The Sushi Roll

Avocado Roll2

On my constant quest to keep everyone in our house trying new flavors and eating a balanced diet I introduced my kids to one of my favorite foods.  We started them on Japanese food early.  This introduction was a nudge to get my kids to go where I want when we go out for dinner. This simple sushi roll on the hand is fun to try at home.

My kids love a steaming, salty bowl of edamame.  (Remember kids love to interact with their food, so shelling the edamame keeps them busy until dinner arrives.)  They also love avocado rolls.  I figured with this sort of passion, I should bring The Sushi Roll into our home, with variations, of course!!!!!

The Sushi Roll

Rice choice: You should use a high-gluten, sticky rice so the ingredients stay in the roll.  I have had great results with Lundberg Brand Rice: Organic Brown Sweet Rice, and Organic White Sushi Rice.

Wrappers: Toasted seaweed sheets called Nori keep all of your ingredients together.  I have found Nori at Whole Foods and other local markets.  You can also order online. Amazon.com has some good options.  Pay attention to how many sheets you are getting for the cost, it varies immensely from brand to brand and organic vs. non-organic.


  • Vegetables: You can add anything here.  Just remember to keep pieces sliced thin so you have room for other stuff.  Choices include:  Baby spinach leaves, Cucumber, lightly steamed carrots, zucchini, squash, sweet potato, green onion, asparagus, etc…
  • Protein: Have fun with this one.  The hot dog choice is kind of goofy, but the kids love it (I do too!) Choices include: Sliced Chicken breast, Uncured Ham or Smoked Turkey breast, Wild Salmon, Organic Chicken, Beef or Turkey Hot dogs, Tuna (either canned or steak), etc…
  • Healthy Fat: Avocado, Hummus, Light Cream Cheese, Lt. Mayo or Soy Mayo, Light Sour Cream, diced nuts (peanuts, almonds etc..)
  • Embellishments: Gomashio(Toasted Sesame Seeds), Furikake (Japanese Rice Seasoning), various seasonings: cumin, curry powder, chili spice blend, thai spice blend, tumeric, garlic salt etc.

For the Kids:

This packs up really well in the lunchbox!  With school right around the corner, you have some time to practice technique.  No, you won’t get a job at Nobu, but at least you can add something to the limited lunchbox list!


Our Favorites:

  • Avocado with Toasted Sesame Gomashio
  • Smoked Turkey Breast with Hummus
  • Sliced Chicken Breast with Light Cream Cheese
  • Wild Salmon/Avocado/asparagus
  • Organic Hot Dog/ Steamed Carrots/Avocado
  • Tuna with Lt. Mayo/Baby Spinach

Other things you will need:

bamboo-sushi-matBamboo Mat:  You need this to roll your sushi.  They are inexpensive, and not hard to find.   You can go to the above Amazon.com link to find one.  I got mine at Whole Foods.  I cover mine each time in plastic wrap to keep it clean.

Sharp Chefs Knife:  This is necessary to cut through the Nori properly.

Sushi Roll Assembly:

  1. Cook your Rice according to package directions.
  2. On Bamboo mat lay 1 piece of Nori shiny side down.
  3. Moisten your hands with water (this is important, otherwise rice will stick to your hands) and lay down a thin layer of rice.
  4. Add a thin layer of any spread choice.
  5. Sprinkle any embellishments on.
  6. On the side farthest from you (about 1 inch from the edge) lay down veggies and protein lenthwise.
  7. Start to roll from that edge:  Press the bamboo mat gently as you roll to form sushi into a cylinder.  Remove mat.


Wet knife with water (You must do this, otherwise the roll will stick to knife and become a mess.) Slice roll in half and then into bite sized pieces.



You did it!!!!!!  A new meal option for all, hopefully smiles all around!

Fresh Tips:

  • Make a big batch of rice so you have it available for other meals, you can use it in your Rice Bowl.
  • This can be prepared the night before for the lunchbox.
  • Rice is always yummy topped with some Olive Oil or Butter and Parmasan cheese.
  • Serve with a side of soybeans (Edamame)

~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

9 thoughts on “The Sushi Roll

  1. Since my kids abhor the nori, I make these using the rice wraps typically used for cold spring rolls. Soak the wraps briefly in water, lay out on the bamboo mat, fill, roll and slice just as you would nori. My 7 year old also likes the rice wraps utilized like regular “wrap” sandwiches tucked full of julienned veggies.

  2. I’ve only made sushi one, I’m afraid, and usually eat it as take out. But I love it so and simply must try again using your excellent buying advice, instructions, and recommended combinations, starting with avocado and toasted sesame. Yum!

  3. I am loving your recipes! I wanted to point out that rice doesn’t contain gluten, what you mean is to use a glutinous rice. I know, it’s confusing, but for those of us who need to cook gluten-free it makes all the difference.

    I can’t WAIT to try out all the recipes I have been printing out tonight, I think you’ve given me back my kitchen mojo!

  4. Great ideas!!! Thanks!

    Just a note, sushi almost always has seasoned sushi vinegar mixed in with the rice (After it is cooked). So you can try various amounts of vinegar in the rice too. Especially yummy with veggie sushi, and sushi containing fish (tuna, salmon, etc). Not sure about the other proteins!

  5. Love this!

    My favorite is chicken, cucumber, guac-asabi and a smackeral of cream cheese!!!

  6. You can also use soy wraps and fill with mango, shrimp, and other things then use peanut sauce to drizzle or dip! My daughter loves this!