How to make sushi

How to make sushi

Make your own sushi – a very good idea for a cooking evening with your loved ones. We explain everything you need to know about sushi. we show you how to prepare sushi yourself, how to serve it and what you should look out for when eating sushi. Like to do some homemade sushi? With Reishunger, you'll become an absolute sushi pro even as a beginner!

What is sushi?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish made of leavened short-grain rice combined with various ingredients. The sushi rice is often prepared with raw fish, vegetarian or vegan ingredients. It is served in the form of small bites. The classic types of sushi are rolled using a bamboo sushi roll mat. The inspiration for today's sushi comes from a Southeast Asian method of preserving freshwater fish. Strictly speaking, sushi does not originate from Japan.

Accessories for making homemade sushi

For the preparation of sushi

Rice cooker

Rice cookers are not only useful in restaurants for preparing sushi rice. If you want to make your own sushi at home and be sure that your sushi rice will be perfect, we recommend preparing sushi rice in a rice cooker. With it, you are sure to always have perfectly cooked rice.


Before you can start rolling the rice, the sushi rice needs the right seasoning. This works best in a Hangiri. Leave the rice to cool in the traditional wooden bowl and season with rice vinegar and spices. This gives it its typical shine, flavour and perfect consistency.

Sharp knife

If you want to make homemade sushi, you need a very sharp knife so that you can cut the sushi rolls into bite-sized pieces. With a blunt knife, the rolls will quickly fall apart.

Sushi roll mat

Make your own sushi? Not without a bamboo sushi roll mat or "makisu". A sushi rolling mat is essential for all rolled sushi! The narrow bamboo sticks are flattened on one side of the mat, which is then used for rolling.

This is what you need to eat sushi


Whether you're a sushi newbie or a rice appetizer pro, chopsticks are a must-have for an authentic sushi experience.

Chopstick bench

So that you don't have to search for a place to put your chopsticks, a well-set table also needs a chopstick bench.

Small bowls

Small bowls are provided for soy sauce and wasabi to complement the enjoyment.

You can buy the accessories individually or directly as a sushi equipment box. There are various designs. Most popular are sets made of ceramic or bamboo.

Must-have ingredients for homemade sushi

Basic Sushi Ingredients

Are you a sushi beginner? In addition to fresh fish and vegetables, there are some basic ingredients that are important for preparing sushi. You can buy these ingredients individually in Asia shops or sometimes in larger supermarkets. As an alternative to rice vinegar, you can also use apple vinegar or other light vinegars such as light balsamic vinegar. You can find the basic ingredients for making your own sushi in a practical set.

What should not be missing from your shopping list:
  • Sushi rice
  • Rice vinegar
  • Nori seaweed leaves
  • Wasabi
  • Soy sauce
  • Sweet and sour pickled ginger
The most popular ingredients

In principle, you can prepare the sushi as you like: With fish, vegetarian or vegan. Traditionally, sushi is eaten with fresh raw fish and/or vegetables. We recommend that you avoid frozen or processed fish. The most popular ingredients for sushi are tuna (fresh - not canned), salmon, avocado and cucumber. You really can't go wrong with these classics when rolling sushi. Other common ingredients for homemade sushi are, for example, tofu and omelettes. As a highlight, the rice can be spread with mayonnaise and cream cheese before rolling or coated with sesame seeds on the outside (ideal for inside-out rolls). In the end, however, you can use all the ingredients you like when making your own sushi. Here it is a matter of trying and tasting.

Sushi with vegetables

You can let your creativity run wild when choosing the vegetables for your sushi. Popular vegetables include carrots, peppers, shiitake mushrooms and pumpkin. And even fruit in rice rolls is becoming increasingly popular. Sweet combinations with strawberries, mango & Co. are a real flavour explosion and a successful finish after more savoury versions.

Sushi with fish & seafood

There are some fish and seafood that are increasingly found in sushi variations. Octopus, crab meat, prawns, and fish eggs (fish roe, caviar) are particularly popular and are often combined with sushi rice.

The sushi rice

How much sushi rice you need per person

The amount of sushi you end up with depends largely on how thick you fill the rolls and how wide you cut the bites at the end. First you need to know whether you want to eat the sushi as a main course or as a side dish. Especially as a beginner, it is difficult to estimate the right amount of rice. A main course corresponds to approx. 300 g of rice for two people, correspondingly 150 g for one person. With a filling of your choice, you get about 8-12 nigiri or 4-6 long maki rolls, from which you can cut 6-8 appetisers.

 Meal For 1 person For 2 persons For 4 persons
Main dish 150 g 300 g 600 g
Side dish 75 g 150 g 300 g

As a side dish, 150 g should be enough for two people. The result is about 4-6 nigiri or 2-3 long maki rolls, which make 6-8 appetisers each.

Preparing the sushi rice

No matter what kind of sushi you want to prepare yourself, you should always wash the rice beforehand. This dissolves excess starch and possible impurities that can occur in a natural product. You need 1.5 times the amount of water to cook the sushi rice. You can prepare your sushi rice in a rice cooker or in a saucepan. We recommend preparing it in the digital rice cooker - nothing can go wrong with it. To prepare sushi rice in the rice cooker, you need 1.25 times the amount of water:

  • Add the washed rice 1.25 times the amount of water to the rice cooker.
  • Close the lid and start the 'Sushi' mode.
  • Wait until the rice is ready and put it in a hangiri to cool and season.

What you need to season sushi rice

For a rice quantity of 400 g you need:

  • 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt

If you don't have a traditional hangiri at hand, we recommend a traditional wooden bowl for cooling and seasoning. The wood absorbs the excess water, while the rice in a ceramic bowl can get soggy.

Seasoning Sushi rice

  1. Put the cooked sushi rice into the hangiri.
  2. Mix rice vinegar, sugar and salt and add to the rice.
  3. Carefully strain the rice vinegar mixture through the rice with a large spoon.
  4. Then allow the rice to cool to room temperature.
  5. Start filling and rolling the sushi.

Types of sushi

There are a variety of types of sushi, the most popular of which include:

  • Maki: This is probably the best-known form of sushi. Makis are rolled by hand using a bamboo mat called a "makisu". They are often rolled with soured rice, raw fish and vegetables and coated with nori seaweed leaves. Maki come in a variety of styles:
  • Hoso-maki (thin roll)
  • Futo-Maki (thick roll)
  • Ura-Maki/California Roll/Inside Out Roll (rolled from the inside)
  • Gunkan-Maki (battleship roll - bottom made of rice, pressure-sensitive topping)

While typical Japanese maki are filled with raw salmon, tuna, eel, tofu, cucumber and carrot, for example, the American version relies more on avocado, cream cheese and meat.

  • Nigiri also translates as "ball sushi" or "handle sushi". Here, the shaped rice is topped with fish or tamagoyaki, i.e. omelette. Sometimes a strip of nori is wrapped around the sushi for better grip.
  • Oshi is prepared with a wooden mould. The sushi is pressed in it and then cut into slices.
  • Chirashi is served loose in a bowl. Fish and vegetables are filleted and served loosely on a bed of rice.
  • Inari (fox sushi) is deep-fried sushi. It is a dumpling of deep-fried tofu filled with rice and occasionally fish or vegetables.
  • Sashimi is a very pure form of sushi and contains no rice or other accompaniments. Only the raw, finely filleted, fresh fish is served here.
  • Temaki are rolled into a bag by hand, without a bamboo mat, and then filled.

Prepare sushi: Step by step guide

How to fill maki sushi

  1. Lay the sushi roll mat on the work surface to fill. Then cut two sheets of nori seaweed in half and place half a sheet of nori, smooth side down, lengthwise on the bottom of the sushi mat.
  2. Now press a roll lengthwise into the nori seaweed sheet and fill it with a little wasabi paste or spread it later on the middle of the rice surface.
  3. Then moisten your fingers with a little vinegar water and spread about 150 g of rice on the nori sheet. Leave a margin of 1-2 cm on the long sides.
  4. Place about 125 g of fish, tofu, vegetables or other of your favourite sushi fillings in a line at the bottom of the nori sheet. Be careful not to overfill the nori sheet.

    How to roll maki sushi

    1. Moisten your fingers with water or the rice vinegar mixture, slide them under the bamboo mat and hold the filling at the same time.
    2. Then roll the bamboo mat and seaweed sheet away from you with gentle pressure. The filling should be completely covered by the rice and nori, but the 1-2 cm without filling should not be rolled for the time being. We recommend that you roll very slowly so that the roll is nice and even.
    3. Moisten the 1-2 cm of nori sheet that have been left free. Then finish rolling.
    4. To form the sushi roll, place part of the mat on the roll and press it firmly but carefully together.

    How to cut sushi

    1. Take a sharp knife and place the finished roll, seam side down, on a cutting board.
    2. Hold the knife under cold water before and after cutting so that it is slightly moist.
    3. First cut the roll in half.
    4. Place the two resulting rolls next to each other and cut approx. 2 cm wide sushi bites from both rolls at the same time. This will make your sushi more even. You will get about 6-8 sushi per maki roll.

    How to make California Rolls

    California Rolls or Ura Maki are rolled so that the nori leaf is inside and not outside the roll.

    1. Place a halved seaweed sheet on the mat and coat it with rice. A free edge is not needed here.
    2. Sprinkle the layer of rice with black and white sesame seeds.
    3. Now fold the free part of the bamboo mat over so that it lies on top of the rice. Turn the mat 180°. When you open the mat, the rice is lying on the bamboo mat and is ready for the filling.
    4. Now place the seaweed sheet of your choice, roll and cut it as we described for the maki roll.

    Tip for California Rolls: To prevent the rice from sticking to the mat, we recommend wrapping it in cling film first.

    How to make Nigiri sushi

    You don't need a bamboo mat for salmon nigiri, as this type of sushi is not rolled. However, a sharp knife is important so that you can cut the fish into fine slices.

    1. First wash the fresh salmon and dab dry.
    2. Cut the fish into strips 5-6 cm long and about 2 cm wide. Place the knife about 4 cm from the end to cut the fish diagonally downwards.
    3. Shape the rice into a 4-5 cm oval ball with moistened hands.
    4. Spread a little wasabi paste on the rice balls and place the salmon slices on top. Serve with soy sauce and you're done!

    How to serve sushi

    In Japanese cuisine, neat, simple aesthetics are preferred. Sushi also is a dish for special occasions, which is why it is always served in a particularly attractive way. The table or plate should not be decorated too much, as the high-quality food already stands for itself. The motto here is: rather too little than too much.

    Many individual pieces

    In Japan, sushi is often served on banana leaves, wooden boards, large platters, or bamboo mats. If you don't have these at home, we recommend serving sushi on plain flatware. For authentic serving, each guest gets their own small bowl for soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi paste. In addition, each pair of chopsticks is accompanied by a chopstick bench on the table.

    How to eat sushi

    Of course, you can simply eat your homemade sushi with a knife and fork, dip it in lots of soy sauce and put ginger on top. However, you will then quickly show yourself to be an absolute sushi beginner.

    Here's what you should bear in mind when eating sushi:

    • Eating sushi with chopsticks or by hand
    • Do not "spear" sushi with chopsticks.
    • Only dip the fish side of the Nigiri into the soy sauce.
    • Wasabi is spread directly on the sushi, not mixed with soy sauce
    • Eat sushi in one bite
    • Between bites, neutralise the taste with ginger
    • Do not leave any food on the plate, not even individual grains of rice