Kid-Friendly Sushi Rolls

kid-friendly japanese sushi rolls

Remember, practice makes perfect! If this is your first time making sushi, I suggest you start small. Cut the nori sheet in half, and use just one filling. As you feel more comfortable with the process, use the whole nori sheet, and more fillings. To get started, you need just a few ingredients like cucumber, smoked salmon, and sushi rice. You can make a sushi roll with any ingredient combination that you can think of.



For the Sushi Rice: 

  • 2 rice cooker cups Japanese short-grain rice (or “sushi” rice)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 

For the Filling:

  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 small cooked and peeled sweet potato, sliced into strips 
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into thin strips 
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips 
  • 4 ounce packet smoked salmon 

Hand-dipping Water:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar 

Everything Else:

  • 5 sheets nori (seaweed)
  • Soy sauce or tamari, for serving


  1. Follow the instructions on the rice package for cooking your rice, whether in a rice cooker or pot.
  2. Make the hand-dipping water by combining water and vinegar in a small bowl. Coat your hands with this water to prevent the rice from sticking. 
  3. Place the nori sheet on a piece of parchment paper, with the longest side of the nori closest to you. The shiny side of the nori should be facing DOWN. 
  4. Wet your hands and the inside of a 1-cup measuring cup with the vinegar water. Scoop a scant 1/2 cup of sushi rice into your hands. Place the rice on the nori and spread around, leaving 1 inch of space along the top edge of the nori. Wet your hands in the vinegar water if the rice starts to stick. Spread on more rice, if needed. 
  5. Sprinkle the sesame seeds evenly over the rice. Then place the filling (sweet potato, cucumber, red pepper, and smoked salmon) in the middle of the rice. Each ingredient should have its own line. 
  6. In one swift motion, roll the nori over each ingredient until your land right at the edge of the rice. With the parchment paper still around the roll, gently shape and tighten the roll into a square or round. Finally, remove the parchment paper and seal the edge of the nori with the water-vinegar solution. Squeeze and tighten the roll just one more time! 
  7. To cut the sushi roll, wet your knife under running water or with a damp towel. Cut the roll in half in a sawing motion (push and pull). Wet the knife again and cut each half into 3 or 4 pieces. 
  8. Serve with soy sauce or tamari, and your kids favorite steamed vegetables – Ayla and Cora love broccoli dunked in soy sauce! 


Store leftover, unused nori in a sealed, air-tight bag, or else it will stale.

Keywords: kid-friendly, sushi rolls, smoked salmon