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TJ’s Guide to Sushi Rolls at Home

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What seafood to use and how much to buy?

Any frozen sushi item in the such as Mackerel, Octopus or Eel, any cooked item: Smoked Salmon, Cocktail Shrimp, Fried Soft Shell Crab, Fried Shrimp, King Crab, Lobster, Seared Scallops, or sushi-grade raw items such as Ahi Tuna and Farm Raised Atlantic Salmon. Figure 2 oz of seafood per roll. Each roll gives you 8 pieces. Serving ranges from 16-32 pcs per person - so figure 4–8oz of seafood per person.

What other ingredients do you need?

You definitely need: wasabi, ginger, soy sauce & nori (seaweed). After that it’s up to your imagination: avocado, green onion, daikon, jalapenos, cucumbers, carrots, cream cheese, ponzu sauce, spicy mustard, chili sauce...

How to make the rice

  • 1 pint sushi rice 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Place rice into a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl rice in the water, pour off and repeat 2 to 3 times or until the water is clear. Place the rice and 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the rice into a large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature before using to make sushi or sashimi. Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005.

We’ve got all the ingredients. Let’s get rollin’!

Prep your fish and veggies by cutting them into “matchsticks.” Set up a bowl of water for your fingers. Lay your bamboo roller down (cover with seran if you want). Place nori shiny side down and place about 1/2 cup of cooked rice on nori. Wet hands and spread rice about 1/4 inch thick, with about 1/2 inch of nori exposed on top (away from you). Place your roll ingredients at bottom of roll nearest you with a little rice showing at top, like in PICTURE 1.

Roll away from you with both hands. Roll should be tight, but not so tight that ingredients squeeze out. When roll is completely rolled (don’t roll the roller into roll!), tighten it by squeezing from top to bottom. Now your roll should look like PICTURE 2. Wet entire roll. With a sharp knife, cut roll in half. Put 2 halves next to each other, then cut these halves in quarters. Dip in soy and enjoy!