How to Make Sushi Without a Bamboo Mat (VIDEO)

Disclosure: If you buy something from the links provided I might get a few cents. So thanks for that!

I have been craving sushi for WEEKS now, but if you follow the blog regularly you may remember me asking for adulting advice. A good friend was able to provide me with an easy-to-use google sheet to help with budgeting. This made me realize that I need to cut back on how much I spend on food. Therefore, I decided to make myself some sushi.

This post is less of a recipe and more of a tutorial for how to put your sushi together. I decided to forgo using a bamboo mat because most people don’t have those laying around their house. However, if you do have a bamboo mat, you should totally use it! It helps make your rolls even and round.

I decided to start with California rolls because they’re easy to make, inexpensive, and most people will like them. You can use almost any vegetables in your sushi and easy/cheaper proteins to use are crab, shrimp, salmon, and egg. I don’t know much about raw fish (because it makes me nervous) so you’ll have to find that info somewhere else.

I’ll be supplying more tips if you read, but here’s a video in case that works better for you! Also, because I enjoy making videos.

1. Gather Your Supplies



  • Avocado
  • Cucumber (I prefer the tiny ones)
  • Crab or imitation crab meat


  • Rice Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Cooking Spray

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2. Cut Your Cucumber into Thin Strips

If using a large cucumber, you’ll want to remove the seeds. You can really use any type of veggies you want though!

3. Open your avocado and slice it into small strips.

Make a single slice the entire way around the fruit. Twist your two ends in opposite directions, then use a spoon to scoop the avocado out of its shell. Then, slice your avocado in strips.

4. Spread your sushi rice in a thin layer over your sushi nori (seaweed) sheet.

Bonus info time!

  1. Sushi rice is a little bit different than white rice because it’s a shorter grain AND more sticky. However, if you don’t have sushi rice in your house, white rice will suffice. (I haven’t tried brown rice though so I can’t speak to that.)
  2. If you want to season your rice: Add 3 tablespoons of unseasoned rice vinegar with 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of sugar dissolved into it to approximately 3 cups of rice.

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5. Once you’ve spread rice all over one side of your nori, pick it up, place the wax paper on the rice side, and flip!

I personally think that sushi tastes better inside out (meaning with the rice on the outside), but if you like having the nori on the outside you can just skip this step!

6. Place your fillings in flat line on the nori about 1 inch from the end.

You won’t want to over-stuff or else the next step will be tricky.

For california rolls add your avocado, cucumber, and crab.

7. Carefully roll away from you a little bit at a time.

Each time you roll you’ll want to give each part a good squeeze to help the rice stick.

8. Use a sharp knife to slice your roll into bite-sized pieces.

Bonus: If your knife keeps getting stuck to the rice, give it a little spray with cooking oil OR dip it in water.

9. Enjoy!

Some good additions include soy sauce for dipping, topping with sesame seeds, or place a little dollop of yum yum sauce on top!

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What are your favorite sushi fillings and flavors? Let me know in the comments below!

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