Making your own Japanese sushi roll is so much cheaper and tastier than going to a restaurant, and it's actually pretty easy! It’s made healthier by swapping the white rice for brown and using lower sodium options. This recipe walks you through the process step-by-step so you end up with the perfect brown rice sushi.
Growing up with a Japanese mother, I got used to eating authentic Japanese food on a regular basis. Sushi was one of those recipes that we made together, when we needed a quick and delicious dinner.
I didn't realize how lucky I was to have that until going to Japanese restaurants in America, which costed way more for less quality than making sushi at home.
So from then on, I decided I would stick to making my own sushi from home--it's way cheaper, and takes only 10 minutes or less to put together. It's also healthier, with more fiber and less sodium!
This post will explain each step (with pictures too!) of making the perfect sushi roll--it's really not that hard!
Ingredients in Brown Rice Sushi
Before going into the method, I want to quickly explain to you all the ingredients! There's a reason for every one 🙂
The base of every sushi roll starts with a sheet of nori, which is just a Japanese edible seaweed. Although some western sushi recipes and restaurants put the rice on the outside, traditionally the nori is the outer wrap. And honestly, it's so much easier to roll and eat that way.
Then there's the rice--usually white, but this recipe uses brown for some extra fiber! It's not as starchy as white rice, but it still sticks enough to hold the roll together. I actually like the texture of brown rice in sushi better than white rice (although my mom would disagree😂)!
To make it into "sushi rice," you need to add some vinegar to it. I use mine in powder form, called sushinoko. Some people use regular rice vinegar, but I haven't tried it and can't say how it will work in this recipe.
Then there's the fillings: in my house it's always carrots, cucumbers, avocado, and smoked salmon but you can switch it up based on what you have or like (another perk of making your own!).
I always try to find the lowest-sodium option for smoked salmon, not just for health reasons, but also because it can get pretty salty, especially with soy sauce. And if salmon isn't your thing, canned tuna works great too!
I love to dip my sushi in soy sauce and wasabi paste. I also recommend using low sodium soy sauce because as I just mentioned, it gets really salty otherwise. My mom also loves hers with pickled ginger.
So that's pretty much it for the ingredients! Not too many, but they bring so much flavor!
How to Make Brown Rice Sushi
And now the fun part--putting it together! It's really not that hard, but it may not look perfect on your first attempt. Don't get discouraged and keep trying; you'll master it in no time!
You'll start off with your sheet of nori, on top of a bamboo rolling mat. It's really the best tool for rolling sushi, but you can still make it without! Try wax paper, a sturdy towel, or anything else you can find. The end result won't look the same, but you will still have delicious sushi!
Next, pat down the brown rice mixed with vinegar on the nori. Pat it all the way to the edges except for one side, leaving one inch from the edge.
Place a very thin layer of rice on the edge of the empty side, to act as a glue.
Add all the fillings (cucumber, carrots, avocado and salmon) in the middle, in rows.
Then start rolling! Grab the bottom of the mat and wrap it tightly, just over the fillings. Press it down so it's tight, but be careful not to squish it.
Then continue rolling it until you reach the end--make sure the "glue" sticks! Again, squeeze it tight but don't squish.
Then unroll the sushi from the mat!
To cut it, dip a knife in water and cut into 1" slices. Water helps to make a cleaner cut, so the knife doesn't get stuck. Then serve and enjoy! 🙂
I really hope you like this recipe! If you decide to make it, be sure to post a picture and tag me @nutritiousdelights on Instagram--I'd love to see it!💕
More recipes you might love:
Brown Rice Sushi
- 1 sheet nori
- 1 ½ tablespoon sushinoko powder (powdered sushi vinegar)
- 3 cups brown rice cooked
- 4 slices avocado see pictures for reference
- ¼ cup sliced carrots see pictures for reference
- 1 mini cucumber, sliced see pictures for reference
- ¼ cup sliced smoked salmon see pictures for reference
- low sodium soy sauce
- wasabi paste
- pickled ginger
- In a medium bowl, mix together the brown rice and sushinoko powder, then set aside.
- Place the nori sheet on top of a bamboo rolling mat.
- Pat the rice down firmly on the nori sheet. Make sure the rice goes all the way to the edges except for one side--leave an inch with no rice.
- Place a thin layer of rice grains at the very edge of the empty side to act as a "glue."
- Place the avocado, carrots, cucumbers, and salmon in layers in the middle.
- Rolling the sushi: Hold the bottom of the mat and fold it just over the fillings as tight as you can.
- Finish rolling and squeeze it tight with the mat. Make sure the seal is tight.
- Remove the sushi roll from the mat.
- To cut it: dip a knife in water (helps it cut smoother) and cut into slices, about 1" thick. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and/or pickled ginger. Enjoy!