The sushi rolling mat (or Makisu)
The sushi rolling mat can be very useful, although, with some experience – you can do without it. The rolling mat is used to maintain even pressure from all sides of the sushi roll when making it, as well as touching and shaping once rolled.
When used to make an inside out roll, the mat needs to be wrapped with saran tape in order to keep the rice from sticking to the mat. This may also be applied while making a maki roll to make the mat easier to clean during the process. The mat itself should be kept dry, and never put into a dish washer. That is unless you are using a silicon sushi mat. If you are rolling together, you might want to have more than one mat in the house.
How to pick a sushi rolling mat ?
There are two kinds of bamboo rolling mats on the market. First you have the cheap kind, where both sides of the mat are rounded. That’s bad. The second kind, might cost you a buck more, and features the “top of the line” of western technology: one side is rounded and the other is flat. You will soon find out that a rolling mat with one side flat is a lot easier to use, and brings you much more impressive results.
So is it just bamboo then?
Nope. Some folks prefer using a silicon mat for sushi. One of the advantages of silicon is that it’s easier to wash. If you have made sushi before you might have gotten grains of sushi rice in your bamboo mat and know how difficult that is to clean by hand. Silicon mats don’t have that classic feel to them, but they sure are easier to clean – just put it in your dish washer. If you are interested in one, do check out this offer.
Can I make sushi without a mat?
Yes, you can!
Although a bamboo mats make sushi making easier at least in the first few times – you can make your own maki and inside out sushi rolls with it. You can simply use your hands for the job. Some creative folks have found other substitutes. Check out the video below by Nicki Sizemore showing you how to roll your sushi with parchment paper instead of a bamboo mat.
Good job Nicki!