Homemade Sushi recipe

Our finished California rolls, comprising cucumber, egg and pepper

This recipe was taken from Cooking Japanese (Murdoch Books), which contains a lengthy and useful explanation on how to make “perfect sushi rice”.

Having a really sharp knife helps with the presentation, which explains why my sushi looks a little... rustic.


Serves: 6


  • 5 nori sheets (3 for the layered sushi and 2 for the California rolls)
  • Sushi ginger
  • 500g sushi rice
  • 660ml water
  • 2 tbs sake
  • 80ml Japanese rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbs caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt

Fillings (whatever you like but we used the following)

  • 2 eggs
  • Avocado
  • carrot
  • cucumber
  • Smoked salmon

Japanese mayonnaise (combine the following and mix well)

  • 4 tsp wasabi
  • ½ tsp mirin
  • ½ tsp Japanese rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp shoyu or soy sauce


Wash the rice until the water runs clear to remove excess starch. Drain the rice in a colander then add to a saucepan along with the water and the sake. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Turn off the heat and leave to steam for 20 minutes. Do not open the lid as this will release all the steam (and the good luck according to Ken Hom). Once cooked, transfer the rice to a non-metallic dish, mix the vinegar, sugar and salt before pouring over the rice, mixing it evenly with a damp wooden spoon (the rice will stick to a dry spoon). Leave to cool.

Layered sushi

  1. Lay a nori sheet onto a chopping board and cover evenly with a quarter of the rice.
  2. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over this, then top with the smoked salmon and a few pieces of ginger.
  3. Place another nori sheet on top and press down with a rolling pin (or empty wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin).
  4. Add another layer of rice, mayonnaise and salmon and top with a final sheet.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes then slice into squares with a very sharp knife.
  6. You can then finish the squares with small dollops of mayonnaise and black sesame seeds, which looks nice but makes the sushi too mayonnaise heavy in my opinion.

California rolls

  1. Slice the carrots and cucumber (deseeded) into long, thin strips.
  2. Beat the eggs and pour into a frying pan to make a thin omelet. Once this has cooled, roll the omelet and slice into thin strips. Leave the avocado until you are ready to assemble the sushi or else it will turn brown and look rather unappetising.
  3. Place a nori sheet on top of the bamboo mat, shiny side down, then cover with a thin layer of rice, leaving a 4cm gap at the edge furthest away from you.
  4. Lay the cucumber, carrot, egg and avocado on the rice in a bunch and hold in place with your fingers while rolling the mat away from you. Make sure you don’t roll the mat into the sushi and pack everything together as tightly as possible.
  5. Place the roll seam side down onto a chopping board and using a very sharp knife, slice into six pieces.

Serve with ginger and wasabi.