How to Use a Bamboo Sushi Roll Mat

Sushi rolls are delectable treats enjoyed by many at Japanese restaurants all over the world. But making your own sushi allows you to make rolls to your tastes at a fraction of the cost. To make sushi at home, you just need the proper equipment, including short-grain sushi rice, a sharp knife, and, of course, a bamboo sushi mat. Constructed of thin strips of bamboo loosely bound to make a flat, rectangular, but flexible surface, sushi mats help tightly roll together the seaweed, sticky rice and fillings to create a sushi roll. Using a mat to roll your sushi may be daunting at first, but the process of forming a delicious sushi roll you made yourself is simple and satisfying.

Things You'll Need

  • Bamboo sushi mat
  • Cling wrap
  • Nori (seaweed paper)
  • Sticky rice (prepared)
  • Rice paddle or wooden spoon
  • Sushi fillings of your choice

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Gather and prepare sushi ingredients. Cook the sticky rice. Chop preferred sushi fillings into thin strips for easy rolling.

Cover the bamboo sushi mat with cling wrap. This will prevent the ingredients (especially the rice) from sticking to the mat, making clean-up much simpler.

Place a half sheet of nori (or a whole sheet of if making futomaki, or very thick rolls of sushi) shiny side down on top of the bamboo mat. Line up the edges of the nori with the edges of the mat.

Cover the sheet of nori, except for a 1/2 inch-thick strip on either end, with a thin layer (about 1/4-inch thick) of sticky rice. Use a rice paddle or a wooden spoon to spread the rice evenly.

Position sushi fillings lengthwise on top of the rice. Make sure the ingredients are centered within the rice.

Dampen the edge of the nori not covered with rice. This will help seal the roll.

Start folding the end of the bamboo mat with the exposed nori toward the opposite end of the rice-covered nori. At the same time, guide the sushi fillings toward the center of the roll with your fingers.

When the rolling edge of the mat hits the flat edge of the mat, slightly curl the bamboo toward the roll to form a tube shape. Once the roll is completely covered with the mat, squeeze the roll to firm and shape the roll further.

Unfurl the mat from the newly formed sushi roll, which, if properly rolled, should look like a tube. Cut the roll into small, bite-sized pieces using a very sharp knife and serve.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make a sushi roll with the rice on the outside, simply flip over the nori after spreading the rice on the sheet and proceed as usual.

References

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