You don’t have to be a trained chef to have a delicious DIY At-Home Sushi Night! Here’s how my family makes sushi hand rolls right at the kitchen table…no raw fish necessary!
Making sushi at home was always really intimidating to me. I thought my rolls would have to be on par with the authentic restaurants I love and that would just never happen! My dear friend Yunnie gets all the credit here for making this feel approachable and delicious (so, so delicious, you guys). She walked me through this step by step, taught me everything I know, and now it’s a meal my family does every single week. We all look forward to it…YES, even my kids! Here’s what you have to remember about at-home sushi night: it doesn’t have to be perfect. There’s no “right” way to make your sushi, and you don’t even need to use raw fish if that isn’t your thing! We CRUSH sushi night…like we love it so much. It’s healthy, delicious, and fun, and I am forever grateful to Yunnie for showing me how to do this and allowing me to pass this dinner idea onto the LIBAD community. Enjoy!
How to Make Sushi Rice
First things first: sushi rice! Make sure you’re using rice that’s marked for sushi. It’s really important to rinse the rice well, until the water runs clear and it isn’t white or cloudy. Yunnie’s mom uses the authentic method and pours the water into a bowl with rice, mixes it around, drains, and repeats. I do it in a colander and it works fine, but the traditional way is to rinse and drain in a bowl!
Yunnie taught me that her mom makes sushi rice with sugar and other ingredients. I only use rice, water, and rice vinegar for mine, though! It’s simple and is still perfectly sticky. Bring the rice and water to a boil, turn it down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 18 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it steam, which is when it gets nice, fluffy, and sticky, then fold in the rice vinegar. SO DELICIOUS, and the leftovers are great for fried rice the next day!
Homemade Sushi Ingredients
The thing that make sushi night at home easiest is that I don’t make cut rolls! We don’t need sushi mats this way; we just make hand rolls. This way the kids can do it themselves, which they absolutely love. We get Sushi Nori Seaweed Sheets (I love this brand!) and cut them in half to make perfectly-sized hand rolls. For veggies I put out carrots, cucumber, and avocado cut into really thin strips, but you can add anything you prefer in your sushi rolls!
I also choose to use cooked salmon in our at-home sushi rolls. Once it’s cooked I break it up and crumble it into a bowl. Easy as can be! It’s delicious, easy, and even my kids will add it into their hand rolls. I’ve also used canned lump crab meat out on the table before, which is safe to eat raw since it’s pasteurized. Make sure you’re using high-quality, refrigerated, fresh lump crab. I used Chicken of the Sea or Handy brands and both are pricey but taste excellent and are safe to be eaten right out of the can. Any raw fish has to be sushi-grade, so do your research there and make sure you’re getting fish that’s safe to be eaten raw if you want that on the table!
At-Home Sushi Toppings
We love to have spicy mayo to drizzle over our rolls. This is just mayonnaise with a few drops of sriracha or hot sauce! It just makes it so tasty and the tiniest bit spicy. This is such an easy add-on that I love doing. You can also thin it out with a bit of water to make it drizzle easily! A few more options for putting out on the table:
- Pickled ginger (I buy this premade)
- Soy sauce or coconut aminos
- Furikake seasoning from Trader Joe’s
- Butter lettuce if you’d like to use that instead of Nori seaweed
How to Make Sushi Hand Rolls
I put everything out in bowls on a lazy Susan and let the family fend for themselves!
- Place a piece of Nori on your plate with the shiny side down and the textured side up.
- Line it with a spoonful of rice.
- Fill it with your favorites, making sure not to overstuff. It’s like a burrito; if you put too much inside it’ll fall apart!
- Roll it up, tucking the food in as you go, then pick it up and enjoy!
You can also make a bowl with rice and toppings, which would be perfect if you have toddlers at the table…or anyone who doesn’t feel like making a roll. And that’s it! DIY Sushi Night!
More Easy Dinners
- Salmon & Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner
- Everyday Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- Grilled Fish Packets
- The Best Baked Crab Cakes
- Teriyaki Salmon with Pineapple Salsa
- Weeknight Balsamic Grilled Chicken
- Moroccan Baked Fish with Chickpeas
Food photography by Ashley CuocoPrint
For the Sushi Rice:
- 2 cups sushi rice
- 2 ¼ cups water
- 3–4 tablespoons rice vinegar
For the Salmon:
- 1 pound salmon
- 1 tablespoon butter (at room temperature)
For the fillings:
- 2 packages of Sushi Nori Seaweed Sheets
- 3–4 small/medium carrots, cut into thin sticks
- 3–4 small cucumbers, cut into thin sticks
- 1 large avocado (or two small), diced or thinly sliced
- 1 lemon
For the Spicy Mayo:
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1–2 teaspoons Sriracha
Additional Sushi Add-ons:
- Pickled ginger
- Soy sauce or coconut aminos
- Furikake seasoning
- Butter lettuce (instead of in addition to Nori)
- Make sushi rice: Pour 2 cups of rice into a strainer and rinse until water runs clear (about 2-3 minutes). After rinsing, pour 2 1/4 cups water and rinsed rice into a medium pot and give a quick stir.
- Bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 18 minutes. Keep covered, turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes (or until you’re ready to use it). The longer the rice sits the better! Right before serving the rice, fluff with a fork then use a wooden spoon to fold 3 tablespoons of the vinegar into the rice making sure not to make the rice become mushy. Taste and add more vinegar if needed.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rest of your ingredients. I like to serve everything in bowls on a lazy susan to make it easy for everybody to build their own hand rolls. You can also use a large board or simply just put on the table.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the softened butter all over the salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the salmon for 12-15 minutes or until desired doneness.
- Make spicy mayo by whisking the mayonnaise and sriracha together. You can make it as spicy or mild as you like. Add a small splash of water to thin it out if desired. Set aside.
- Cut the sheets of Nori in half and place on a plate or bowl (start with one pack, my family goes through at least 1 ½ packs). Freeze any leftover Nori until ready to use again.
- Add everything to a big board or lazy susan using separate bowls if desired. This includes sushi rice, broken up cooked salmon, Nori, carrots, cucumber, avocado with lemon squeezed on top and spicy mayo. Add to the table any extras such as ginger, wasabi, soy sauce, Furikake and/or butter lettuce.
- Let everybody make their own hand rolls. To make a hand roll, place one piece of Nori (shiny side down) on a plate. Add a little bit of rice and whatever fillings you want to one end of the Nori. Carefully roll up like a burrito (no need to fold in the sides) and enjoy!