Beginner’s Guide to Making Sushi Rolls

While the idea of making sushi from scratch may be an intimidating one, you’ll be a sushi pro with our easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide. Here is the ultimate beginners guide to making sushi rolls.


Nori can be purchased in sheets from Asian markets and speciality food shops. While the experts use an entire sheet of nori when making sushi, for beginners it’s a good idea to cut the sheet in half until you’re more comfortable.

Sushi Rice

One of the most challenging parts of making sushi from scratch is cooking the sushi rice correctly, so we suggest purchasing pre-cooked sticky rice and simply adding 2 tablespoons of seasoned rice vinegar for every cup of pre-cooked rice used. Be sure to get seasoned rice vinegar as it contains the necessary sugars.

Sushi Fillings

The sushi fillings are where your creativity can really shine! You can do vegetables only such as avocado, cucumber, carrots, or spring onions, or you can opt for using good-quality fresh fish such as salmon, tuna, and crab. You can even add tempura items to make your sushi rolls even more interesting.

Step 1: Prep

Before laying a sheet of nori on the bamboo mat, feel for the rough and smooth side of the nori sheet. The rough side must be facing up, while the smooth side faces the bamboo mat.

Step 2: Spread

You may be tempted to take a pokies break at this stage, but we can assure you that you’re almost done! Once you’ve placed a sheet of nori on the bamboo mat, gently spread the sushi rice out over the nori. The nori should ideally not be caked in sushi rice and you should be able to see some of the nori peeking through between the grains of rice.

Step 3: Fillings

This step may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s very important. Place your fillings on top of the rice no further than the bottom quarter. If you go beyond the bottom quarter of the nori and rice, the sushi will become very hard to roll and you’ll have to start all over again.

Step 4: Roll

Using the edge of the bamboo mat, carefully roll the sushi so that the end section of the rice, nori, and fillings curve over to create a shape which resembles a snail. Gently squeeze the roll to compress the ingredients and then remove the bamboo mat. Now, roll the rest of the sushi up using your fingers and then use the bamboo matt to compress it again slightly.

Step 5: Cut

Gently transfer the roll to a wooden cutting board and, using a very sharp knife, cut the roll into sections. You must ensure to clean the blade after every cut of the roll as it will quickly become sticky making it almost impossible to cut the rest of the roll.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

Once you’ve cut the roll into sections, you’ll be able to serve your own homemade sushi with the traditional accompaniments of wasabi, soya sauce, and pickled ginger. Enjoy!