack it together and round out the roll. It should now be a thick, dense log.

Cut into several slices. I find a bread knife works best, even better than super sharp knives, for cutting the roll. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.

Easy! And if you are a little less rice happy than I am you won’t get the rice in the curl like I do. Although, I kind of like it this way.

* Roe available in large frozen blocks at Asian grocery stores, chop off some and defrost it over night.
** Imitation crab. While conventional grocery stores frequently carry this (Louis Kemp is a popular brand) it does not taste like the surimi used in sushi bars. Any Asian grocery would have it, often frozen.
*** I am always a little overzealous with my rice. Try and leave a slightly bigger margin on top than I do.

My thoughts:

Like making sushi rice, everyone has a slightly different way of making sushi rolls. I find I get good results using this method, but you can of course tweak it to make it work for you. Some people like to line the mat with plastic wrap, but I personally don’t find that too helpful. After you do a few rolls it gets easier and quicker. This is a fun thing to do for a dinner party and cheaper than going to the sushi bar. Many stores now have sushi grade fish available but I would advise you to use it the same day you buy it. Otherwise, use vegetables or cooked ingredients.


  1. hi i was just wondering do you need to rest made roll as the seaweed would be crunchy?

  2. yum! you make it look so easy. I’ve always been super intimidated with making sushi rolls at home, but your photos clearly spell out the steps to make it fool-proof. (Or so I hope, otherwise I’m a fool!)

  3. Rachel, you are so skilled – I would never be able to make sushi, it’s so delicate and elaborated!

  4. I find I only get good at rolling when I’m on the last one… I’ve never used row at home though, I’ve been missing out, I’ll have to look for it.

  5. Lana: no, the seaweed some how doesn’t seem to stay crunchy. You can eat it pretty much right away.

  6. I like the rice curl…very cool!

  7. wow! how beautiful. i’ve never even attempted to make sushi but these instructions have inspired me. thx for th sushi rice recipe too, that one always baffles me 😉