DIY Sushi Hand Rolls


For the Japanese, sushi is a venerable art form, something best left in the hands of sushi masters instead of home cooks. On the other hand, temaki sushi (or hand rolls) are an easy way to bring this tradition home. To prepare this sushi feast, arrange rice, nori, a variety of sashimi-grade fish (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and salmon roe are my go-to, but get whatever is the freshest), and vegetable fillings on a platter so that everyone can make their own hand rolls. Provide small bowls of soy sauce and wasabi for dipping. I like to serve this feast when I’m entertaining at home; rolling these cones of sushi is as fun for little hands as it is delicious for grown-up guests.


12 sheets nori seaweed, cut in half 6 cups cooked Japanese sushi rice (see Note)

3 pounds sashimi-grade fish (see headnote), sliced into narrow 2-inch-long strips

6 cups assorted fillings, such as cucumber and carrot strips, shiso leaves, radish sprouts, sliced avocado, and pickled daikon strips

Soy sauce

Grated fresh wasabi (see headnote, page 99) or wasabi paste from a tube (available at Asian groceries)

Pickled ginger

To assemble a hand roll, lay a piece of nori at on a clean surface. Spread a thin layer of sushi rice on the left side of the nori. Add the fish and vegetable fillings vertically down the middle of the rice (it’s okay if they poke out of the seaweed). Fold the bottom left corner of the nori upward to create a cone shape, and then roll from one side of the nori to the other until all of the seaweed is shaped into a cone. Moisten the outer edge of the roll with a bit of water or a morsel of rice, and press to seal.

Serve soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger alongside.

Note: Sushi rice is high-quality Japanese short-grain rice (which is slightly sticky when cooked); long-grain rice will not do.