Maki Sushi Recipe

Fun & fresh maki sushi rolls made with brown rice, roasted shiitakes, cabbage, cucumber, avocado, and a tangy carrot-ginger dipping sauce.

Maki Sushi Recipe

It’s sushi day! You might be wondering – why the heck would you roll sushi at home when it’s so much easier to order it at a restaurant? Because this maki sushi recipe is fun, affordable, and way more fresh than take-out sushi… but the best part is that you can get creative about what you choose to fill your rolls with. No more cucumber-only veggie sushi rolls!

These maki sushi rolls are filled with savory roasted shiitake mushrooms, avocado, cucumber, and red cabbage for crunch & color. There’s also a fun dipping sauce – the carrot ginger dressing from the Rainbow Kale Salad that I posted on Monday. If you make that salad and reserve just a bit of the dressing it makes for a yummy, fresh, and unexpected sauce for these rolls.

Maki Sushi Recipe

What is Maki Sushi

Maki is simply a sushi roll with fish or veggies, and rice, rolled in seaweed.

How to Make Sushi Rice

While white rice is traditional, I opt for healthier short grain brown rice which works great. Here’s how to make it:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, water, and olive oil and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Remove the rice from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 more minutes.
  4. Fluff with a fork and fold in the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Cover until ready to use.

Maki Sushi Recipe

Here’s how we roll:

Step #1 is to not stress out. Your rolls don’t have to be perfect. The first one might even fall apart, but even if it does you’ll pick up the pieces, smush them together and (hopefully!) enjoy eating it anyway. The second one will be better, and the third will be a breeze.

  1. Place a small bowl of water and a kitchen towel near your work area as your hands will get sticky.
  2. Place one nori sheet, glossy side down, onto a bamboo mat and press a handful of rice onto the lower two-thirds of the sheet.
  3. At the bottom of the rice place your toppings (see picture). Don’t overfill or it will be more difficult to roll.
  4. Use the bamboo mat to tuck and roll the nori. Once rolled, use the bamboo mat to gently press and shape the roll. Place the roll to the side, cut side down.
  5. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the sushi. Wipe the knife clean with a damp towel between cuts.
  6. Serve with soy sauce, tamari, or the carrot ginger sauce listed below.

Maki Sushi Recipe

These are best enjoyed just after they’re rolled, but the dipping sauce and mushrooms can be made in advance to speed up the process. If you want to make this in advance (i.e. for lunch the next day) store whole, uncut rolls wrapped up in the fridge. This keeps the rice from drying out after the pieces are cut. Slice as you’re ready to eat.

Maki Sushi Recipe

If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, give this Avocado & Mango Brown Rice Sushi option a try.

Happy rolling!

For more snacks and appetizer ideas, check out this post!

Maki Sushi Recipe

rate this recipe:
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Serves 2 (makes 3 rolls)

Ingredients

Roasted Shiitakes

  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari

Carrot ginger dipping sauce

  • ½ cup chopped roasted carrots, about ¾ cup raw carrots
  • ⅓ to ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Sushi rice

  • 1 cup short grain brown rice, rinsed well
  • 2 cups water*
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

For the rolls

  • 3 nori sheets
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 3 long thin strips of cucumber
  • ½ avocado, sliced into strips
  • Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  • Tamari, for serving
  • Pickled ginger, optional, for serving

Instructions

  • Prepare the roasted shiitakes: Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large and small baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the shiitake mushrooms with the olive oil and tamari and toss to coat. Spread in an even layer on the large baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned around the edges. On the second sheet, roast the carrots for the dipping sauce.
  • Make the carrot ginger dipping sauce: In a blender, combine the roasted carrots, water, olive oil, rice vinegar, ginger, and salt and blend until creamy. Chill until ready to use and set aside the shiitakes until you're ready to roll.
  • Make the sushi rice: In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, water, and olive oil and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the rice from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 more minutes. Fluff with a fork and fold in the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Cover until ready to use.
  • Assemble the maki sushi rolls. Place a small bowl of water and a kitchen towel near your work area as your hands will get sticky. Place one nori sheet, glossy side down, onto a bamboo mat and press a handful of rice onto the lower two-thirds of the sheet. At the bottom of the rice place your toppings (see picture). Don’t overfill or it will be more difficult to roll. Use the bamboo mat to tuck and roll the nori. Once rolled, use the bamboo mat to gently press and shape the roll. Place the roll to the side, cut side down. Repeat with remaining rolls.
  • Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the sushi. Wipe the knife clean with a damp towel between cuts.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with the dipping sauce, tamari, and pickled ginger, if desired.

Notes

*If using a rice cooker, use 1½ cups water and omit the olive oil.
To store your rolls overnight, store them uncut, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge. This helps keep the rice from drying out. Slice as you're ready to eat.

 

9 comments

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  1. Gaby Dalkin
    01.16.2019

    I’m a proud supporter of sushi night! 🙂

  2. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    01.16.2019

    so creative, wow, nice set of flavors and a really fun recipe, thank you

  3. Jason
    01.17.2019

    I love sushi!!! and that looks ridiculously delicious 🙂

  4. Richard
    02.01.2019

    Excellent recipes I love your blog…

  5. Chris
    01.11.2020

    Lover your recipes! My GF and I just picked up the second cookbook. Quick question What are the sprouts/microgreens you use in the pictures?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.11.2020

      Hi Chris, I hope you love the new book! These are kale sprouts, I also like radish sprouts. I find them at my Whole Foods (they’re grown locally), coop grocery store, or farmers market. I also think they can be grown fairly easily indoors… overall they’re pretty nutrient dense but not entirely necessary for the flavor of the recipes. I just think they look pretty and I try to add a bit of green into my meals 🙂

      • Chris
        01.11.2020

        Amazing thanks so much! We’ve been contemplating getting an indoor microgreen kit. I’m excited to try these rolls and we’re super excited to try out all the recipes in the cookbook. Your first has been a go to for us! Cheers! Chris

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          01.11.2020

          So happy to hear how much you’ve been loving the first book! I’m giving this kit a try, I can let you know how it goes: https://www.hamama.com/

          • Chris
            01.11.2020

            Thank you again! We’ve read about how nutrient dense they are, we might have to try as well!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.