Homemade sushi rolls, an absolute staple in Japanese cuisine, are the best treat to make for yourself. But there is a lot to consider when making homemade sushi! This article will teach you about making sushi at home and will also give you suggestions for some of the best recipes to try out.
Sushi at its core is made with three simple ingredients: raw fish, a nori sheet, and sushi rice. But, as anyone that’s frequented sushi restaurants will tell you, there are so many popular sushi rolls that come from those three ingredients!
This article will teach you all about each different type of sushi, some important things you’ll need to know so that you can make sushi at home, and finally will give you 16 sushi roll recipes that you can make in your own kitchen plus my newest sushi recipe I shared called Gobo sushi – perfect when you want a vegan option!
5 Main Types of Sushi
Before we get started, it’s important to know that there is not just one variation of sushi. Instead, these terms are used to describe different styles of dishes you will find served at sushi bars! Some of these terms/items don’t always come with a description on the menu. Familiarize yourself with them now so that you can be confident in what you’re ordering later.
Sashimi is simply a piece of fish, shellfish, or meat (like eel) on its own. It is not served with rice, toppings, or other ingredients. This is for fish purists, who want to experience the meat entirely on its own.
Nigiri is when a mound of sushi rice is topped with an ingredient, usually fish or shellfish. Nigiri can be served cooked, but is usually served raw.
There are not typically dressings or toppings on nigiri, which makes it a good option for people who want to experience the flavors of the fish or the shellfish + rice on their own.
Maki is the traditional sushi roll that most people think of when they think of sushi. It is made by rolling rice, protein, and vegetables inside seaweed.
Maki is typically sliced into 6-8 individual servings and can be easily shared.
Uramaki is often referred to as “inside out” sushi. In uramaki rolls, the fillings are wrapped in seaweed and then the rice is on the outside of the roll. The rice is often covered in toppings, sauces, or more fish.
Uramaki is typically sliced into 6-8 servings and can be easily shared.
Temaki is sushi that has been rolled into a cone shape, also known as a hand roll. A large piece of nori seaweed is wrapped around sushi rice, vegetables, and fish or shellfish.
Temaki is typically served for one person and is difficult to share.
What is the Difference Between Sushi, Sashimi, and Nigiri?
As described above, sashimi is simply a piece of fish (usually raw) or other meat that is eaten entirely by itself. Nigiri is a piece of fish or shellfish served over a bed of sushi rice.
Sushi is an umbrella term that describes a roll made of fish or seafood, sushi rice, toppings, vegetables, and other ingredients. There are three different types of sushi:
- Maki (seaweed on the outside, rice and fillings on the inside)
- Uramaki (rice and toppings on the outside, filings on the inside)
- Temaki (seaweed rolled into a cone shape and stuffed with fillings)
Sushi can be stuffed full of pretty much anything you can think of. But, of course, most sushi rolls feature 3 things:
Nori Seaweed Sheets
Fish or seafood
Things like wasabi paste, pickled ginger, soy sauce are great options for what to serve alongside your homemade sushi.
Sushi rice is made using short grain Japanese rice that is flavored with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.
The shorter the grains of rice, the more starch is in the rice. That is why short grain white rice is perfect for sushi rice. The starch in the rice makes the grains stick together and also holds the rest of the toppings and ingredients in place, too.
Toppings and Fillings for Sushi
The list of toppings you can put in your sushi can be endless, but here are some good ideas:
- Fruits: Mango, avocado, pineapple
- Vegetables: Cucumber, carrots, sweet potato, green onions
- Meats: Tuna, salmon, yellowtail shrimp, spicy crab, imitation crab meat (crab sticks), tofu, egg
- Sauces: Hot sauce, mayonnaise, eel sauce, sriracha sauce, spicy mayonnaise
- Toppings/Fillings: Masago, cream cheese, tempura, fish roe, sesame seeds
Combining these ingredients and more means that there are so many different sushi rolls that you can make. Below I have listed 16 Different Sushi Recipes, that will teach you how to make everything from maki rolls to sushi donuts.
Tools Needed to Make Sushi at Home
When making sushi at home, it’s important to have a few different tools that will make your process much simpler:
- Sushi Mat: In Japanese, this is called a makisu. It is a bamboo mat that is connected by cotton strings. The ingredients are laid on top of the mat and then the mat is rolled, effectively forming the perfect sushi shape you see in your carryout container!
- Plastic Wrap: Plastic wrap is particularly helpful when you are making an uramaki roll (an inside out roll). Uramaki rolls are rolled with rice on the outside, so putting plastic wrap down on the bamboo keeps is clean and free from the sticky rice.
- Sharp Knife: A knife is important both while you’re assembling the sushi and after it’s done. You can use a sharp knife to cut your fish into thin slices, especially when it’s used as a topping for an uramaki roll. It will also be helpful to cut any filling or topping ingredients into small pieces.
- Rice Cooker (optional): You do not need a rice cooker to make sushi, but it certainly doesn’t hurt! You can also make the sushi rice at home using these instructions.
What is Sushi Grade Fish?
It is important to make sure that you are buying sushi grade fish when making a sushi recipe at home. This means that the fish has been labeled safe to eat raw at home without the risk of parasites.
Most markets will have tuna and salmon that are labeled this way, but you are also able to find other options as well. Still, if you are making homemade sushi for the first time, this can be an overwhelming hurdle… It doesn’t need to be!
Pick a local Asian grocery store that you trust. They should have a fish counter that sells prepared sushi-grade (also labeled sashimi-grade) fish. Make sure that the fish is fresh and that it is labeled properly. This will be the perfect fish to choose when making your very first roll!
If you’re unsure what to pair with your sushi and want something more to accompany it, check out this list of foods that I pair with fish ceviche because these 19 different side dish recipes would accompany sushi perfectly. But I’ve since created a mouth watering list of foods I’d serve at a sushi party that features some amazing recipes – check out the full list!
So now, without further ado, here are 16 Different Sushi Recipes to Make at Home!
Traditional Maki Sushi
Everyone we make sushi with is amazed how easy the process really is. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s learn what maki is and make some homemade sushi (from Curious Cuisiniere)!
Learn how to make Futomaki or Maki Sushi (from Just One Cookbook), a traditional thick and fat sushi roll filled with colorful ingredients. You can make this sushi roll ahead of time and bring it to festivals, potlucks, or picnics.
The dragon roll sushi (from Masala Herb) is a showstopper and it tastes amazing!
Spicy Tuna Roll
Skip the sushi restaurants and make Crunchy Spicy Tuna Rolls (from Foodie and Wine) at home! This spicy tuna roll recipe is filled with fresh sashimi-grade ahi tuna, creamy avocado, a crunchy Panko topping, seasoned sushi rice, and a flavorful Sriracha sauce.
Shrimp Tempura Roll
This recipe for shrimp tempura roll (from Dinner At The Zoo) is crispy shrimp with avocado and cucumber, all wrapped up in seasoned rice. Making sushi at home is actually quite fun and easy to do!
Making your own Tiger sushi roll (from Half Scratched) at home is a total joy and way cheaper than ordering it at any Japanese restaurant, most of the ingredients can be found either online or at your local grocery store.
The Philadelphia Roll (from Peas and Crayons) is one of our favorites! Also called Philly Rolls and Japanese Bagel Rolls, these tasty homemade sushi rolls are super simple and only require a few ingredients to make!
California rolls (from What A Girl Eats) are a great introduction to the wonderful world of sushi, especially for people who are a bit squeamish about eating raw fish.
Sushi Hand Roll (Temaki)
Sushi Hand Roll (from The Wooden Skillet) – a simple tutorial (with step-by-step photos) on how to make a delicious sushi hand roll at home. Option to add any filling ingredients you want – get creative!
Cucumber Sushi Roll
These gluten-free cucumber sushi rolls (from Feel Good Foodie) are so easy to make and they are such a colorful and pretty appetizer. Filled with fresh veggies and a seasoned cream cheese.
An easy and complete homemade Nigiri (from Izzy Cooking) tutorial with lots of tips and tricks. Unlike Maki sushi, nigiri isn’t rolled. Instead, it’s comprised of a thin slice of raw or cooked seafood like salmon or shrimp atop a mound of vinegary rice. You’ll learn everything about Japanese nigiri including the difference between nigiri and sashimi, and how to make perfect nigiri at home.
Unagi Nigiri (from Sift & Simmer) is a Japanese sushi made with BBQ or grilled freshwater eel on top of hand-formed sushi rice. It has a sweet and salty flavour with a rich, meaty texture.
Variations on Typical Sushi
These Salmon Sushi Bowls (from Chef Savvy) have all of the flavors you love about a sushi roll all piled up into a bowl and drizzled with spicy mayo and eel sauce! This easy salmon bowl is loaded with flavor!
You will LOVE this simple Vegetable Sushi Donuts Recipe (from Recipes From A Pantry) made with only 5 ingredients!!! These are such good fun for kids big and small to whip up. Suitable for vegan and gluten free diets.
Skip the expensive sushi restaurant and make low-carb keto California rolls (from Keto Focus) at home with this easy recipe you can make in less than 30 minutes.
This homemade vegan sushi recipe (from Piping Pot Curry) is SO tasty and just perfect for beginners to learn how to roll sushi easily. You can put all your favorite ingredients into your perfect custom roll — here’s how!