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!

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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 homemade sushi yourself?

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 sushi rice correctly is the most important part of the sushi recipe. If you don’t have this correct, then it won’t stick together to make the rolls. I have used both a rice steamer and an instant pot. The rice steamer gives a slightly better texture. But the instant pot doesn’t leave bits stuck to the edge that isn’t usable in sushi.

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.

Step by Step

The rice needs to be thoroughly rinsed. Do this by placing it in a bowl and filling with enough water to cover the rice. Use your hands to stir the rice around in the water. Carefully drain the water. Continue adding water, stirring, and draining until the water is almost clear. Prepare the rice according to the package.

Slice all the ingredients you want for your sushi rolls. 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.

In a small microwaveable bowl, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.

Microwave the mixture on high for 30 seconds. Stir to combine.

Remove the cooked rice from the rice steamer or pressure cooker and place in a large mixing bowl. Pour the warm vinegar mixture over the rice. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to gently fold the vinegar mixture into the rice.

To start making the rolls, lay your bamboo mat on a 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 then 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-serrated 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.

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)


Originally Published On: April 6, 2017

Last Updated On: February 7, 2020


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!
Course Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine American, Asian
Keyword rice, seafood, shrimp
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 rolls
Calories 489kcal
Author Stephanie Lynch


  • 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 small microwaveable 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

Make Rolls

  • Lay a bamboo mat on a flat working surface
  • Use one piece of seaweed and cover with a few scoops of rice
  • Make sure your hands are wet when touching the rice and spread to the edges of 3 sides of the seaweed, leaving about 1/4" on one side to seal
  • Place your fillings at the edge opposite of the side you left to seal
  • Carefully roll the seaweed, using the bamboo mat, until you reach the end of the roll
  • Dip your fingers in water and use that to seal the edge of the roll
  • Use a non-serrated knife to gently cut the sushi roll into pieces


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. 
  • 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


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 109g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2334mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 2mg

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42 thoughts on “How To Make Homemade Sushi”

  1. This looks so delicious. Thank you for showing how to make homemade sushi. We love sushi (especially my daughter) and I have wanted to try making it from home!

  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.

  7. Although I love sushi, I never tried making it at home. It always sounded too complicated for me. But you make it sound so easy to make, so I will definitely give it a try!

  8. Wow! Boy, you make me hungryy! I will make these with cucumber and avocado and I’m sure I will lose all sense of self control! Love it!

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