Recipe: Homemade Sushi

You can make satisfying rolls at home, without any fancy equipment.

Photo by Asia Bradlee

Photo by Asia Bradlee

If you’re currently funneling half of each paycheck into your takeout sushi fund, consider this an intervention. This homemade sushi recipe can be yours, sans delivery fees and restaurant prices. Even better? It uses veggies and brown rice for a healthy take on your favorite dish.

If your grocery store doesn’t stock nori, check the nearest Asian specialty foods store. Otherwise, you should be able to find all the ingredients with ease.

Makes one roll

1 cup brown rice
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar or agave syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 small sweet potato
Purple cabbage
1 ripe avocado
Nori wraps
1 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp olive oil
Plastic wrap
Dish towel


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bring one cup of water to a boil. In a small saucepan, warm the rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt over medium-low heat. (If you’re using agave, omit this step and simply whisk the three ingredients together, without heat.) Stir occasionally, until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside.

Once the water is boiling, add the rice and turn heat to low. Let the rice cook until all of the water has been absorbed. When the rice is done, add the vinegar, sugar, and salt mixture and stir well. When thoroughly mixed, set aside.

Peel the sweet potato and cut it into thin strips. Coat the sweet potato with the maple syrup and olive oil, along with a dash of salt, if desired. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender.

While the potato cooks, chop the purple cabbage into long, thin strips. Cut the avocado in half and slice it into thin strips. Set aside. When the sweet potato is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool.

Fold the dish towel in half and place a sheet of plastic wrap over it. Place a sheet of nori on top of the plastic wrap. Wet your hands and spread the rice on the nori, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Once the rice is spread out, place a few strips of sweet potato, cabbage, and avocado on the end closest to you.

Roll the nori over the vegetables and rice, and keep rolling until you reach the halfway point. Use the plastic wrap and dish towel to assist you as you finish rolling, securing the roll without ripping the nori. (Visual learner? Refer to these photos from the Minimalist Baker.)

Once the roll is sealed, cut it into discs. Serve with low-sodium soy sauce and wasabi, if desired.