Brown Rice Sushi

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Brown Rice Sushi |

We love Sushi. For years and years when we lived in Oregon we went out for sushi on a regular basis. I hate to think how much money that we spent eating sushi out over the years. I had no idea that it was so easy to make at home. Fair warning; I’m sure that the way that I’m making sushi breaks every sushi making rule but the results have been wonderful and I think a little more nutritious than traditional sushi.

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The Equipment

Bamboo sushi mat- these can be purchased in Asian Grocery stores, ordered online or even purchased in some regular grocery stores. I was given mine after receiving a sushi making lesson from a friend. Cover your mat with plastic wrap for easy cleanup. It’s possible to roll sushi without the mat. Just go slow!

The Ingredients

Sushi Rice

  • Brown Rice
  • Sucanat
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Sea Salt

Early in the day, soak the rice (use steps 1 & 2 in this recipe). Then cook on stove top or in rice cooker adding an additional cup of water. This will help make sticky rice which will hold together much better.

When the rice is cooked, put about 3 cups of it in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar or instead of using rice wine vinegar; 1/2 cup of cider vinegar with 1 teaspoon Sucanat and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (in order to dissolve the sugar and salt  put the vinegar in a pot over low heat) per 3 cups of cooked rice.

Mix it up and allow to cool to room temperature.


Use your favorite restaurant sushi as a guide or do an internet search for ideas.  In this tutorial I made two varieties:  Smoked salmon and yogurt cheese  plus Tuna steak (I used a frozen, thawed steak), avocado and celery.

Prep Work

Do all of the chopping and prep work before starting to roll the sushi. Cut fish into small strips (you can see examples in the pictures below), cut the avocado and celery in thin strips. Form the cheese into strips (I ‘molded’ my cheese into a square container and cut it out of that).


Place your Nori on your bamboo mat. And top with your ‘sushi rice’. Place the ingredients in the middle (see pictures below).

Place your thumbs on the back of the mat and begin rolling away from you. Roll the sushi until the edge of the nori is placed under the sushi. Shape the roll by pressing lightly with both hands. Remove the bamboo mat.

Brown Rice Sushi |

Nori topped with sushi rice (probably 3/4 cup of rice, if you use too much it all squirts out) and strips of smoked salmon.

Brown Rice Sushi |

This is with the yogurt cheese added to the salmon.
Brown Rice Sushi |

 Tuna steaks cut into strips, with avocado and celery sticks.

Brown Rice Sushi |
Cut each of the rolls into 6 pieces.
My sushi doesn’t look that great but it tastes wonderful. My girls do not notice a difference in the taste using the soaked brown rice compared to regular sushi rice. The rice is a little stickier but doesn’t bother us. For the fillings, you can use just about anything. We also make Kimbap which uses cooked beef or chicken instead of fish. Sushi is also a portable food, we’ve take it packed in a cooler for a quick and nutritious lunch.
The cost for the sushi ended up being about $9 for all of us (baby had rice with beef broth instead of sushi). Definitely a reasonable price for a delicious dinner.
2018 Update: This post, originally from 2010, brings back such happy memories! Each Friday night we would make either sushi or pizza. My two youngest girls, then 14 & 13, would join me in the kitchen for our special family night dinner. We had so much fun!
Now those girls are all grown. The once 14 year old is now 22 and married. When we visited her at Christmas time she revived Friday night sushi at her house.  So wonderful. <3

What fillings do you like in your sushi?

 Millie Copper (Homespun Oasis) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking
Millie Copper
Millie Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. Millie is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Millie began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. Discovering a love of writing, she has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing. Learn more at


  1. Sook

    >I like adding cream cheese. I don't think I've tried yogurt cheese unless it's same as cream cheese… 🙂 The sushi looks wonderful!

  2. Millie

    >Hi Sook,
    Yogurt cheese is what we use in place of cream cheese. It is yogurt with the whey drained out. It has a consistancy and flavor very similiar to cream cheese but tastes much fresher.

  3. Aiming4Simple

    >Your pictures reminded me that it's been far too long since we've had sushi! We like to put avocado in ours as well, plus ham or imitation crab.

  4. motherhen68

    >I like the sushi that has cucumbers and avocado w/shrimp inside and some fish eggs on the outside coating it, like little crunchiness deliciousness!

  5. from my motorhome to yours

    >nice job on the sushi! when we r in coos bay we go to sumins! come on over to my blog and get in on the organic giveaway of agave nectar

  6. Millie

    I never thought of using ham. Great idea.Do you put the avocado with the ham?

    I like the little eggs too. Do you like the shrimp done in a tempura batter (deep fried) and then used in the roll?

    Thanks! I'm glad you dropped by.

  7. motherhen68

    >Millie, the shrimp is usually steamed in the ones I like, but I'm betting the fried ones would be good too!

    Do you have any idea where you can buy those tiny fish eggs?

  8. Millie

    Steamed shrimp sounds good. I might try that next time.
    I haven't found anyplace around here to buy those little eggs.

  9. Raine Saunders

    >My husband and I love sushi and I am always so impressed when people make it at home. It's something I've never attempted to do at home yet, but I am hoping someday to do it because it's so delicious and when you prepare food at home you have total control of the quality of ingredients. Great post Millie! 🙂

  10. Millie

    I forgot about tamago. Thanks for the reminder. I've never had the sweet brown rice. Does it taste much different than regular brown?

    Thanks! Sushi is so much easier than I ever thought it could be. And you are right about having control of the ingredients. Plus the cost savings is just amazing. For me the big hurdle was getting that little bamboo mat. Once I got that the rest was easy.

  11. Christy

    >My family LOVES sushi rolls- but I have 8 children so learing to roll was an absolute neccessity! I have never used anything but sushi rice. I will try the sweet brown next time!

  12. Alisa

    >Yum!It's been so long since I made sushi rolls.I like mangoes,avocado,and asparagus.The great thing about sushi is you can get really creative with it even if it can get messy sometimes 🙂

    1. Post

      Hi Jan,
      I think it would be. We sometimes reheat cold rice and turn into sushi rice. You do want it warm to aid in forming the rolls.

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