Sushi for Two

Since making sushi for two is half the work of making sushi for four, I was happy to oblige with my 13-year old daughter’s request that we have sushi while her dad and sister were out of town.  If you haven’t made sushi before, you should definitely try it because it’s fun.  But it’s certainly not something you want to try on a school night in between finishing up your work day, answering questions about homework, and shuttling kids to practice.


Bamboo sushi mat (these are inexpensive and make rolling sushi a lot easier)

Gallon size ziplock bag

Glass casserole dish or something similar

Wooden spoon

Cutting board

Sharp knife

Bowl of water

Ingredients for 4 rolls (assuming each person will eat 2 rolls):

4 sheets of toasted nori

1.5 c sushi rice

Splash of rice vinegar

Sprinkle of organic sugar

~1 c of leftover veggies (ex 1/2 avocado, 1 carrot, 1/2 cucumber, a few sautéed shiitake mushrooms, etc)

Toasted sesame seeds, pickled ginger, wasabi (optional)
Cook the rice as you normally cook rice and use a 1 part rice to 2 parts water ratio.  Once the rice is cooked, pour it into the glass dish and use the wooden spoon to spread it out to help it cool.  Splash a bit of rice vinegar and sprinkle a little organic sugar over the rice, then stir it around again.  Every couple of minutes, stir the rice until the rice is cool enough to comfortably handle.  While the rice is cooling, prepare your sushi roll fillings and start the miso soup (see further below).

Easy (and kid-friendly) vegan sushi rolls contain avocado, avocado and cucumber, avocado/cucumber/carrot, marinated mushrooms.  The possibilities are endless but if you’re paralyzed by the choices, just start with these simple combinations.  Slice the avocado.  Peel the cucumber, then remove the seeds and slice into strips as if you were going to dice it (but don’t).  Use a carrot peeler to produce thin strips of carrot.  Slice the mushrooms into strips (and marinate in Bragg’s liquid aminos or tamari if they are unseasoned).  If you’re ready to be adventurous, please do so as that’s the fun.  This time, we made avocado/carrot, avocado/ginger beet kraut, avocado/carrot/ginger beet kraut, and a green bean casserole roll with green beans and fried onions.  Surprisingly my daughter did not like the fried onion roll as much as the ginger beet kraut roll!

Now that the rice has cooled, you’re ready to start rolling!  Place the bamboo mat flat into the ziplock bag and seal it.  This will save you from having to clean in between the bamboo sticks each time you make sushi.  Lay the bamboo mat on a cutting board with the zipper furthest from you.  Place one sheet of nori on the bamboo mat.  Using the wooden spoon, place a scoop of rice onto the nori.  Dip your fingers in the bowl of water to prevent the rice from sticking to them, and gently press the rice down and spread it out across the nori, leaving 2 cm of nori farthest from you bare (no rice).  Add more rice and dip your fingers in the water as needed to cover all but the end section of nori with rice.


If you want the rice on the outside of the roll, using both hands, gently pick up the nori and flip it over.  Add your filling across the bottom (closes to you) inch of nori.  Rinse and dry your hands.  Using the sushi mat, roll the nori and contents, applying pressure and readjusting the mat as needed.  Slippery toppings like avocado may poke out of the ends, but gently push them back in.  You need to roll the sushi tightly or it won’t cut or hold together well.


At the end of the roll, moisten your fingertip and brush the bare strip of nori with water, then seal it against the rest of the roll.  Place the roll seam side down on a cutting board.  Sprinkle the roll with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.  Dip your sharp knife (I prefer a serrated knife) in the water and while holding both sides of the roll, slice the roll into whatever you consider to be bite-sized pieces.  Re-wet the knife as  needed to make clean cuts.


Repeat for the remaining rolls, adjusting and improving your technique as you go.  Arrange the sushi on a platter and serve with pickled ginger and wasabi.  If this has been a breeze for you, then carve some radishes into flowers or something to decorate the plate.  My family is just happy to get good food on their plates.  If the sushi rolling doesn’t go so well, serve it as sushi salad by cutting up the nori and mixing it with the toppings and additional rice.

For extra credit and to help fill those hungry bellies, make miso soup while you’re waiting for the rice to cool.  Fill the bowls you will use with water (to ensure you have just the right volume), add to a pot, and heat.  If you’re using mushrooms, add them in.  Start with 1T miso paste and taste for desired salt content.  If you’d like, small dice some tofu into the bowls (once poured in, the warm soup will heat the tofu).  I use chiffonaded strips or small bits of spinach instead of seaweed, but it definitely looks too bland without some color in there.

Above all else, enjoy.  Enjoy the process, enjoy the experience.  And if you’re lucky enough to have a helper, enjoy your company.



  1. I think even I could do this one! 🙂