How To Make Salmon Roll (Japanese Sushi Recipe)

5 from 2 votes
JUMP TO RECIPE & VIDEO

Try this mouthwatering Salmon Roll Sushi recipe and learn how to make homemade sushi with fresh salmon and creamy cheese. It’s a breeze to make!

salmon roll sushi served on a plate.

Salmon, the sushi superstar! The Salmon Roll truly shines with its simplicity and rich flavor among the many sushi choices. I include cream cheese to enhance its deliciousness, as it pairs perfectly with the fatty salmon.

Follow these easy steps to create your own sushi at home!

    This recipe is for you if:
  • You love Japanese sushi.
  • You are looking for a salmon roll recipe.
  • You are looking for an easy sushi recipe.

If you want to check the recipe immediately, please visit the link below. Let’s get started!

About This Recipe

  • Japanese salmon roll recipe
  • Fillings are raw salmon, cream cheese, and lettuce.
  • Modern-style sushi roll
  • Straightforward step-by-step instructions

A Brief Introduction to Sushi Roll (Maki Sushi)

Futomaki and hosomaki illustrations.

The sushi roll, called Maki sushi or Nori maki in Japanese, is made by wrapping a nori sheet (seaweed) around vinegared rice with some fillings in the center. The fillings are usually strips of sushi-grade fish (raw) and vegetables.

Sushi roll comes in two different sizes:

Hosomaki, futomaki, and uramaki on a cutting board.

I hope this simple knowledge will make ordering at sushi restaurants a more enjoyable and effortless experience for you!

📋 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients (the amounts are in the recipe card below).

Ingrediednts for salmon roll sushi.
  • Fresh salmon, cream cheese, and lettuce (or any leafy vegetables) are the filling ingredients. See below for the salmon. I use portion-sized cream cheese for its convenience in cutting into strips.
  • Rice Vinegar, sugar, and salt: We blend them well and mix them into the rice to make vinegared rice. Other types of vinegar might be a little too strong for the rice, so I highly recommend using rice vinegar. You can also use store-bought seasoned rice vinegar.

Japanese Short-grain Rice

Japanese rice on a plate

The best rice for sushi rolls is short-grain rice, which is more starchy than long-grain rice and helps maintain the desired shape of the sushi roll and onigiri rice balls.

Koshihikari rice is the most famous and popular brand of Japanese rice. Or you can use the one labeled “sushi rice” on the packaging. Both white and brown rice can be used for sushi, depending on your preference.

I won’t go into how to cook rice in this recipe, so please refer to the “How to Cook Japanese Rice on the Stove” recipe.

How To Cook Perfect Japanese Rice on The Stove
5 from 13 votes
No rice cooker? No problem! Learn how to cook Japanese rice on the stove for fluffy and delicious results, and savor a wholesome Japanese meal at home – read on!
Make This Recipe
Japanese short grain rice in a pot

Nori Sheet

Nori sheet

Nori seaweed sheets are dried seaweed that are crisp and come in sheet form, as shown in the picture above.

Get this full-size nori sheet (8.3″ x 7.5″ or 21 x 19 cm) at a grocery store.

Raw Salmon

Salmon fillet.

When consuming it raw, pick a sushi-grade salmon fillet for the best flavor and safety. Look for fish markets or specialty seafood stores that label their salmon as suitable for raw consumption.

If raw fish isn’t your preference, you can opt for cooked or partially seared salmon.

Where to Buy Japanese Ingredients

If you live in the US, you can find Japanese ingredients in the list below.

  • Japanese market: Mitsuwa MarketplaceMarukai
  • Asian market
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Health food stores
  • Online stores: Instacart, Walmart, Amazon

Makisu (Bamboo Mat)

makisu, bamboo sushi mat

A Makisu, a bamboo mat or sushi rolling mat, is a traditional tool used in Japanese cuisine for rolling sushi. It is made from thin bamboo strips woven together with string. The Makisu provides support and helps shape the sushi roll while keeping the ingredients tightly wrapped.

When you closely observe the side profile of Makisu, you’ll notice that one side is flat while the other is round. Place the nori sheet on the flat side to achieve a smooth surface for your sushi roll.

If you don’t have a Makisu, you can still make sushi using a sheet of plastic wrap as a substitute.

🔪Instructions

Here are the detailed instructions for making sushi rolls. The process consists of the following four straightforward steps!

  • Step 1: Preparing the Rice
  • Step 2: Preparing the Ingredients
  • Step 3: Assembling the Roll
  • Step 4: Cutting the Roll

Step 1: Preparing the Rice

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

1. Blend rice vinegar, salt, and sugar well in a small bowl to make sushi vinegar.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

2. Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl, and gradually pour the sushi vinegar mixture over the rice while gently mixing it with a rice paddle.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

3. Mix until the rice is evenly coated with vinegar. Be careful not to mash the rice.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

4. Cover with a wet cloth over the bowl while preparing the ingredients. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature before making sushi rolls.

Step 2: Preparing the Fillings

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

1. Rinse the lettuce and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

2. Cut into 1 cm (½-inch) strips.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

3. Cut into 1 cm (½-inch) strips.

Step 3: Assembling the Roll

I aim to create a grid pattern appearance when cutting the salmon sushi rolls so that I will layer the salmon and cream cheese in two layers.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

1. Place a bamboo sushi mat on a flat surface and place a piece of nori sheet, shiny side down and rough side up, on the mat.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

2. Wet your hands with a bit of water to prevent the rice from sticking, grab a handful of rice, and evenly spread the rice on the nori sheet. Leave half an inch (1.2 cm) of the nori uncovered at the top.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

3. Place the lettuce in the center of the rice.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

4. Place the cream cheese and salmon on top.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

5. Swap the cream cheese and salmon positions and add one more layer of each.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

6. Align the nori sheet with the front edge of the sushi mat. Use your middle finger to hold down the fillings, and lift the sushi mat with your thumb.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

7. Start rolling from the front, making one complete turn while applying gentle pressure to shape the roll.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

8. Lift the sushi mat and roll the sushi to seal the roll. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

9. The first one is complete! Repeat the rolling process to make more rolls. Allow them to sit for a few minutes before cutting.

Step 4: Cutting the Roll

The easy way to handle the sticky rice is to wet your knife, making the cutting process smoother.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

1. Prepare a damp cloth (or kitchen towel) and a very sharp knife.

How to make salmon roll step-by-step instructions.

2. Cut the salmon roll into bite-sized pieces.

Serve

Salmon roll served on a plate.

Serve the salmon roll alongside soy sauce for dipping. You can also offer wasabi paste (Japanese horseradish) and pickled ginger on the side for added flavor.

Also, if you enjoy a spicy kick, drizzling some hot sauce can be a great idea to add extra flavor! Enjoy!

Helpful Tips

Salmon roll served on a plate.
  • When preparing the sushi rice, avoid mashing the grains while stirring. Use a gentle folding motion to mix the rice and seasonings. If the sushi rice is still hot, you can use a paper fan to cool it to room temperature.
  • When spreading the rice, ensure it is evenly distributed on the nori sheet. Wet your hands with water to prevent sticking, as rice tends to be sticky. You can also use a rice paddle as it can make the spreading process easier.
  • Ensure that the smooth side of the sushi mat faces up and the knot is positioned on the upper side.
  • Position the bottom of the roll facing down and let it sit for a few minutes before cutting.

Sushi Roll Variations

Avocado rolls served on a plate.

Here are some sushi rolls (maki sushi) recipes you might want to try:

FAQ

Can I use cooked salmon for the roll?

Yes. You can use cooked salmon, but fresh raw salmon is traditionally preferred for its distinct flavor and texture.

What if I don’t have a bamboo mat?

You can use plastic wrap to shape the roll if you don’t have a bamboo mat. It works surprisingly well!

Is it difficult to make sushi rice?

Not at all! Making sushi rice is simple once you get the hang of it. Follow the instructions, and you’ll have perfectly seasoned rice.

Can I customize the fillings in my Salmon Roll?

Absolutely! Sushi is highly customizable. You can add ingredients like fresh avocado, crunchy cucumber, spicy mayo, sriracha sauce, or even tempura for a unique twist.

Thanks For Stopping By!

Salmon rolls served on a plate.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡. If you’ve tried this recipe (or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!

Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!

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More Sushi Recipes You Might Like

salmon roll sushi served on a palte.

How To Make Salmon Roll (Japanese Sushi Recipe)

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 3 rolls
Author: Juri Austin
Try this mouthwatering Salmon Roll Sushi recipe and learn how to make homemade sushi with fresh salmon and creamy cheese. It's a breeze to make!

Equipment

  • 1 Makisu (Bamboo sushi mat) (You can also use cling wrap to roll sushi.)

Ingredients

  • 400 g Cooked Japanese Rice, 2 US cups
  • 3 Nori Sheet, Full size nori sheet
  • 200 g Salmon fillet, 7 oz
  • 140 g Cream cheese, 5 oz
  • 1 handful Lettuce

Sushi vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Instructions

Preparing Sushi Rice

  • Blend rice vinegar, salt, and sugar well to make sushi vinegar.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl, and gradually pour the sushi vinegar mixture over the rice while gently mixing it with a rice paddle.
  • Cover with a wet cloth over the bowl while preparing the ingredients. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature before using it for making sushi rolls.

Preparing the Ingredients

  • Lettuce: Rinse the lettuce and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Cream cheese: Cut into 1 cm (½-inch) strips.
  • Salmon: Cut into 1 cm (½-inch) strips

Assembling the Roll

  • Place a bamboo sushi mat on a flat surface and place the nori sheet.
  • Wet your hands with little water to prevent the rice from sticking, grab a handful of rice, and evenly spread the rice on the nori sheet. Leave 1 cm (½-inch) of the nori uncovered at the top.
  • Place the lettuce, salmon, and cream cheese in the center of the rice.
  • Align the nori sheet with the bottom edge of the sushi mat. Use your middle finger to hold down the fillings, lift the mat with your thumb, and start rolling from the front until the end of the rice. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.
  • Lift the sushi mat and roll the sushi to seal the roll. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.

Cutting the Roll

  • Wet the knife with the damp cloth and cut the salmon roll into bite-sized pieces.

Video

Notes

  • When preparing the sushi rice, avoid mashing the grains while stirring. Use a gentle folding motion to mix the rice and seasonings. If the sushi rice is still hot, you can use a paper fan to cool it to room temperature.
  • When spreading the rice, ensure it is evenly distributed on the nori sheet. Wet your hands with water to prevent sticking, as rice tends to be quite sticky. You can also use a rice paddle as it can make the spreading process easier.
  • Ensure that the smooth side of the sushi mat faces up and the knot is positioned on the upper side.
  • Position the end of the roll facing down and let it sit for a few minutes before cutting. I recommend keeping the rice wrapped in plastic wrap while slicing to prevent the rice from sticking to the knife.
  • Use fresh raw sashimi-grade salmon filet. If you don’t want raw fish, use smoked cured salmon instead.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 258kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g
Course: Rice
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: salmon roll
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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