How To Make Makizushi (Sushi Rolls)-Japanese Taste

How To Make Makizushi (Sushi Rolls)

by Mana Sobral

Main Party Food Seafood Salmon Vegetarian-friendly Vegan-friendly Sushi

Sushi rolls, those iconic creations in Japanese cuisine, are like flavor-packed delights waiting to be unwrapped in every bite. These culinary wonders are more than just food; they represent Japan's rich culinary tradition and are a testament to the art of balance, both in taste and aesthetics.

At the core of every sushi roll is the vinegared rice, prepared with utmost care and precision. It's not just any rice; it's a special blend seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt, resulting in a slightly sweet, tangy, and sticky base that serves as both the foundation and glue of the roll.

Wrapped around this rice is the ever-present nori seaweed. This dark green, paper-thin layer not only provides structural integrity to the roll but also introduces a hint of oceanic brininess and a satisfying crunch—an edible embrace that keeps all the flavors together.

What truly makes sushi rolls exceptional is the artistry of combining ingredients. From succulent slices of fresh fish like tuna, salmon, or yellowtail to perfectly cooked seafood like shrimp or crab, the possibilities are virtually endless. Vegetarians and vegans also have their fair share of choices, with avocado, cucumber, and pickled radish among the delightful options. What makes each roll a culinary adventure is the fusion of these elements, resulting in unique flavor profiles that can be bold, subtle, or somewhere in between.

Dipping sauces like soy sauce with wasabi and spicy mayo are the supporting actors in this sushi theater. They add an extra layer of flavor, a hint of heat, or a touch of creaminess, allowing diners to customize each bite to their liking.

Trying your hand at making sushi rolls at home, you're not just indulging in a meal; you're partaking in a cultural experience. Sushi rolls represent the harmonious blend of flavors, textures, and aesthetics emblematic of Japanese cuisine—a delicious journey that transcends food and becomes a celebration of culture and culinary craftsmanship.


Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 60 mins

Total servings: 7

Difficulty: Medium

  • 1kg Cooked Sushi Rice
  • 90g Cucumber
  • 70g Crab Meat Sticks
  • 5 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 400ml Water (for soaking the shiitake mushrooms)
  • 15g Sugar (for seasoning the shiitake mushrooms)
  • 30ml Soy Sauce (for seasoning the shiitake mushrooms)
  • ½ Tbsp Sake (for seasoning the shiitake mushrooms)
  • ½ Tbsp Mirin (for seasoning the shiitake mushrooms)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Sugar (for making the omelet)
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce (for making the omelet)
  • 150g Sashimi Grade Salmon
  • 60g Mayo
  • 15g Sriracha Sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 5g Tempura Bits
  • 7 Nori (Dried Seaweed Sheets)
  • Chives (garnish, optional)
  • Wasabi, for serving with the sushi rolls
  • Soy Sauce, for serving with the sushi rolls

Expert's Tip

How To Make Makizushi (Sushi Rolls)

Marusan Rice Vinegar is an artisanally crafted rice vinegar made from non-glutinous rice. Its pure flavor and mellow sourness make it an ideal condiment for Japanese cooking.

Distinguished by a premium and less harsh taste compared to other rice vinegars, Marusan undergoes a slow maturation process in a storehouse, similar to the traditional method used in making Japanese sake. This is the best rice vinegar to use for seasoning sushi rice if you don't want to make the seasoning yourself!


1) Gathering the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients together.

2) Making Sushi Rice

Prepare the vinegared rice. We have an entire recipe dedicated to making it, so learn how to make it here.

3) Preparing the Shiitake Mushrooms

Add 400ml of water and soak dried shiitake mushrooms for at least 4-5 hours in a medium pot or bowl. To prevent the shiitake mushrooms from floating on the water’s surface, use a smaller plate or cover them with kitchen paper.

When the mushrooms are ready, separate them from the soaking liquid. Do not toss out the soaking liquid; just set it aside.

Cut the stem off and prepare 150 ml of the mushroom broth from the dried shiitake mushrooms.

In a small pot, combine the mushroom broth, sugar, sakemirin, and soy sauce. Add the shiitake mushrooms, cover with foil, and simmer on low heat until the seasoning liquid reduces to less than half. Remove from the heat. 

Thinly slice the shiitake mushrooms (including the stems) and set aside.

Note: If you don’t have time to wait for 4-5 hours, you can soak dried mushrooms in room temperature water, cover them with plastic wrap, and wait for 2-3 hours.

4) Making Tamagoyaki

We already have a recipe for tamagoyaki on our website, so be sure to check it out!

Use a Tamagoyaki Pan for a perfect Japanese Omelet if you have one! If you don't have one you can also use a regular frying pan.

Roll the Japanese omelet with a rolling mat to shape and neaten it, then set it aside.

5) Preparing the Toppings

Cut the cucumber in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds from the center. Thinly slice the cucumber. 

Split the crab meat sticks in half. Cut the Japanese omelet in half, matching the thickness of the crab meat sticks. Set them aside.

6) Making the Spicy Salmon

Cut sashimi-grade salmon into small pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add sriracha sauce, mayo, and salt, then mix well. Set aside.

7) Rolling Up the Sushi Rolls

Place the nori sheet on the rolling mat with the shiny side down. Tip: To prevent the rice from sticking, wet your fingers and spread the rice. Keep a small bowl of water handy.

Take a handful of sushi rice (about 140 grams) and spread it evenly on the nori sheet, leaving some space at the top and bottom without rice. Place the fillings horizontally just below the center of the rice. It’s no problem if the fillings stick out from the edges.

Lift the rolling mat from near you and gently roll it away from you. Once the roll is completed, use the rolling mat to shape it into a cylinder. Tip: Cover the finished sushi roll with plastic wrap to keep it moist and move on to making the next one.

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