Melissa: Make Your Own Sushi (on the cheap!)

Today’s guest post is dedicated to my wonderful husband, Bobby. Bobby is half-Japanese and has a passion for sushi. Sometimes we make it ourselves (make your own sushi) and sometimes we go out searching for great rolls! Thanks againย Melissa for your post.ย Melissa was one of the first bloggers I started reading regularly. I’ve been enjoying her “side notes” recently. So without further ado…


So, I know you probably go out for sushi and cringe at the sight of the bill after enjoying your meal…but have no fear! I’m here to teach you how you can make your own rolls at home and spend probably half the amount you would at a restaurant! And you can make them anyway you want!

I made a simple vegetable roll to demonstrate (and I apologize beforehand for the pictures, color and angles, since my kitchen lighting is horrible and I had to photograph my own demo) but I’ll provide some nice add-ins you can use that won’t be too foreign!


  • Rice (long grain/Japanese Botan Rice)
  • Nori (dried seaweed, large squares)
  • 1/2 Avocado, cut into strips
  • 1 Carrot, sliced into long strips (I use a peeler to make it easier to handle!)
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced into long strips
  • Small glass/bowl of water to dip your hands in periodically


  1. Cook rice according to directions either on the stovetop or in the rice maker. For mine I used 1/2C of rice for two servings with 1.5C of water, all in the rice maker.
  2. While the rice is cooking, take this time to cut up all the veggies.
  3. After the rice is done, let it sit for about 10 minutes and then remove it to let it cool (it being hot will cause the nori to cinch up and get rubbery).
  4. Lay out the nori piece on a DRY cutting board (I’ve found this to be the best surface where stuff doesn’t stick).
  5. Place about a 1/2C of rice onto the center on the nori.
  6. Wetting your hands, spread the rice out thinly leaving about a 1/2-1 inch gap at the top and bottom.
  7. Stack all the contents you want inside your roll at the bottom of the nori sheet where there is no rice. I normally start with the cucumber on the bottom to help make rolling easier, then cucumber, other vegetables then the meats/avocado/tofu and such.
  8. Now comes the part everyone is so afraid of: the rolling. This isn’t as hard as you think and can be done the first time without a bamboo roller. The easiest way to roll the sushi is to get your thumbs underneath the nori and use your other fingers to tuck and push everything together. Keep the insides as smashed together as possible without causing them to shoot out the side, and keep rolling over the rice layer until the opposite empty side of the nori.
  9. When you reach the other end dab your fingers in the water and apply some to the end of the nori to help it all stick together. Lay the roll on the seem to help it seal.
  10. The next hard part comes with cutting the sushi. This is where many have a hard time and it causes their sushi to get smashed and fall apart. The key thing is a WET knife and quick, concise strokes. I like to put my hands around the roll like a claw and cut very quickly with the knife. I use a wet towel between slices to remove all the gluten and rice to ensure easy cutting.
  11. Then voila! You have homemade sushi!

Of course this is a very simple variety of sushi, but you can also add a variety of other ingredients too.

For veggie rolls I also like to add:

  • Bean Sprouts
  • Steamed Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Bell Pepper Slices
  • Asparagus
  • Daikon
  • Eggplant (cooked of course!)
  • and anything else you might like!

For protein you can add:

  • Egg (pan fried like an omlette and cut into strips)
  • Tofu (baked/pan fried)
  • Any kind of meat (chicken, port, steak), cut into small strips
  • Fish
  • Shrimp
  • Octopus

Other add-ins include:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Japanese Mayo
  • Dressings
  • Peanut Sauces
  • Sweet Potato Puree

The world is your oyster when it comes to the variety of rolls you can make for sushi rolls! And it doesn’t take long to make either; the hardest most time consuming part is chopping up all the ingredients for the inside of it!

I hope this was easy enough to understand but if you have any questions, feel free to email me (trying dot to dot heal at gmail dot com). You can view my other three sushi tutorials here, here and here.



Thanks again Melissa! I hope to use your tutorial as soon as we get back ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s your favorite sushi?

5 Replies to “Melissa: Make Your Own Sushi (on the cheap!)”

  1. I love love loveeee sushi! But my homemade kind never comes out as good! Plus I never use fish when I make it at home because I’m afraid I’ll make myself sick lol yours looks delish though ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Your sushi looks amazing! I have tried my own before…I used tofu avocado cucumber and brown rice cooked in rice wine vinegar for stickyness. I did NOT learn how to roll before so they turned into more sushi taco’s! Thanks for the tips! Hopefully my next experience with homemade sushi will be more successful! I love love love salmon rolls with avocado, most raw fish aka yellowtail, tuna, salmon, shrimp! Sushi is high on my list of favourite foods but I only enjoy it on occasion! My city does not have the best/fresh sushi.

  3. I love sushi. I fell in love with it even more while in Germany, because they have so much more variety and it’s way cheaper than in Finland.

    I must admit I kind of fell in love with fried sushi! *gasp* ๐Ÿ˜€

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