how to roll sushi the easy way using a ziploc bag pin

How To Roll Sushi The Easy Way – Make Sushi At Home

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Homemade sushi rolls don’t need to be daunting with our failproof method for how to roll sushi the easy way.

how to roll sushi the easy way using a ziploc bag pin

Do you find rolling sushi to be intimidating, especially the uramaki rolls, the ones with the rice on the outside?

Don’t worry, it’s really simple to do.

Plus, it’s so convenient to make sushi at home.

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You can save a ton of money by making your own sushi rolls.

We still can’t believe how affordable homemade sushi is in comparison with restaurant prices. And how easy it is to enjoy delicious restaurant style sushi at home so often!

Sushi is easy to make at home, once you get the hang of it.

Just follow our easy steps and you’ll be enjoying homemade sushi in no time! Plus, be sure to check out our post with favorite easy sushi rolls to make at home.

How To Roll Sushi – Kitchen Tools Needed To Make Sushi

First things first. There are a few helpful items that make all of the difference when rolling sushi.

The most used tool for rolling sushi is the bamboo mat. It ensures the sushi is rolled tight and round.

Another tool that is required is a sharp knife. We have found that a thin serrated slicing knife does a perfect job.

You see, there are two problems you run into when cutting the sushi:

  1. Rice will gradually build up on the knife and make it difficult to get a clean cut without the rice and/or fillings falling out.
  2. The sushi is flattened (or collapses, especially at end piece) due to the pressure needed to be applied to the knife for it to cut through the sushi.

The first problem, rice sticking to the knife, can be managed by rinsing the knife in cold water after a few cuts. However, by using a thin knife, there is less surface area for the rice to stick to and there is less buildup of rice.

The second issue still remains though, the risk of flattening the sushi. This is where the serrated knife is really useful.

The sharp serration teeth on the knife acts as a miniature saw and cuts through the layers of the sushi without the need to apply extra pressure on the knife.

The nori and all kinds of ingredients; carrot, asparagus, beef, shrimp, smoked salmon (gravlax), to name a few. They all are cut with ease.

Now, back to the bamboo mat. You may discover when rolling an uramaki sushi (the rice on the outside of the sushi), the rice tends to stick on the bamboo mat.

An easy fix for this would be to use a layer of cling wrap between the sushi and the bamboo mat. However, that only solves one problem.

By using our method instead — the Ziploc bag — you will find it super easy to make all types of sushi rolls.

So, whenever we make sushi, there are two more tools required; a large sized freezer Ziploc bag and a pair of scissors. You can use another similar plastic bag brand and size just as long as the bag is slightly larger than the nori (seaweed) sheet.

Does it have to be a freezer bag, or does a sandwich bag work, you may ask?

Not that you will freeze the sushi, but the freezer bag is usually thicker than the sandwich bag and is why we prefer it over the regular sandwich bag.

Therefore, we find that a large size freezer bag about 10 ½ x 10 ½ inches (27 x 27 cm) is the perfect size for rolling sushi as it leaves some room on the bag to add rice beyond the nori (as explained further down in this post).

Here are some of the benefits of using the Ziploc bag method (we will explain each one in more detail below):

  • No mess when flattening the rice (no rice stuck to your hands)
  • Roll uramaki without rice sticking to the bamboo mat
  • All sushi (uramaki and maki) are made to the same thickness
  • No tearing of the nori sheet
  • Use same method for both maki and uramaki rolls
  • The whole nori sheet is covered in rice, edge to edge

As you can see, there are several important reasons to use this easy method.

Now, that we’ve got all of our equipment for making sushi, let’s move on to the ingredients.

Ingredients for Sushi Rolls

For homemade sushi, you’ll need some sushi rice and your favorite sushi ingredients.

Read on for our tried and true sushi rice recipe, plus suggestions for sushi fillings, toppings and garnishes.

Failproof Instant Pot Sushi Rice

Let’s begin by making a batch of sushi rice from our failproof Instant Pot Sushi Rice recipe.

You’ll want to have a batch of sushi rice ready and cooled down for the sushi rolls. Best is to keep the rice in the fridge until you are ready to make the sushi.

Our recipe makes enough rice for about eight sushi rolls.

failproof instant pot sushi rice presentation
Failproof Instant Pot Sushi Rice

Then you’ll want to gather the sushi fillings, toppings and garnishes that you’d like to use.

It’s best to have everything prepped and ready to go before you begin the sushi rolling process.

Choose several of the following:

Sushi Fillings

Here are some of our favorite sushi fillings for any sushi roll:

Sushi Toppings

Some favorite sushi toppings:

  • smoked salmon, gravlax
  • thin slice avocado
  • thin sliced cucumber

Sushi Garnishes

Add some optional garnishes to your sushi rolls and sushi platters. Here are some suggestions:

  • black and white sesame seeds
  • caviar or seaweed pearls
  • wasabi
  • avocado (ripe)
  • daikon radish
  • thinly sliced cucumbers or carrots
  • pickled ginger (gari)
  • Sriracha sushi sauce
  • lemon zest

How To Roll Sushi – The Easy Way

STEP 1 – Prepare The Ziploc Bag

Before you start rolling sushi, you need to prepare the Ziploc bag. It’s very easy.

Just take a pair of scissors and cut open the Ziploc bag along the three sealed edges as shown in the picture below.

You should have two Ziploc sheets after this step.

Now, go ahead and cut off and discard the zipper portion of each sheet (you’ll need to hang on to both sheets though).

preparing for sushi how to roll sushi the easy way

Now the Ziploc bag is prepared and you can start the next step in rolling the perfect sushi rolls.

STEP 2 – Prepare The Rice And Nori Sheet

To start, bring out your bowl of Failproof Instant Pot Sushi Rice from the fridge (let us know in the comments below or on the rice recipe card if you used our recipe, we love to hear from you).

Scoop up about ½ a cup of rice and place it on one of the Ziploc sheets. Place the other sheet on top.

how to roll sushi the easy way step 1

Now, use your hands to press out the rice to the size of the nori sheet.

Using this method you can actually flatten the rice down to the thickness of one rice grain, if you prefer less rice in your sushi.

how to roll sushi the easy way step 2

Use a nori sheet as guide for flattening the rice to the appropriate size.

Should you need more rice, simply add some between the Ziploc sheets and flatten it some more.

When the rice is about the size of the nori, carefully remove the top Ziploc sheet. Make sure the rice stays on the bottom sheet.

how to roll sushi the easy way step 3

Then place the nori on top of the rice.

how to roll sushi the easy way step 4

Using a regular dinner knife (or the side of a fork), remove the excess rice that is outside of the nori.

The rice can be placed back in the rice bowl and reused for the next sushi.

how to roll sushi the easy way step 5

Now you have a choice to make a maki roll — the nori (seaweed sheet) on the outside of the sushi.

how to roll sushi the easy way step 7

Or you can make an uramaki roll — the rice on the outside of the sushi.

how to roll sushi the easy way step 6

In the last step above, you’ll notice you have a choice between an uramaki roll or a maki roll.

In a uramaki roll, that translates from Japanese “inside out roll” aka ISO roll, the rice is on the outside of the roll.

A maki roll, on the other hand, has the rice inside the roll and the nori is on the outside.

Let’s look at how to roll each type separately. First, we’ll outline the steps for a Uramaki Roll, then Maki Roll.

sushi spreading rice on nori step by step
Quick guide to How To Roll A Sushi The Easy Way using a Ziploc bag

How To Roll an Uramaki Sushi The Easy Way

Use the method described above to prepare the rice and nori sheet.

To make the uramaki roll, simply place your favorite ingredients evenly across the sheet, starting at the bottom edge of the sheet closest to you.

Make sure to leave an empty strip of nori at the top of the sheet as shown below. This is to seal the sushi once it’s rolled (like the fold on an envelope).

spicy canned tuna sushi roll uramaki how to roll sushi the easy way
Uramaki Example: Spicy Canned Tuna Sushi Roll Uramaki

Now, carefully transfer the sushi and the bottom Ziploc sheet to the bamboo mat.

Start to roll up the sushi, with the bamboo mat, from the bottom edge closest to you.

To make the sushi tight and compact, roll the sushi a few more turns even after the bamboo mat is fully rolled up.

Since some of the ingredients might be soft and slippery (such as avocado and cream cheese), be careful to not squeeze out the ingredients when you roll up the sushi.

creamy gravlax salmon sushi uramaki roll how to roll sushi the easy way

When the uramaki roll is fully rolled up, remove the bamboo mat and Ziploc bag.

Carefully place the sushi roll on a cutting board.

Now is a good time to add any (non-liquid) garnish, such as sesame seeds, smoked salmon, or other favorite toppings.

Once your sushi is garnished, use a serrated thin knife to cut the sushi into individual pieces.

Depending on your preference, a normal sushi is about half-an-inch wide, but you can decide how wide you want your sushi rolls.

If you find that the knife start to gum up with rice, simply rinse the knife in some cold water.

Then place the sushi rolls on a serving plate and (optionally) top them with Spicy Siracha Dip Sauce.

sushi cut tips how to roll sushi the easy way

How To Roll A Maki Sushi The Easy Way

Use the method described above to prepare the rice and nori sheet.

To make the maki roll, place the second Ziploc sheet on top of the nori and turn over the sheets so that the rice is on top.

Add your favorite ingredients evenly across the sheet, starting at the bottom edge of the sheet closest to you.

gravlax salmon maki sushi roll how to roll sushi the easy way
Maki Example: Gravlax Salmon Maki Sushi Roll

Carefully transfer the sushi and the bottom Ziploc sheet and place it on the bamboo mat.

Grab on to the bamboo mat edge closest to you and start rolling up the sushi.

Keep rolling the sushi even after the bamboo mat is fully rolled up, to make the sushi tight and compact.

Be careful to not squeeze out the ingredients (especially soft and slippery ingredients, such as cream cheese and avocado.

gravlax salmon maki sushi roll how to roll sushi the easy way

Once your sushi is firmly rolled up, you can take your sushi knife or serrated knife and cut the large roll into smaller rolls. If the outer ends are flimsy, you may need to trim them first.

gravlax salmon maki sushi roll how to roll sushi the easy way

If you want to garnish the sushi with smoked salmon or similar ingredients, it is best to do so before you cut it. However, any liquid garnish is best applied after the sushi is cut.

Cut them approximately half inch thickness, and you’ll be able to get about eight pieces of sushi from each roll.

Easy Homemade Sushi Rolls

We love to prepare super easy sushi rolls with pantry ingredients we have on hand.

With canned seafood and frozen gravlax and cold water shrimp that we thaw quick for some simple sushi rolls.

For the sushi rolls made with canned seafood, the creamy seafood mixes can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to use.

Easy Sushi Rolls With Canned Seafood

You can make these delicious and convenient sushi rolls with canned seafood from the pantry.

Just whip up a batch of creamy salmon mix, tuna mix and crabmeat mix that you can use in the sushi.

Easy Sushi Roll With Cold Water Shrimp

Here’s our version of a shrimp uramaki roll with a creamy cold water shrimp filling. Just as in the canned seafood recipes, you can also prepare this shrimp mix ahead of time if you like.

Easy Gravlax Sushi Rolls

Similarly, creamy gravlax salmon sushi has a filling you can make ahead to save time.

The other two gravlax rolls can use the thawed gravlax straight from the package.

sushi dinner ideas 3 how to roll sushi the easy way

What To Serve With Sushi Rolls

With all of your homemade sushi rolls, you’ll love this Spicy Sriracha Sushi Dipping Sauce Without Mayo that will kick it up without being too heavy.

spicy sriracha sushi dipping sauce without mayo featured what to serve with sushi rolls - how to roll sushi the easy way

This sriracha sushi sauce is excellent on the side as a sushi dip sauce. It’s also fabulous when drizzled over spicy tuna rolls, spicy salmon and more.

Use a plastic sauce bottle with a fine tip spout (oxo brand works well) to make the sauce come out in lines over the sushi.

spicy canned tuna sushi roll uramaki top down how to roll sushi the easy way
Spicy Canned Tuna Uramaki With Sriracha Sushi Sauce Drizzle

You’ll Also Love

Now that you’ve gotten the hang of rolling sushi, be sure to check out these favorite Easy Sushi Rolls To Make At Home!

sushi dinner ideas 1 how to roll sushi the easy way
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