Mastering the Art of How to Roll Sushi without Mat

How to roll sushi without mat
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The origin of the dish sushi takes us to Southeast Asia, specifically in the region around the Mekong River. At that time people used a fermentation process to preserve fish by keeping it packed in cooked rice.It made its way to japan way later in 8th century AD through cultural exchange with China.This whole fermentation process is known as Narezuchi.

By the 15th century this process evolved in Japan and was known as Namanare then. Although by the 17th century, the predecessor of sushi, the Hayazuchi, was explored. Instead of fermenting the fish in rice they started using the marination technique. It was usually marinated in vinegar and consumed in bite size pieces. 

Ultimate Ways to Roll a Sushi

An authentic Japanese delicacy that has gained popularity worldwide now. Now, traditional methods of How to roll sushi come with a makisu which is a Japanese bamboo mat but it is still possible to roll sushi without a mat. This article on How to roll sushi without mat will guide you through the process of rolling sushi without a mat or makisu, giving you the capability of enjoying this cuisine whenever you want. Let’s dive into the culinary art of rolling sushi without a mat.

3 Main Ways to Roll a Sushi

  • Making Maki Sushi
  • Making Uramaki Sushi
  • Making a Hand Roll
best Japanese dishes to eat
Image Credit: ichi Sushi

Even though all the sushi rolling techniques are somewhat of a work of art, a culinary technique worth mastering. And this beloved form of art you are going to learn today has been carried forward and bought upfront by Japan and is currently an elitist favourite all over the world.

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How to Roll Sushi without Mat

Here we are going to learn today how to roll a sushi without mat or the Hand roll technique. Before we start, we need to gather the necessary tools and ingredients to roll sushi without a mat.

Tools you Require to Know How to Roll Sushi without Mat

  1. Sharp knife
  2. Cutting board
  3. Plastic wrap or parchment paper
  4. Damp Cloth (to  keep your palms clean)


  1. Sushi rice (short grain Japanese rice aka Sumeshi aka Japonica rice)
  2. Sushi fish ( such as salmon, tuna or shrimp)
  3. Nori sheet (seaweed)
  4. Fresh vegetables (cucumber, avocado and carrot)
  5. Soy sauce
  6. Wasabi and pickled ginger


  1. Start with washing the Japanese short grain rice, then put it in the rice cooker. Let the rice get cooked and a rice cooker will take it to the perfect texture. 
  2. Prepare the kitchen platform on which you are going to prepare the sushi. Place a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper on a board placed on a clean flat surface. This will prevent the rice from firming and make it easier to roll the sushi.
  3. Prepare the Nori sheet now, take a sheet of Nori and place it on top of the plastic wrap. 
  4. Rub some sesame oil on your palms and start with spreading the rice on the nori sheet. Make sure it is spread evenly on the sheet leaving a small border free of rice on top. The layer of rice should be near about a quarter inch. 
  5. Since the base is done, it is now the time to add your desired fillings. You can use some fish like salmon or tuna. You can also throw in some vegetables like carrot, beetroot in it with or without the fish. Be creative and experiment with multiple combinations of your favourite flavours.  
  6. This is the most crucial stage of a sushi, How to roll sushi without mat. Lift the plastic wrap up starting from the bottom edge. Keep the filling in place using your finger. Apply slight pressure to roll the sushi as you may go forward. Make sure to put in enough pressure to roll it tightly but not too tight that the filling might squeeze out. It is also important to notice that since the sushi is going to be sliced later it needs to have enough space for the ingredients in the filling to settle in. So that when you slice the roll in thin pieces it will not fall into places.
  7. Once the roll is complete, moisten the free top and seal the roll by applying a little pressure on it. Then finish by slicing the rolls in even pieces, 1 inch width. Before slicing, it helps if you roll the whole sushi over a plane surface with one hand.
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How to roll sushi without mat
Image Credit: Delightful Mom Food

Typically, you can make 6-8 slices per roll.  Serve it with soy sauce as a dip.


There are nearly 28 kinds of sushi existing in modern times. But mainly 5 kinds of sushi techniques are considered authentic. Every country in southeast Asia has their own style of Sushi. Sushi is a highly popular dish all over the world currently. So, in case you are craving one but missing a bamboo mat, How to roll sushi without mat is your go to article.