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How to Make Sushi Without a Mat 


Sushi is undoubtedly one of the most beloved and iconic dishes in Japanese cuisine. Its perfect combination of vinegared rice, fresh seafood, and crisp vegetables wrapped in seaweed is a culinary delight enjoyed worldwide. While many may think that crafting sushi at home requires specialized tools like a bamboo mat, you’ll be surprised to learn that you can make delicious sushi without one. Here’s a simple guide on how to make sushi without a mat. 


  • Sushi rice 
  • Nori (seaweed sheets) 
  • Assorted fillings (such as cucumber, avocado, cooked shrimp, smoked salmon, etc.) 
  • Rice vinegar 
  • Sugar 
  • Salt 
  • Soy sauce 
  • Wasabi (optional) 
  • Pickled ginger (optional) 


1. Prepare the sushi rice: 

  • Rinse the sushi rice under cold water until the water runs clear to remove excess starch. 
  • Cook the rice according to the package instructions or in a rice cooker. 
  • In a small bowl, mix rice vinegar, sugar, and salt until dissolved. 
  • Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and gently fold in the vinegar mixture. Allow it to cool to room temperature. 

2. Prepare the fillings: 

  • Slice your choice of fillings into thin strips. Common options include cucumber, avocado, cooked shrimp, and smoked salmon. Be creative and use whatever ingredients you prefer. 

3. Assemble the sushi: 

  • Place a sheet of nori on a clean, flat surface, like a cutting board. 
  • With wet hands, spread a thin layer of sushi rice evenly over the nori, leaving about half an inch of the nori uncovered at the top edge. 
  • Arrange your desired fillings in a line across the bottom third of the rice-covered nori sheet. 

4. Roll the sushi: 

  • Starting from the bottom edge, tightly roll the nori and rice over the fillings, using your fingers to keep the fillings in place. 
  • Continue rolling until you reach the top edge of the nori. 
  • Moisten the top edge of the nori with a bit of water to seal the roll. 

5. Slice and serve: 

  • Using a sharp knife dipped in water, slice the sushi roll into bite-sized pieces. 
  • Arrange the sushi pieces on a plate and serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger on the side. 

Voila! You’ve just made delicious sushi without a mat. While a bamboo mat may provide a more uniform shape, this method proves that with a little creativity and patience, anyone can enjoy homemade sushi anytime, anywhere. So gather your ingredients and get rolling! 

This post was written by a professional at Suhi Inc. Sushi Inc. is a vibrant restaurant that offers what is considered the best  sushi St Pete. Opening its doors in 2013 and becoming a local staple by offering live music, traditional hand-rolled sushi and a friendly atmosphere, our guests always have a top notch experience. Customers love our award-winning, fresh and creative Sushi rolls, Nigiri, and Sashimi. With a larger selection of tempura, non-Sushi, and teriyaki options, we can accommodate every taste.