Making Sushi at Home

August 3, 2010

In honor of our sushi outing yesterday, I thought I would post on how we make our own sushi at home. It isn’t as hard as you may think it would be!

Craig is my sushi expert and crafted the sushi in these pictures. (We usually make sushi rolls, but I only had pictures of shrimp on a bed of rice, wrapped in nori/seaweed. Sorry!)

He primarily followed The Pioneer Women’s step-by-step post with her very own personal sushi chef. (By the way, The Pioneer Women has an AMAZING blog you must check out. Her pictures, recipes, and writing style are out-of-this-world!!)

First you must make “sticky rice.” This is important to keep the sushi roll together.

How to Make Perfect Sushi Rice from The Pioneer Women.

Sushi Rice


  • 1 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • ½ cups Sugar
  • ¼ cups Sake Or Mirin (a Japanese Rice Wine)
  • 4 cups Short Grain/sushi Rice

Preparation Instructions

Instructions: “Rice Prep”

1. Use short or medium-grain rice. It’s more starchy and round than the long-grain variety, which just won’t hold together well enough to support ingredients in sushi. Many stores now sell specifically-labeled “sushi rice.”

2. Before you cook it, wash/rinse the rice until the water runs totally clear—about five or six times. If you don’t thoroughly rinse the rice, it’ll end up in a big, sticky ball. There’s enough internal starch in the rice for it to sufficiently hold together for sushi, so get all the stuff on the outside off by rinsing well.

3. Use a rice cooker/steamer. Rice made on the stovetop will not work for sushi; it won’t be the right consistency. Rice cookers are widely available for as low as $12.

4. Add the rinsed rice to the rice cooker with equal parts water, and follow the directions for the rice cooker. After it’s done, transfer the cooked rice to a large mixing bowl.

You’ll need 1 part sushi su for every 4 parts rice.

Instructions for Sushi Su/Sushi Rice:

1. Heat vinegar, sugar, and sake or mirin in a saucepan just to dissolve and combine. Allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Cook rice according to rice cooker directions. Transfer to large mixing bowl.

3. Pour su (vinegar mixture) over the rice, gently folding to incorporate.

4. Let rice stand for 10 minutes, then fold again.

Rice should be shiny, not mushy and have a slightly tart/sweet taste. Cover with a warm, wet towel and keep warm.

How to Make Sushi Rolls courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.

California Rolls


  • 1 piece Makisu (bamboo Rolling Mat)
  • Dark Green Nori (dried Seaweed)
  • Sushi Rice
  • Imitation Crab
  • Avocado, Thinly Sliced
  • Cucumber (Japanese, If Available), Thinly Sliced
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds

Preparation Instructions

First, in order to keep your rice from sticking to the Makisu and making a terrible mess, carefully wrap the Makisu in plastic cling wrap.

To begin, fold the pieces of nori in half to split them. Nori is very delicate, so as soon as you press along the seam, it easily breaks in two.

Next, lay the half-sheets of nori on the work surface and grab a handful (about a ½ cup) of sushi rice and cover one side of a half-sheet of nori with it. To do so, first set the rice on the end of the nori sheet closest to you. Then, working with your fingertips and/or knuckles, gently spread the rice over the surface of the nori.

On California Rolls, the rice is typically on the outside – not the inside – so to begin, quickly flip the rice-coated sheet of nori so that the rice side is down. Carefully position it horizontally so it will roll lengthwise.

Next, place a single row of the crab across the middle of the nori. Next, place slices of avocado end to end right against the crab. It’s best to use an avocado that’s ripe but still quite firm. Lastly, lay the very thin (slightly thicker than a matchstick) cucumber slices end-to-end right alongside the crab and avocado.

To roll the sushi, carefully lift the edge of the mat closest to you, begin rolling the mat away from you, pressing it lightly to keep it firm.

At this point, the end of the roll has been rolled upward, and your very light pressure is ensuring that they roll will remain nice and tight.

Next, lift up the end of the rolling mat and pull it away from you, allowing the roll to roll the rest of the mat. Then carefully remove the roll from the mat and place it on a cutting board. Lay the mat over the top of the roll and exert gentle pressure once more to make sure it’s all secure.

Next, hold the roll on the mat and sprinkle the top with toasted sesame seeds. Slice using a very sharp knife, first running the knife through a damp dishtowel with the blade facing away from you. Begin by slicing the roll exactly in half. Then set the two halves side-by-side to slice into individual pieces. This ensures that each piece will be a uniform size.

    1. Your sushi looks amazing! My wife and I do this from time to time (as well as making inari – or bean curd as it is commonly called) but we do it with brown rice to make it even healthier. And it is doable on the stove top, but is very tricky and sometimes doesn’t work right so have a back up dinner plan if you try it. And BOO sugar! Lol!

    1. My mother absolutely LOVES to make homemade sushi. She really wants one of those sushi mats, the one that helps you to roll the sushi. I was wondering, do you have any idea on where in Anchorage I could find one of these mats? I don’t even know where to begin looking.

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