5 sensational sushi recipes

Amy Wood - Nutritionist | 27 Jul, 2022

Looking to get a bit more adventurous in the kitchen? Preparing sushi can be great fun, especially if you get family or friends involved. It's highly nutritious, low in saturated fat and a nice light option to enjoy cold during the warmer months.

We've put together 5 fun recipes to try. Even if you're averse to the unique flavours of sushi, we've also included some twists on the classics so there's something for everyone!

Cucumber rolls

Cucumber maki rolls

Makes 24 rolls - 33 kcals per roll

Kcals 33
Fat 0.2g
Sat fat 0g
Carbs 7g
Sugar 0.5g
Fibre 0.4g
Protein 0.8g
Salt 0.31g

Ingredients

  • 200g sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 4 sheets nori (seaweed)
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced into long, thin strips
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, for dipping
  • Wasabi and sushi ginger (optional)

Method

  1. Cook the sushi rice according to the packet instructions. For best results, soak and rinse thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch.
  2. Combine the sugar and rice vinegar and add to the cooked rice while still warm. Stir well.
  3. Line a tray or chopping board with parchment paper and spread the cooked rice out as flat as possible to cool quickly.
  4. Run a bowl of water and set aside. Lay out your sushi rolling mat horizontally and add a sheet of nori, making sure the rough, less shiny side is up.
  5. Dip your hand in the water and then pick up a quarter of the rice. Spread out evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a 1-inch gap at the top.
  6. Pick a couple of pieces of cucumber and arrange lengthways on the rice. Dab a little rice vinegar on the edge of the nori without rice to prepare for rolling.
  7. Carefully lift the closest edge of the rolling mat and roll the nori sheet over around the cucumber strips. Use your hands to make the roll nice and tight.
  8. Next, roll the mat further, wrapping the rest of the nori sheet around the roll until you reach the end. The rice vinegar should help to stick the nori down, creating a complete roll. Again, make sure this is tight.
  9. Repeat these steps with the rest of your nori sheets to make four long rolls. Wrap the rolls tightly in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  10. Coat a sharp knife in water or rice vinegar. Remove the cling film from each roll and carefully slice into 6 smaller rolls, recoating the knife in water or vinegar to prevent the rice from sticking to the knife. The tighter the roll, the easier they'll be to cut.
  11. Serve with a little soy sauce for dipping, and some wasabi and sushi ginger if you'd like.

Salmon rolls

Classic salmon and avocado rolls

Makes 24 rolls - 56 kcals per roll

Kcals 56
Fat 2.1g
Sat fat 0.4g
Carbs 6.9g
Sugar 0.3g
Fibre 0.4g
Protein 2.4g
Salt 0.32g

Ingredients

  • 200g sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 4 sheets nori (seaweed)
  • 200g sushi-grade salmon, sliced into 4 thin strips – you can also use smoked salmon if you'd prefer
  • 1 small avocado, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, for dipping
  • Wasabi and sushi ginger (optional)

Method

  1. Cook the sushi rice according to the packet instructions. For best results, soak and rinse thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch.
  2. Combine the sugar and rice vinegar and add to the cooked rice while still warm. Stir well.
  3. Line a tray or chopping board with parchment paper and spread the cooked rice out as flat as possible to cool quickly.
  4. Run a bowl of water and set aside. Lay out your sushi rolling mat horizontally and add a sheet of nori, making sure the rough, less shiny side is up.
  5. Dip your hand in the water and then pick up a quarter of the rice. Spread out evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a 1-inch gap at the top.
  6. Lay a piece of salmon and a couple of avocado slices lengthways on the rice. Dab a little rice vinegar on the edge of the nori without rice to prepare for rolling.
  7. Carefully lift the closest edge of the rolling mat and roll the nori sheet over around the filling. Use your hands to make the roll nice and tight.
  8. Next, roll the mat further, wrapping the rest of the nori sheet around the roll until you reach the end. The rice vinegar should help to stick the nori down, creating a complete roll. Again, make sure this is tight.
  9. Repeat these steps with the rest of your nori sheets to make four long rolls. Wrap the rolls tightly in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  10. Coat a sharp knife in water or rice vinegar. Remove the cling film from each roll and carefully slice into 6 smaller rolls, recoating the knife in water or vinegar to prevent the rice from sticking to the knife. The tighter the roll, the easier they'll be to cut.
  11. Serve with a little soy sauce for dipping, and some wasabi and sushi ginger if you'd like.

Teriyaki rolls

Teriyaki chicken rolls

Makes 24 rolls - 41 kcals per roll

Kcals 41
Fat 0.2g
Sat fat 0.1g
Carbs 7.4g
Sugar 0.9g
Fibre 0.3g
Protein 2.4g
Salt 0.37g

Ingredients

  • 200g sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 4 sheets nori (seaweed)
  • 1 cooked chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • ½ medium cucumber, sliced into long, thin strips
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, for dipping
  • Wasabi and sushi ginger (optional)

Method

  1. Cook the sushi rice according to the packet instructions. For best results, soak and rinse thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch.
  2. Combine the sugar and rice vinegar and add to the cooked rice while still warm. Stir well.
  3. Line a tray or chopping board with parchment paper and spread the cooked rice out as flat as possible to cool quickly.
  4. Meanwhile, shred the chicken breast and combine with the teriyaki sauce in a small bowl.
  5. Run a bowl of water and set aside. Lay out your sushi rolling mat horizontally and add a sheet of nori, making sure the rough, less shiny side is up.
  6. Dip your hand in the water and then pick up a quarter of the rice. Spread out evenly over the nori sheet, leaving a 1-inch gap at the top.
  7. Spoon some of the chicken onto the rice, spreading lengthways into a strip. Add a couple of cucumber slices. Dab a little rice vinegar on the edge of the nori without rice to prepare for rolling.
  8. Carefully lift the closest edge of the rolling mat and roll the nori sheet over around the filling. Use your hands to make the roll nice and tight.
  9. Next, roll the mat further, wrapping the rest of the nori sheet around the roll until you reach the end. The rice vinegar should help to stick the nori down, creating a complete roll. Again, make sure this is tight.
  10. Repeat these steps with the rest of your nori sheets to make four long rolls. Wrap the rolls tightly in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  11. Coat a sharp knife in water or rice vinegar. Remove the cling film from each roll and carefully slice into 6 smaller rolls, recoating the knife in water or vinegar to prevent the rice from sticking to the knife. The tighter the roll, the easier they'll be to cut.
  12. Serve with a little soy sauce for dipping, and some wasabi and sushi ginger if you'd like.

Rice paper rolls

Rice paper rolls with sweet dipping sauce

Makes 8 rolls - 112 kcals per roll

Kcals 112
Fat 0.9g
Sat fat 0.2g
Carbs 24.7g
Sugar 8.1g
Fibre 1.5g
Protein 1.6g
Salt 0.72g

Ingredients

  • 100g vermicelli rice noodles
  • 8 sheets rice paper
  • 8 lettuce leaves
  • 100g red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 100g cucumber, sliced into long, thin strips
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Handful fresh mint, Thai basil or coriander
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated

Method

  1. Cook noodles according to packet instructions. Run cooked noodles under cold water to cool.
  2. Fill a wide, shallow bowl or dish with warm water. Get all your ingredients together ready for assembly.
  3. Dip one of the rice papers in the warm water for a couple of seconds (check the rice paper packet instructions), then lay out on a clean tea towel.
  4. Add a lettuce leaf to the rice paper, followed by a little bit of noodles, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, onion and herbs, taking care not to overfill. Fold in the sides of the rice paper and then roll tightly to create a completely enclosed roll.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the rice paper sheets, soaking one at a time.
  6. To create the dipping sauce, simply mix together the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar and ginger.
Onigiri

Prawn-filled rice balls (onigiri)

Makes 6 balls - 131 kcals per ball

Kcals 131
Fat 1g
Sat fat 0.2g
Carbs 26.9g
Sugar 0.7g
Fibre 0.7g
Protein 3.6g
Salt 0.76g

Ingredients

  • 200g sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 6 king prawns, deshelled and precooked
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 nori sheets, cut into 3 strips

Method

  1. Cook the sushi rice according to the packet instructions. For best results, soak and rinse thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch.
  2. Combine the sugar and rice vinegar and add to the cooked rice while still warm. Stir well.
  3. Line a tray or chopping board with parchment paper and spread the cooked rice out as flat as possible to cool enough to handle.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together the mayonnaise and sriracha in a bowl and stir through the prawns.
  5. Run a bowl of water and set aside. Get your ingredients together ready for assembly.
  6. Dip your hands in the water and then pick up a sixth of the rice. Flatten in your hands and then shape into a round with a well in the middle.
  7. Add one of the coated prawns to the well and then close your fist, encasing the prawn in the rice, forming a ball.
  8. Shape the ball into a triangular shape, dipping your hands in the water bowl as needed to prevent the rice from sticking.
  9. Repeat these steps to form six triangular balls.
  10. Dab a little rice vinegar on the rough side of each nori strip and wrap around the base of each triangle.

Swaps and substitutions

  • Not a fan of nori? Try soy paper or rice paper for a much milder flavour instead.
  • Don't like raw fish? Try cooking your salmon or tuna, or use crabsticks or tofu in place.
  • Want to try something other than rice? Try out a different grain – quinoa would be a great alternative higher in protein and fibre than standard sushi rice.
  • Looking for other dip ideas? The world is your oyster when it comes to dips and garnishes. If you aren't a fan of soy sauce or would like something lower in salt, sweet chilli sauce and Japanese kewpie mayo also go really well with sushi.

Nutritionist Amy Wood (ANutr), MSci BSc Nutrition has a keen interest in the relationship between diet and health. Having been published in the European Journal of Nutrition, Amy is passionate about making evidence-based nutrition accessible to everyone and helping others to adopt a food-focused approach to taking control of their health.