How to Roll Sushi with A Bamboo Mat [Step-by-Step Guide]

Are you planning to make sushi at home? This Japanese food is going the rounds of various restaurants and eateries.  It’s a bite-sized combination of sticky rice, fresh seafood, and nori wrap. Other varieties are also infused with slices of tropical fruits like mango and cucumber. As much as it looks easy to prepare, the real challenge is on the process of wrapping the ingredients without messing it up. So in this post, we will teach you how to roll sushi with a bamboo mat.

Why use a bamboo mat?

Some chefs and avid sushi makers can get by without using a mat. However, this entails skill and expertise. So if you’re a beginner and preparing at home, a bamboo sushi mat will come handy.

We personally recommend the FUNGYAND Sushi Making Kit. It comes with a durable bamboo mat as well as a sushi bazooka, knife, spreader, bamboo chopsticks, and other bamboo utensils. It’s an excellent kit for those who want to learn the art of making this mouth-watering Japanese delight.

For a very low price, you’ll get a sushi kit that can be used straight from the box.

How to roll sushi with a bamboo mat

how to roll sushi with a bamboo mat

Now that you got the right mat and have prepared the ingredients for your sushi, you can start rolling it with these simple steps:

Step 1. Get your bamboo mat

First, lay your bamboo mat and line it with a food-grade plastic sheet. Always use a plastic layer to prevent the ingredients from squeezing into the bamboo slits. You can also place the bamboo mat inside a large ziplock. After that, place the nori sheet with its rough side facing up.

Anyway, some people don’t use nori sheet and just dab their favorite sauce into the plastic sheet. However, without a nori sheet, rolling the sushi can be challenging. Nevertheless, make sure that your rice is sticky to keep the sushi intact.

Step 2. Spread the rice

Once you have the mat and nori in place, spread the sticky rice evenly. You don’t have to make a thick layer since you have to give way to the other ingredients.

Make sure that you leave a space at the top and bottom of the nori sheet. About an inch is ideal for preventing the rice from spilling when you start to roll and squeeze.

Step 3. Put your choice of ingredients

Now that the rice is in place, add the other stuffing and ingredients that you like. Always line it up in one vertical area. You don’t have to spread it the way you did with rice. If you do so, your sushi will not look good.

Step 4. Hold the mat right

Once done, place your thumbs beneath the bamboo mat then lift its edge a little. Make sure that you’re also holding the plastic liner.

Step 5. Pull the bottom of the mat

After that, curve the rest of your fingers to make a rolling motion on the bamboo mat. Make sure that you keep a firm hold on the mat to prevent the ingredients from spilling and getting loose.

Step 6. Roll it firmly

Roll the sushi until you form a log-like shape. Continue rolling until you reach the other edge of the nori sheet.

Step 7. Slice the sushi

After that, unroll the bamboo mat without pulling the plastic liner. Voila! You have a freshly rolled sushi. You can now slice it with a thickness of about ¾ of an inch. Some prefer thicker slices for home consumption.  Always slice it gently so you wouldn’t unravel the roll.

Additional sushi rolling tips

*Moist the knife before slicing

Before slicing your sushi roll, dip your knife in water to prevent the rice from sticking. Also, use a sharp knife to prevent pulling the nori sheet out of the roll.

*Be careful with the ends

Take note that the ends of the sushi roll are the loosest parts. If you’re not careful, you can unravel this by accident and start from step 1.

*Avoid overfilling

We know that you want a mouthful of all your favorite ingredients. Still, never overstuff your sushi with all the ingredients you have in mind. If you do so, you won’t be able to close your rolls and the roll itself will crumble since the nori sheet can’t hold everything.

Just settle with a quarter-inch thick of rice and half an inch of stuffing. If you want to taste various fillings, make separate rolls instead.

*Keep a moist hand

Sushis are best prepared barehandedly. This will prevent the rice from sticking on plastic gloves. While you’re placing the ingredients, keep your hands clean and moist. Also, rub a small amount of vinegar on your fingers to prevent the ingredients from sticking and to give a slight sour tinge on the roll.

*Know your fish

If you’re using tuna and other fishes for the sushi, always watch out for its quality. Since fish is served fresh on sushi rolls, you have to stir clear of brownish or dull-colored slices. Losing its bright color means that the fish is starting to oxidize. In short, it’s starting to spoil.

Aside from the quality, choose the right cut as well. Opt for fillets instead of steaks as it gives a better shape on your sushi upon slicing.

*Don’t expose the nori in the air

Use a nori sheet right away after you pulled it out of its packaging. Exposing it in the air for long allows the sheet to absorb moisture. When this happens, it will not stick well and your roll will unravel.

Final words

 Sushi is delicious food that you can prepare at home. With that, you should know how to roll sushi with a bamboo mat properly. This can save you money from dining on expensive Japanese restaurants. Aside from that, you can choose the ingredients that you like and add your own touch. Besides, who doesn’t want regular sushis at home?

Have you tried rolling sushi before? Let us know how it went by sharing it in the comment section!