Homemade Beef Sushi Rolls – Recipe

Beef. Still what’s for dinner.

The dish involves three steps:

1) Prepare the sushi rice (or be lazy and use regular old steamed rice or if you’re feeling really rebellious, minute rice);

2) Prepare the filling(s); and

3) Roll the sushi.

List of Ingredients


  • Sushi rice — 600 grams (recipe >>)
  • Sheets of dried seaweed — 4 sheets*
  • Beef strips (thinly sliced, with some fat as if you were making beef jerky, the same length as the longest side of your seaweed sheets) — 200 grams

Beef Marinade

  • Garlic (thinly sliced) — 1 clove
  • Fresh ginger (peeled) — 10 grams
  • Italian seasoning (oregano, thyme, parsley) — large pinch
  • Celery salt — if mice could pinch, then equal to one of those
  • Sugar — 1/2 teaspoon
  • Soy Sauce — 2 tablespoons
  • Mirin (or other rice-based cooking wine)— 2/3 tablespoon
  • Salt/pepper — use your instinct
  • Water — enough to immerse the beef after adding the

Other fillings:

  • (Recommended, but optional) Red radish (sliced) — 4 (keep the leaves
  • (Optional) Avocado (soft, peeled, pitted, sliced) — 1
  • (Optional) Green onions (chopped or cut the length of the seaweed) — 15 grams
  • (Optional) Carrot (julienned, or cut into 1/16″ thick sticks the length of seaweed) — 8 sticks


  • Rolling mat — It would help if you had one of those nice bamboo sushi rolling mats, but if you don’t, just do your best with whatever you have (wax paper, butcher paper, plastic wrap, etc.).
  • Spatula — really helpful in spreading the rice evenly on your seaweed.

*Makes approx. 4-5 rolls. (approx. 120g – 150g per roll)
Calories (per roll) — don’t know

Prepare your ingredients

Place beef in a cereal bowl or plastic bag, add wet/dry ingredients and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 3-4 hours.

If you choose to use any of the optional ingredients, prepare them separately as described and set aside until it is time to roll them with the sushi rice and beef.

When the beef is nearly done marinating, heat a skillet large enough to hold beef and marinade liquid.

Remove beef and marinade from the fridge and place all contents in the skillet, add garlic and ginger, and reduce until all liquid is gone.

Remove from heat, add the red radish leaves (if you opted to use them), cover and set aside.

Roll your sushi

Place a seaweed sheet on your rolling mat.

Take 120 grams of rice and spread it on a seaweed sheet. If you do this with your hands, lightly wet them so they don’t get covered in rice. If you use a shamoji or spatula, lightly wet it before use. (Tip: Measure out your sushi rice ahead of time for each serving so you don’t use too much/little.)

Imagine a line dividing your seaweed sheet in half horizontally, then start placing your ingredients just before it (the side nearest you) — just not directly in the middle or on the other side.

Now, roll your sushi using whatever style or technique you like. I prefer to roll so that the sushi and seaweed form a spiral when seen from the side. This is easy for beginners because it doesn’t require a lot of forethought on the volume of ingredients vs. the size of the seaweed sheet and rice volume. It also helps keeps your ingredients, rice, and seaweed packed nicely without too much experience in rolling sushi. It’s basically the the roll you can make with virtually any typical makizushi (rolled sushi) ingredients.

 Serving & Eating

Once you’ve finished rolling your sushi, you could:

  1. Cut and serve the sushi right away while it’s fresh, or
  2. Wait a few minutes to let the moisture of the rice soak a little into the seaweed and make it a little easier to cut. There are more reasons for waiting that I won’t go into in too much detail about here, but basically, sometimes you need to wait for your ingredients to blend with each other or interact with the rice – think of it as a chemical experiment that needs time to mix, but the result turn out better than if you had rolled and served right away.

Which ever approach you take, you also need to take into consideration the length of the post-cut rolls. Some ingredients like marinated beef may not blend well with sushi rice (which is typically sweet/sour). The beef recipe above produces a rather strong flavor and if you are making this as part of a multi-stage sushi platter, you do not want this one at the vanguard — the rest of your sushi will taste like cardboard as your tongue will be in party mode. However, strongly flavored ingredients can be counterbalanced with other ingredients, which would be too late if you’ve already rolled up your sushi, or increasing the volume of rice per roll. How do you do that? Adjust the size of each piece during cutting. For example, rolled sushi are typically cut in 4 or 6 pieces (some are not cut at all — see eho-maki). If you cut this article’s sushi into 6 pieces, each piece could be quite punishing. On the other hand, if you were to cut it into 4 pieces, the increase in the rice volume per piece would do more to take the edge off the flavorful meat (and whatever else you might have thrown in there).

Cutting rolled sushi can be frustrating if 1) you’re not using a sharp knife, and 2) you’re not cleaning off your knife with each cut. Be sure you have a smooth razor edge that cuts as you move the blade in smooth motions (not sawing), and when the rice starch (or other ingredients) sticks to the sides of the knife, wipe it off to have smoother cuts.

Eating Sushi 101 for non-Japanese: Most sushi is eaten with one bite, but if you have especially large pieces, it’s not impolite to take more than one bite. If you are straining to get the whole thing down in one bite, you’re not impressing anyone. Also, do whatever it takes to get that sushi into your mouth without delay or disaster. Use your hands (as is the tradition). Use a fork. Anything other than trying to show off your unproven chopstick skillz and end up landing your food in your lap or gods-forbid, the soy sauce bowl.

Author’s Note: Yes, I am aware that was in a chapter of “Shota’s Sushi” and probably other sushi/cooking manga out there. But just try it and see for yourself how merely adjusting the rice content of a sushi roll (even a piece of nigiri sushi) can help balance things out.