Eat, Recipes

Making Maki…Make Your Own Sushi Night!

There are many things I’ve learned to make in the kitchen over the years, but sushi (rolls) is not one of them. So when Katie proposed a Make-Your-Own-Sushi-Night, I was excited! It was actually not too complicated, thanks to the instructions Katie printed out, although it did take a little while, and as I have always heard, “the rice is the trickiest part”.  We made a California Roll (cucumber, imitation crab, avocado), a Philadelphia Roll (cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumber), and an “Everything Roll” (all of the ingredients of the previous 2 rolls combined-we highly recommend this one).  Hopefully if you’re apprehensive about making sushi, after reading how we did it, now you’ll know you can do it too!

Sushi was easier to make than we thought, and it was fresh and delicious! Try Make Your Own Sushi Night!
Sushi was easier to make than we thought, and it was fresh and delicious! Try Make Your Own Sushi Night!


  • Maki (sushi roll) mat (you can buy this at HEB!)
  • 1 package of brown rice in the sushi section at HEB/Central Market/Whole Foods
  • 1 package of Nori (thin, dried seaweed sheets)
  • 1/2 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • imitation crab sticks
  • 1 cube of philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 package smoked salmon (lox)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 avocado


  1. Boil water with rice for 4-6 cups of brown rice (follow instructions on the package)
  2. Once water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  3. While the rice is cooking, in a small sautee pan, combine the rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt, and keep this on medium heat, stirring for approximately 30 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and no more vinegar is left in the pan.  (Do not make it too thick). Remove from heat and spoon into a bowl.  (This will be combined with the rice to make it congeal.)
  4. Combine the rice wine/sugar/salt mixture with the rice and stir throughout.
  5. Cover and place the rice in the refrigerator (in a new bowl) for 20-30 minutes or longer if preparing ahead of time.  Ideally, it should just cool down to be at room temperature.
  6. Slice the crab, cream cheese, smoked salmon, cucumber, and avocado into long and thin strips, each about 3 inches in length.
  7. We are now ready to roll.
  8. Lay the Maki sushi mat down on a flat surface.
  9. Lay a sheet of Nori (dried seaweed) on top of the mat, dull side down.
  10. Spoon the rice mixture onto the sheet, leaving 1 inch free on each end.  Do not use too much rice on each sheet or it will be difficult to roll.  Try to make an even and thin layer of rice on the sheet.
  11. Next, place the ingredients you’d like (crab sticks, cucumber, avocado for California Roll, and cream cheese, cucumber, smoked salmon for Philadelphia Roll) longwise in the middle of the sheet.  Combined, the ingredients should only make a 1-inch-wide row in the middle of the sheet. 
  12. Pick up the side of the mat closest to you with the Nori sheet, and roll it over the middle row of ingredients.  Then, finish rolling the mat to close up the roll.  (This might take a few practice tries to get it right).
  13. Remove the roll from the mat, placing it on a plate.  Cut the roll into 1-inch thick sushi roll pieces.
  14. Ta-dah! Dip in soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger.  You can also sprinkle sesame seeds on the rice before rolling, and try to use rice on both sides of the seaweed sheet.

I also recommend watching short YouTube videos on how to make sushi before you attempt as a visual guide. Happy sushi-ing!

4 thoughts on “Making Maki…Make Your Own Sushi Night!”

  • Natanya Anderson June 4, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I love to make sushi – and it’s so much fun with friends. It sounds like you had a blast. Tim Thomas, from the family that owns the Origami sushi restaurants, regularly teaches sushi classes as Central Market, so for those who want a bit of in-person instruction before setting out on their own sushi, those are a great option.

  • lisaiscooking June 5, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Looks like fun! It was great to meet you on Wednesday at the County Line.

  • TheRebecca June 5, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks, Lisa! It was fun, and turned out better than we expected! has beautiful pictures and I will be checking it for recipe ideas when I entertain!

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