WebstaurantStore / Food Service Resources / Kitchen & Cooking Tips / How to Roll Sushi
fork and pencil
How to Roll Sushi

How to Roll Sushi

Last updated on 7/12/2021

Whether it’s raw tuna or deep-fried, tempura-battered shrimp, it seems like everyone has a favorite kind of sushi. This delicious Japanese food tradition, which utilizes ingredients like fish, seaweed, rice, and vegetables, has spread all across the world and is now such a common food trend that you can even pick it up at grocery stores and gas stations. One of the best things about this savory (and sometimes sweet) treat is that despite its small size, it can be made into a filling meal or a light snack, which makes it great for any catered event, party, or cocktail hour. With our step-by-step directions and instructional video, you can learn how to roll sushi and impress your guests.

Step-by-Step Instructions for How to Roll Sushi

How to Prepare Sushi Rice

Before you begin rolling your sushi, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve properly prepped your rice. You’ll want to use either medium or short grain white rice since they both mold together better than other rice options. Before cooking your rice, make sure you rinse it until your water isn’t cloudy. This removes any powdered glucose, talc, or rice powder that may be coating the rice. While it is safe to eat rice without rinsing it, washing it helps to improve the flavor.

Pour rice and water into a bowl. For every serving of rice, you'll want to add three times the amount of water, so if you're cooking one cup of rice, add three cups of water. Using your hands, move the rice around to help scrape off the powder coating the rice. Then, pour the rice and water into a mesh strainer to drain the water. You should repeat this process until the cloudy water no longer appears when rinsing your rice.

After you’ve cooked your rice, you should let it reach room temperature as this makes it easier to mold into a ball shape. Once your rice has cooled, you’ll want to sprinkle rice vinegar over it since this helps to add extra flavor. Make sure to stir the vinegar around so that it can evenly coat your rice. You’ll also want to use a sashimi knife to cut your rolls, as this will provide you with a more clean and even cut. If you do not have this kind of knife, then it’s important to make sure the blade of the knife you are using is extremely sharp since the nori (seaweed), rice, and filling can be difficult to cut through.

How to Roll Hosomaki

Hosomaki, also known as thin rolls, is a style of sushi that traditionally only uses one ingredient. For our video, we used cucumber, but you can also use thinly sliced carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados, or tuna. When making this roll, you will only need to use about half a sheet of nori.

  • Since your hands will need to be damp at certain points of the rolling process, you’ll want to have a little bowl of water near your prep area.

    • nori for sushi1.

      Place the nori on your cutting board.

    • how to pull apart nori2.

      Fold nori in half and pull apart the halves.

    • how to roll sushi3.

      With the shiny side facing down, place one half of the nori on a bamboo sushi rolling mat.

    • how much rice to put in sushi4.

      Spread about a cup of rice across your nori, leaving a ½" border visible.

    • Dip your hands in the water before you spread your rice, but make sure that you shake off any excess water.

    • how to make a cucumber sushi roll5.

      Place ingredient in the center of your rice.

    • rolling sushi with a bamboo mat6.

      To begin rolling, lift the end of the bamboo mat closest to you and fold it over your sushi ingredient.

    • how to roll a tight sushi roll7.

      Using the bamboo mat, tuck the end of the nori into the rice and ingredient. Make sure that you have a tight roll.

    • how to seal a sushi roll8.

      Lift away the mat from your roll, and dab water along the exposed edge of nori.

    • using a sushi mat9.

      Using your bamboo mat, roll your sushi into the exposed edge of nori to close.

    • how to pinch a sushi roll10.

      Pinch your sushi roll with the mat to make sure that the seams are tightly sealed.

    • how to cut sushi11.

      Using a wet, sharp knife, begin cutting into your sushi. Make sure to wipe off your knife in between each cut. You should have six pieces.

    • how to serve sushi12.

      Plate your sushi with a side of ginger and wasabi.

    How to Roll Futomaki

    Unlike its smaller counterpart, a futomaki uses a full sheet of nori and traditionally has four or more ingredients rolled in it. While a standard non-vegetarian futomaki will come with egg omelet, fish roe, chopped tuna, and whitefish flakes, this recipe can easily be modified into a vegetarian or vegan version. In this video, we used fresh cucumber, carrots, and avocado.

    • how to roll futomaki1.

      With the shiny side down, place the nori on your bamboo mat.

    • how much rice to use for futomaki2.

      Spread about a cup of rice across your nori, leaving a ½" border visible.

    • Dip your hands in the water before you spread your rice, but make sure that you shake off any excess water.

    • how to make futomaki3.

      Place ingredients in the center of your rice.

    • using a bamboo mat to roll futomaki4.

      To roll, follow steps 6-9 from the hosomaki rolling instructions.

    • how to seal a futomaki roll5.

      Pinch your sushi roll with the mat to make sure that the seams are tightly sealed.

    • how to cut futomaki6.

      Using a wet, sharp knife, begin cutting into the center of your roll to make two halves.

    • cutting a futomaki roll7.

      Cut the halves into thirds, wiping off the knife between each cut.

    • how to serve futomaki8.

      Plate your sushi with a side of ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce.

    How to Roll Uramaki (Inside-Out) Roll

    A uramaki, commonly known as the “inside-out” roll, is one of the most common sushi rolls in America. Many believe that its popularity comes from the fact that the rice on the outside conceals the nori, making it less intimidating to sushi beginners. While there are no traditional ingredients in a uramaki, one of the most well-known styles is the California roll, which usually consists of cucumber, avocado, and crab meat or imitation crab.

    • how to roll uramaki1.

      Lay a piece of plastic wrap on your cutting board. Place your bamboo mat on top of it.

    • using plastic wrap to roll uramaki2.

      Take the plastic wrap and wrap it around your mat.

    • how much rice to use for uramaki3.

      Place your nori on your mat with the shiny side up. Then add about a cup of balled up rice.

    • rolling uramaki with rice4.

      Spread the rice evenly across your nori leaving an inch border at the top.

    • sprinkling sesame seeds on uramaki5.

      Sprinkle sesame seeds over your rice.

    • turning over uramaki6.

      Gently lift your nori and rice and flip it over so that the rice is now facing the mat.

    • ingredients for uramaki7.

      Add your ingredients.

    • rolling uramaki with a bamboo mat8.

      Begin rolling with your fingers pinching the nori to the mat. You may also need to use your other fingers to keep your ingredients in place.

    • rolling tight uramaki9.

      Once you’ve begun rolling, pull back your mat and nori to make sure that your roll is tight.

    • how to roll tight uramaki10.

      Using your bamboo mat, squeeze your roll.

    • how to seal urakmaki11.

      Unroll your bamboo mat to dab some water onto the exposed edge of your nori.

    • finishing an uramaki roll12.

      Take your bamboo mat and begin rolling your sushi into the edge of the nori. Then take the mat and squeeze to make sure that the seams are tightly sealed.

    • cutting uramaki in half13.

      Using a wet, sharp knife, begin cutting into the center of your roll to make two halves.

    • how to cut uramaki14.

      Cut the halves into thirds, wiping off the knife between each cut.

    • how to slice uramaki15.

      Plate your sushi with a side of ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce.

    How to Roll Temaki (Hand Roll)

    Temaki, also known as a “hand roll”, is a cone-shaped piece of nori that has ingredients spilling out of the top. Since this sushi is larger than most rolls, it is eaten with your hands instead of chopsticks. Think of it as a sushi ice-cream cone. Since the idea of temaki is to have ingredients coming out of the opening, there’s no limit to how many ingredients you can add to this roll. The temaki in this video features spicy shrimp and spring mix.

    • how to divide nori1.

      Rip about 1/3 of your nori, leaving yourself with the 2/3 size sheet.

    • how much rice to use with temaki2.

      With the shiny side down, place ½ cup of rice in the upper left corner of your nori.

    • ingredients for temaki3.

      Place the ingredients on top of the rice.

    • how to roll temaki4.

      Take the upper left corner of your nori and roll it in towards your ingredients.

    Related Resources

    Types of Rice

    Rice is a staple in any kitchen, and with so many different types, it lends itself to an endless number of recipes. Each type of rice has its own taste, texture, and unique properties that work best in different applications. Plus, rice is naturally gluten-free, making it an easy way to offer gluten-free entrees to accommodate alternative diets on your menu. This guide examines factors that differentiate types of rice, from nutty basmati to fragrant jasmine, so you can choose the best rice for your next recipe. Shop All Bulk Rice Use the following links to explore the types of rice out there, so you can make more informed purchases for your menu! Different Types of Rice Long vs Short Grain Rice Is Rice a Grain? Rice FAQs Rice Types Chart

    Types of Knives

    Knives are the most important tool in a chef's kit, and they can be used for just about any food prep task from chopping onions and butchering a cut of beef to opening oysters and slicing bread. But, there are different types of kitchen knives that are designed for various purposes. In this guide, we'll cover the types of knives and their uses, so you can find the right option for your needs.

    Knife Safety Tips

    Cutlery is essential to the operation of every commercial kitchen, so it is important to know how to hold a knife and use it correctly. Proper knife training can help minimize the risk of personal injury and keep your kitchen running smoothly. If you are just beginning to learn or simply need to brush up on your approach, keep reading for some helpful knife safety tips. Shop All Cut-Resistant Kitchen Gloves 1. Use a Sharp Knife When you use a dull knife to cut, you need to apply more force. As a result, the knife is more likely to slip and this increases the risk of injury. Keeping your knives sharpened is one of the easiest ways to keep them safe. Simply use a sharpening stone or knife sharpener to maintain the original precision of the bl

    Join Our Mailing List

    Receive coupon codes and more right to your inbox.

    Make money with our recipes
    Recipe converter
    WebstaurantStore blog
    Videos of demonstrations, how-tos and more