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I know the Japanese traditionalists may frown at me for taking liberty with the sushi roll fillings. But, trust me, the fillings can go as far as you like! With sushi becoming a popular delicacy worldwide, there are so many interesting ideas for sushi roll fillings.
If you love making sushi at home, try these 30 different ideas, play with the flavors, make them a treat for your eyes and pleasure for your taste buds! You can thank me later.
#1. Japanese Cucumbers
Cucumbers are perhaps the most common filling used in sushi that lends a crunchy feel to it. I prefer Japanese cucumbers because they have fewer seeds. You may also choose Persian cucumbers or English if Japanese cucumbers are not available.
To use cucumbers, take half of a cucumber and peel the skin. Use a sharp knife (click to see my favorite knife) to cut the inner flesh into two halves lengthwise and further cut them into two to get 4 long pieces. Remove the seed section from each piece and cut each piece again into two halves to get 8 cucumber slices in total.
Read this article if you are interested in cucumber sushi, you can read my article to find easy cucumber sushi rolls recipe, tips, and useful advice.
#2. Ripe Avocado
Avocados are an excellent filling that gives an amazing flavor to sushi rolls ranging from the California rolls to the shrimp tempura rolls. To use them as fillings, use a ripe but firm avocado.
Cut the avocado into half from both ends until the knife touches the pit, twist and separate the halves. Remove the pit. You may either cut slices lengthwise with the skin still on and then scoop out the flesh, or first scoop out and then slice.
If you don’t plan to eat the sushi immediately, drizzle some lemon juice on avocado slices to keep them from turning brown.
#3. Cucumbers and Avocado
Another fun and easy vegan filling for your sushi is a mix of cucumbers and avocado. You can make thin or thick strips of both based on your preference (following the cutting technique mentioned above). The crunchiness of cucumber balances the soft and mushy feel of avocado.
#4. Carrots and Cucumbers
Carrots add beautiful color and texture to your sushi roll fillings. They are one of the easily available vegetables so just go for it. Make sure you choose fresh looking and young carrots that break easily. To prepare them, you first need to cut off the head and peel off the skin.
You need thin and short strips so I would recommend the julienne technique to make carrot strips that are about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick.
#5. Sushi-grade raw Tuna or Salmon
Always make sure you buy sushi-grade raw fish from a trusted fishmonger or you can get frozen fish from my favorite website. To prepare for sushi filling, cut tuna into 1/4-inch-thick and 1/2 inch wide strips. Each strip should be about 3 1/2 inches long.
When using frozen raw fish, it should be thawed properly. Simply thaw the frozen raw fish by keeping them in the fridge overnight. Alternatively, you may also use cooked tuna or smoked salmon like this if you don’t get sushi-grade raw fish in your location.
Read this article where I have shared useful information, tips, and advice on –how to choose salmon for sushi.
#6. Mango and Cucumber
Pick ripe but firm mango to make slices. The fruit not only adds an excellent flavor to the sushi but also makes it look colorful. To prepare for sushi filling, peel the outer skin and cut the mango into the half. Now take a sharp knife and make thin slices, about 1/4-inch-thick.
You can a combination of cucumber and mango to add a crunchy feel to your sushi and balance out the sweetness of mango.
#7. Shrimp, Sriracha hot sauce, Mayonnaise, Masago
To try this filling, take 1lb of cooked or frozen deveined shrimp. You may use salad-sized shrimps, raw shrimps, full-size shrimps, or cooked shrimps.
You may keep the shrimps whole and line them inside your sushi roll or chop them into small pieces or large chunks. Add some Sriracha hot sauce(see details) and Mayonnaise to suit your taste. Also, add some Masago fish eggs to add texture to the fillings.
#8. Spicy Crab and Masago
You will need imitation crab sticks, Sriracha hot sauce, Mayonnaise and Masago(optional). To prepare the filling, cut the crab sticks into half and peel out thin strips. It should resemble thin shreds of cheese. Keep all the crab strips in a bowl and add some Sriracha sauce to it. Mix well.
Now add some Mayonnaise as per your taste and let the spicy crab filling sit in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to get the flavor into the fillings. Add this filling with some Masago in your sushi roll and enjoy.
#9. Smoked Tofu
For this filling, use 1/4 lb. tofu drained and pressed for 15 minutes. Make thin slices of tofu and marinade with 1 tsp. canola oil, 1/2 tsp. sesame oil, 1/2 tsp. soy sauce, and 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar.
Now heat a nonstick pan and cook the tofu strips over medium heat until they turn brown in color. Be gentle when turning the strips. Adjust heat as needed. Use smoked tofu with cucumber or avocado strips to make delicious sushi fillings.
#10. Salmon, Avocado, Cheese
Get sushi-grade raw salmon from a trusted fish seller. Make slices of the raw fish and then cut out thin strips to use as fillings.
Take a ripe avocado, peel the skin, remove the pit, and cut out thin thick of the fruit. Use a layer of cream cheese along with raw fish and avocado to enhance the flavor and taste.
#11. Baked Sweet Potato
Bake a sweet potato, peel off the skin and cut thin strips of the perfectly baked potato.
Take half cucumber, remove the skin and cut thin strips to use in the fillings. I prefer adding cucumber with a sweet potato because it helps to balance the sweetness and mushiness of sweet potato.
#12. Cucumber, Carrots, Avocado, Cabbage, Red Onion, Large Tomato
Peel and remove the seed from cucumbers Use the julienne cut technique(see below video) to cut them into thin and long strips of cucumber. Desk in carrot and julienne cut to get thin strips too.
Take 1/8 of a small cabbage and make thin slices. Also, make fine slices of red onion. Wash a firm ripe tomato, cut into half and make thin slices.
Cut avocado into thin slices following the technique mentioned in #2. Now, use all these fillings to make a fat sushi roll.
#13. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, Carrots, Dried Gourd
Rehydrate the dried mushrooms, cut them into half and then julienne cut to get thin strips.
Peel and cut tender carrots into 3/4 inch pieces, then julienne cut to get thin strips.
Wet the dried gourd and sprinkle some salt over it. Rinse and then let boil for 10 minutes. Chop the gourd into small pieces.
In a saucepan, take mushrooms, dried gourd, sugar, mirin, and some
#14. Crab meat, Cucumber, Avocado
You may use raw crab meat or cook it by steaming it in a rice cooker, whichever way you prefer. Just skip imitation crabsticks for this filling.
Take a half size cucumber cut out thin strips following the technique mentioned in No #1.
To prepare avocado slices, cut the avocado into half and follow the slicing technique mentioned in No.#2.
#15. Spinach, Cucumber, Carrot, Pickled Radish, Eggs, Fish Cake
Blanche spinach leaves in water, drain and
Wash pickled radish and make 3/8″ thick strips. Repeat the same for cucumber and carrots. Peel and cut into them into similar size strips.
Beat 3 large eggs and fry in a pan to make a thick egg omelet. Cut it into 3/8 inches thick strips.
Cut out strips of the fish cake, add some soya sauce to it, and toss in a frying pan for a few minutes to get a good coat.
#16. Hamachi Yellowtail, Cucumber, Green Onions
Make thin sashimi-style slices of the hamachi yellowtail to cover on top of sushi and finely mince a few portions of the flesh to use as filling. Chop the tender part of the green onion and make thin strips of cucumber (matchstick-size).
Take a bowl and mix minced hamachi, chopped green onion, spicy mayo, and Sriracha sauce to make the filling for sushi. Add this mix along with cucumber to get an incredible taste.
#17. Tiger Prawns, Mayonnaise, Fish Roe, Lettuce Leaves
To use tiger prawns as fillings, you need a thread a skewer through them to make them straight instead of being curled up. Put a griddle pan on the stove and cook the prawns on both sides for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let the prawns cool.
Mix mayonnaise and roe and keep aside. Wash and dry lettuce leaves.
When adding the fillings for sushi, line up two tiger prawns and put the lettuce leaves on them. You may also add finely cut cucumbers and avocado for a fresh taste. Add a spoon full of fish roe over the fillings.
#18. Shrimp Tempura, Cucumber, Avocado, Fish Roe
Pre-cooked shrimp tempura adds great flavor to sushi roll fillings. If you are a seafood lover, you are sure to relish the delicious and crunchy taste of tempura. Add some thin strips of cucumber and avocado to the fillings for green feel.
You may choose to skip the green vegetables if you want to concentrate on the tempura. Add a spoonful of fish roe over the tempura and you are good to go!
#19. Sushi-grade Tuna, Salmon, Shiso Leaves, KaiwareSprouts, Mayo, Roe
Temaki sushi is one of my favorite styles of rolling as it gives the opportunity to play with a variety of fillings. You can use both salmon and tuna slices in this sushi. Just make sure that they are fresh or properly frozen to be free of bacteria.
Make thin slices of raw fish and then cut them into long strips. Now arrange all the fillings in preferred amounts on the Nori sheet and make a cone. To know more about sushi-grade salmon and frozen salmon, read my article – can you make sushi from frozen salmon.
#20. Fresh Tomato, Cucumbers, Soya Sauce
Take a large firm, tomato, remove the seeds, and cut the flesh into thick and long strips. Take a bowl, put the sliced tomatoes, add soya sauce, and mix them well. Let them sit for 5 minutes
You can add cucumber to the filling to balance out the flavor and add more freshness to your sushi recipe. To make cucumber strips, refer to the technique mentioned in No. #1.
#21. 3 Large Eggs, Cucumber, Avocado
Beat 3 large eggs in a bowl and mix them Add the mirin, sugar and soy sauce to the egg. Put a frying pan on the gas stove, add some canola oil, and pour the egg batter evenly over it. Fold the egg or roll it to make a thick roll. Now cut out thick and long strips of the egg to use as filling.
To make thin strips of cucumber and avocado, refer to cutting technique mentioned in No. #1 and No. #2.
#21. Imitation Crab Sticks, Cucumber, Avocado
Imitation crab sticks are made of the flesh of different varieties of fish and contain eggs and crab flavorings. Cut the crab stick into two halves or use a whole.
Take half cucumber, and julienne cut into thin strips as mentioned in No.#1. Also, make thin slices of
How to make cucumber avocado crab rolls?
#22. Soft-shell Crabs, Avocado, Green Onions
Sprinkle the soft shell crabs with salt and black pepper. Cover them with all-purpose flour. Put a frying pan on gas, add some canola oil and fry both sides for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let the crabs
Also, cut out thin slices of avocado. Refer to the cutting technique mentioned in No. #2.
#23. Sushi-grade Sea Bass, Tuna, Salmon, Avocado
These work as toppings instead of fillings in a rainbow sushi roll. Three species of fish are used in the recipe to add different colors that appear like a rainbow. Salmon and tuna are the primary ingredients. You may substitute sea bass with any other type of fish or shrimp. You can find different species of sushi-grade fish here
Read this article to find an easy recipe for making delicious Rainbow sushi roll – 15 easy sushi recipes for beginners.
The three varieties of fish are cut into thin sashimi-style slices to arrange over the outer layer. Put avocado slices in between each fish strip. For the inner fillings, you may use crab sticks and cucumber strips.
#24. Shiitake Mushrooms and Green Beans
Take water in a large saucepan, bring to boil and add green beans to it. Cook for five minutes. Wash cooked beans with cold water, drain and keep aside.
Heat oil in an iron skillet and add chopped garlic and mushrooms. Sauté for 1 minute on medium heat. Now add cooked beans, pepper, soy sauce, and cook for another two minutes. Remove from heat and lett he filling cool.
#25. Sushi-grade Tuna, Cole Sprouts, Fresh Spinach Leaves
Season the tuna steak by sprinkling pepper on one side and press it with crushed sesame seeds on the other side to add a good texture to the fish.
Put a frying pan on the stove and add some coconut oil to it. Drizzle some sesame seeds and fry the tuna steak covered for 2 minutes. Make sure the tuna is halfway cooked and turns whitish. The crushed sesame seeds should turn brown at this stage.
Remove tuna from heat and let it cool. Once cooled, place the steak on a chopping board and cut out long and thick strips. Use this as filling with fresh green spinach leaves and Cole sprouts.
#26. Shimeji Mushrooms, Asparagus, Carrots
Place a frying pan on the gas stove and pre-heat it with some coconut oil until smoking point. Add 3 cloves of garlic to lend flavor. Transfer shiitake mushrooms, asparagus cut into halves and thin strips of carrots to the pan. Stir-fry gently. Season with salt and black pepper.
Add a few drops of sesame seed oil and sauté for 3-5 minutes. When the vegetables become tender, remove the mushrooms first, then the asparagus, and finally the carrot strips. Let cool and add as sushi filling.
#27. Barbequed Eel and Cucumber
This is an excellent filling for making unagi sushi. You will need barbequed eel and half cucumber. Cut the barbequed eel into thick slices to use as filling in sushi.
Take half of a cucumber, peel the skin and cut out thick strips to add a fresh and green feel to the sushi. You may cut them into fine strips if you prefer. Add them as sushi fillings.
#28. Shrimp, Avocado, Masago
For the fillings, you will need medium size shrimps. You can either use them raw or steam cook in a rice cooker to make them tender.
Cut avocado into half and follow the slicing technique mentioned in No. #2.
Line up the shrimps to cover the Nori sheet and place avocado slices over it. You can sprinkle some
#29. Avocado, Bell Pepper, Cucumber
Take one small and firm red bell pepper and cut into thick or thin slices as per your preferences. Now us the julienne cut technique to get thin strips of cucumber.
Cut avocado into half and follow the slicing technique mentioned in No. #2. Now add all three as fillings.
#30. Carrots, Cucumbers, Avocado, Green and Black Olives
This is again one of my favorite ideas for sushi roll fillings. I am sure the vegetarians will love this combination. For this filling, you will need julienne cut carrots and cucumbers. You may also add sliced avocado if you wish to make a fat roll.
The surprise ingredient in the filling is California green and black olives that add a distinct flavor to the sushi rolls. Cut olives into four slices and add them as fillings inside the sushi roll.
What is the ideal number of ingredients per sushi roll filling?
We would suggest that you use a maximum of 2-3 ingredients for sushi roll fillings to be able to enjoy the flavor of each to the fullest. While there are some types of sushi, such as futomaki that have about 5-6 ingredients or even more, they are prepared by skilled chefs or made at home on special events only. For beginners, we recommend using 1-2 ingredients for filling to make it easier to shape and prevent the roll from falling apart while cutting.
How much sushi rice goes into a sushi roll?
One cup of uncooked rice can be used for preparing 3 to 4 sushi rolls. On average, you can estimate accurately about 3 rolls per uncooked cup of rice. Most people will eat 1 to 1.5 cups of rice in one sitting. Make sure you always use the shinmai variety or new crop to get the most authentic taste and ease of making rolls at home. For more: How Much Sushi Rice to Make per Person?
How many pieces of sushi make a serving
The number of pieces in a sushi roll may vary depending on the restaurant, however, most places serve in even numbers – 6, 8, 10, or 12 pieces. If you are a beginner at sushi making, cut the roll into 4 to 6 pieces to retain the shape. If you order a bento box, you will typically find 4 pieces.
What is the best sushi for those learning to make at home?
If you are making sushi at home for the first time, we would recommend that you start with California roll, which contains a filling of cucumber, avocado, crabmeat or imitation crab. Those who don’t like the idea of eating raw fish can choose the numerous cooked sushi filling options such as fried shrimp tempura, barbequed eel, and so on.
Can I use raw fish for easy homemade sushi?
Yes, but you must ensure that you only buy sushi-grade raw fish that have been flash-frozen as soon as taken out of the ocean and handled with care during the transit. We recommend that you ask a trusted fishmonger in your area to give you only sushi-grade fish. When in doubt, ask questions to ensure that he gives you the right quality seafood safe for raw consumption. You may also buy sushi-grade fish from the supermarket or buy them online.
What is sushi roll served with?
When making sushi roll dinner at home, serve the pieces with a small bowl of soya sauce or tamari (for gluten-free). Other side condiments include pickled ginger and wasabi paste. You can easily buy pickled ginger and readymade wasabi paste from any Asian grocery store. Make sure you don’t dab too much of sauce or wasabi on the roll as this can overpower the delicate taste of raw fish. Use the pickled ginger as a palate cleanser.
Can vegetarians enjoy sushi rolls?
Of course, they can. There is a wide range of fresh and pickled veggie options to choose from, and they taste equally delicious. If you are a vegetarian, check out: 8 Exciting Recipes For Vegetarian Sushi
How much time is needed for preparing sushi rolls?
It takes about 30 to 45 minutes for making sushi rolls, out of which 20-30 minutes go into cooking sushi rice. It involves measuring and preparing rice and then seasoning it with vinegar, sugar, and salt. The remaining slicing, rolling, and arranging can take another 10-15 minutes. For elaborate preparations like shrimp tempura sushi roll, it may take longer to prepare the fillings.