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How to Roll Sushi

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Making your own sushi at home is a fun and easy task! Sushi is a Japanese treat that comes in all shapes and sizes with a huge variety of ingredients, but the most recognisable form is as Makizushi - maki means "to roll" and zushi meaning sushi, or vinegared or soured rice.

Sushi originally comes from somewhere along the Mekong river in south-east Asia but spread to Japan by the end of the Yayoi period in the second century CE. By the time of the Ashikaga shogunate, sushi became a staple Japanese food and has remained as such ever since. The wide variety of different tasty recipes has meant there are thousands of different types and flavours available to those who are willing to try new food.

As we’ve talked about in our ultimate guide to sushi, sushi nowadays is made with a wide variety of ingredients and styles. Thinner sushi rolls are known as hosomaki, typically containing only one filling ingredient; by contrast, futomaki are fatter sushi rolls containing multiple ingredients to bring out delicious flavours combinations. Some sushi is made with sashimi, raw fish, though some sushi uses smoked salmon (Seattle roll), deep fried (tempura sushi), with vegetarian options, or with meat like beef.

sushi from an online japanese supermarket

You can roll your own sushi in five steps:

 Infographic for Oriental Mart's online japanese supermarket about rolling sushi

Place Down Your Roll 

Unroll a bamboo mat onto a kitchen surface and place a sheet of nori. Cut the nori to size – around the width and length of your bamboo sushi sheet. Place on top of the nori your rice, so it takes up between half and three quarters of your nori sheet. This gives you enough rice to taste its unique flavour, but not so much as to overfill the roll. Check out our guide to producing the perfect sushi rice if you want to make it yourself, or buy it from our online Japanese supermarket.

Add Your Ingredients

 Add to the bottom quarter of your sushi roll, on top of the rice, your main ingredients – fish, tempura, or meat are all good fillings, while for a vegetarian option, try avocado or cucumber.

Squeeze Your Sushi

Roll the sushi part-way to compress the main ingredients together with the bamboo mat. Do not push too hard otherwise you might crush the ingredients! You should have a ‘roll’ of sushi with a long bit of nori and rice left to wrap around later.

Roll Your Sushi

Unroll the bamboo mat while keeping the sushi still part-rolled. Then, with your hands, gently roll the rest of the sushi together.

Cut and Eat!

You’re ready to eat! Just cut the sushi into bite-sized pieces with an extra-sharp knife (a blunt one will struggle to cut the nori cleanly), and prepare either a bowl of soy sauce or wasabi if you want to have something to dip the sushi in.

How has sushi rolling gone for you? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch on social media! And if you need any ingredients, take a look at our Japanese supermarket online – we have a wide variety of high quality ingredients to suit your needs.

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