Homemade Sushi Recipe

How To Make Homemade Sushi

Homemade sushi, while time-consuming, is so much fun to make! You can customize exactly what you want, and it makes a great date night idea!

Have you ever noticed just how expensive sushi is? Or wished there was a different combination of ingredients to have just what you want? Why not try making it yourself?

Making homemade sushi is a lot of prep work, but that’s part of the fun of making your own sushi. When we made it last weekend, we had 3 people working on it, and it took about 1.5 hours. But we also weren’t using our time very wisely either. Making sushi could be a great date night with your partner, or a fun night in with the girls. Or, in my case, it’s usually my brother-in-law and me who makes the sushi when we have it as a big family Sunday afternoon meal.

Making the sushi rice correctly is the most important part of the sushi recipe. If you don’t have this correct, it won’t stick together to make the rolls.

Step by Step

While the rice is cooking, start slicing all the ingredients you want for your sushi rolls. Some of our favorite rolls are:

  • California Roll: Cucumber, Avocado, Crab
  • Spicy California: Cucumber, Avocado, Crab, Spicy Mayo
  • Philadelphia Roll: Cream Cheese, Salmon or Crab, Cucumber
  • Shaggy Dog: Shrimp Tempura, Mayo, Crab strips on top
  • Shrimp Nigiri: Rice patties with Shrimp
  • Salmon Nigiri: Rice patties with Salmon

Or create your own. We usually slice up the ingredients we want and just start building as we go. One time we even made a buffalo chicken roll with some cooked chicken and buffalo sauce in it! You can really put almost anything you want in a sushi roll. Another common ingredient is egg, but we haven’t tried that yet.

When you slice all the ingredients, you want to slice them into thin, long strips so they will cover the length of the sushi rolls.

To start making the rolls, lay your bamboo mat on your flat workspace. Fill a small bowl with water and a splash of rice vinegar. Place a single sheet of seaweed on the bamboo mat with the shiny side down. It helps to have all of your ingredients close at hand before you start to make your sushi.

When you are working with the rice, keep your hands very wet so it doesn’t stick.
When you are working with the seaweed, keep your hands very dry.

Get your hands wet and grab a handful of the rice. Keeping your hands wet, spread the rice until you have a thin layer covering all except the last 1/4″ of the seaweed. Lay your ingredients all the way across the seaweed at the end closest to you.

Very carefully use the bamboo mat to start rolling the sushi. You want to keep it rolled tight, and roll almost to the end. To seal the roll, dip your finger in the water and run it along the edge of the seaweed and roll it up to seal. Use the mat to form the roll slightly. Watch the video below to see my brother-in-law (the one who taught me how to make sushi) demonstrating on one of the rolls we made.

Continue doing the same with the remaining rice to make your variety of sushi rolls. Once you have finished, use a very sharp, non-serated knife to slowly slice the sushi rolls. I usually touch the edge of the knife to the sushi, and slowly slide it back and forth until it just starts to slice the seaweed. Once it slices through the top, you can usually keep the sawing motion going to cut all the way through. I like to use my good ceramic knives for slicing the sushi.

Experiment. Have fun. Create your own sushi rolls. If you do, tag me in your photos so I can see what you made! (Instagram: @sonshinekitchen or Facebook: @mysonshinekitchen)


How to make homemade sushi

Sushi Rice

Homemade sushi, while time-consuming, is so much fun to make! You can customize exactly what you want, and it makes a great date night idea!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Asian
Keyword: rice, seafood, shrimp
Servings: 3 rolls
4.6 from 5 votes


  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt


Rinse Rice
  • Thoroughly rinse the rice by putting it in a bowl (or the bowl of the rice steamer) and filling with water enough to completely cover the rice
  • Use your hands to stir the rice around until the water is murky
  • Use a strainer (or the lid of your steamer) to drain the water
  • Continue doing this until the water comes out clear (usually 3-4 times)
Cook Rice
  • Steam 2 cups of rice according to steamer instructions
Create Rice Mixture
  • While rice is cooking, in a large bowl combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt
  • Microwave mixture on high for 30 seconds then stir to combine
  • Once the rice is finished cooking and slightly cooled, use the rice paddle to remove rice from the steamer to a large mixing bowl. DON’T scrape rice from bottom and sides as this rice is usually hard and/or burned and doesn’t work well for sushi.
  • Carefully fold vinegar mixture into rice


This is enough to make about 2-3 sushi rolls. We were cooking for 6 people and used 6 cups of rice and still ended up with some leftover sushi.
Note: Nutrition is calculated for sushi rice and does not include fillings. 
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Nutrition Facts
Sushi Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 489
% Daily Value*
Sodium 2334mg97%
Potassium 94mg3%
Carbohydrates 108g36%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 8g16%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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33 thoughts on “How To Make Homemade Sushi”

  1. Pingback: My 10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets for Cooking Whole Foods | You Are My SON Shine

  2. confettiandbliss

    I love homemade sushi! When my daughter Brooke was in high school she had a group of friends whose parents made so many spectacular sushi dishes. The kids’s favorite at that time was Spam Sushi. But I love your rice, shrimp, avocado sushi. Those are some of my favorite ingredients. It looks so yummy!

    1. Oh how fun! I never really ate it until college because my mom is severely allergic to shellfish so we never had anything like this!! It’s so much fun to make and customize how you want.

  3. I’ve never made sushi before and don’t think I could pull it off as well as yours look but maybe with your recipe I can. Will have to give it a try someday! Worth a shot 🙂

  4. This looks so good! But I must confess that I have never made it. I did try with a Chinese student once (I am a teacher) but it was a real disaster. I was so sorry for him as he ws really looking forward to it. I should have seen this before!

    1. Trust me, they did not look quite as beautiful the first time or two. It took some practice to get them looking this nice, but they always taste good even if the presentation isn’t perfect!

  5. I’ve always heard that Sushi is difficult to make, but I also heard that about Macarons and I gave them a try. Maybe DIY sushi should be next on my list!!!

  6. I know that it is better when you can make your own sushi instead. And it can be delicious. A former roommate made it once. And it was to die for. There are just so many different things to remember. And getting the sticky rice right plus having really sharp knives is essential.

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