How to Make Sushi Without A Mat

John and I are both sushi lovers. Wasabi, ginger, soy sauce, and spicy seafood? Umami is the best.

Veggies, California, spicy tuna, and fire-spitting dragons (is this even a real name?) We eat everything. While we tend to save sushi for special occasions, you can also make it at your home. As you may know, it’s not a good idea to have another thing in the house. A bamboo mat is not really my thing. You don’t even need a bamboo mat to make sushi. All you need are a few ingredients and a dish towel.

Sushi: The Origins

Sushi is popular in Japan, and Japanese restaurants are found all over the world. However, it is believed that the dish may date back to the 2nd century BC when it was derived from a Chinese food called narezushi. The 8th century is considered to be when it spread to Japan. By the 18th Century, Japanese sushi restaurants had become very popular.

This is our -inspired, plant-based version of this delicious dish.

How to Make Sushi Without A Mat

Make the perfect sticky rice for sushi (or use this version of brown rice). Chop your vegetables.

In the Midwest, we don’t get much access to sushi-grade fish, so I tend to stick with vegetables. If you’re near the coast, then go crazy. (Also, invite me because I LOVE sushi.)

The thick towel will act as a bamboo mat, and it can also be used to clean up the mess after you are done. It’s flexible, so you can easily roll and shape the rice into a beautiful roll. I love to cut corners.

Just flatten the rice and gently flip it, then top it with vegetables and roll as normal.

Even top your rolls by adding thin avocado slices, covering them with plastic wrap, and then forming the roll again using your towel. It’s so easy to make. Just slice, remove the plastic wrap, and voila! You have a “wow” factor. You’ll impress your friends.



  • Use short-grain rice or sushi rice if you have it.
  • Two cups of water
  • 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Sugar 2 Tbsp
  • Half a teaspoon of salt

Everything else

  • 1 cup chopped vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, avocados)
  • Four sheets of nori (dried seaweed)
  • Wasabi, pickled ginger, and soy sauce/tamari ( optional for serving)


  • Prepare your rice first. Rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer until your water is clear. Add the rice to a medium-sized saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil. After it boils, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook until all water has been absorbed. This should take about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pan, combine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Place in a dish or jar and let cool in the refrigerator until the rice is done.
  • After the rice has finished cooking, please remove it from the heat. Add the vinegar mixture that has cooled and stir gently with a rubber spoon or fork. The mixture will initially appear wet, but it will dry out as you stir lightly to release the heat. Once it is ready, the mixture should be completely dry and sticky.
  • Meanwhile, chop your vegetables into thin slices. They won’t roll well if they are too bulky.
  • Roll it up: Grab a thick towel, fold it into a rectangular shape, and lay it flat. Then, cover the nori with plastic wrap. Use your hands dipped into water to avoid sticking. Pat a thin layer of nori rice on top.
  • Arrange a portion of your vegetables or filling of choice in a straight line on the bottom 3/4 of the rice nearest to you. (See photo)
  • Roll the nori over the rice with your fingers. Once the vegetables are covered, use the towel and plastic wrap to compress and mold the roll. (See photo). Continue rolling it up until you reach the end.
  • Slice the onion with a knife.
  • Serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *