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This avocado maki roll features creamy avocado and seasoned sushi rice, wrapped in a sheet of nori, and served with your favorite condiments like soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi.
It’s made with just 5 ingredients, and is healthy, naturally vegan, and gluten-free!
Skip the expensive sushi restaurants and make affordable, restaurant-quality avocado maki at home! You won’t believe how easy it is to make this avocado roll recipe. It’s one of the most popular sushi rolls, and for good reason, its simple and filling ingredients make the perfect appetizer or entree!
If this is your first time making sushi, this is the perfect beginner recipe. With just a little practice, you’ll be donning a sushi chef hat and making homemade sushi like a pro!
All you need are 5 simple ingredients for this maki sushi:
- Short-grain rice: Also known as sushi rice, this type of rice is sticky, creamy, and perfect for any type of sushi and sushi roll.
- Nori sheets: Nowadays they’re available in the Asian section in most big grocery stores.
- Avocado: Make sure to use avocados that are neither under-ripe nor over-ripe. It should be slightly soft to the touch and easy to slice, but not mushy.
- Rice vinegar: For adding tanginess and flavor to the sushi rice.
- Maple syrup: Traditionally, sushi rice is seasoned with sugar to balance out the tanginess of the rice vinegar. I’m using maple syrup to make this recipe refined sugar-free.
- Bamboo mat: Also known as makisu in Japanese cooking. It’s simple to use and very affordable and it helps you roll the sushi tightly.
How to make avocado maki
These avocado sushi rolls are incredibly easy to make at home! Check out the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for exact measurements.
Prepare the sushi rice following the packaging instructions in a rice cooker or saucepan. When ready, remove it from the heat and drizzle the rice vinegar and maple syrup evenly.
Using a spatula, stir very gently until they’re evenly disturbed. Try not to mash the rice, but rather use a slicing and lifting motion. Set it aside to cool completely.
TIP! To make the rice cool down faster, spread it in a thin layer on a baking sheet or another flat surface.
In the meantime, prepare the avocado by slicing it lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
Also, prepare a small bowl with cold water next to you to dampen your fingers.
To assemble everything, place a sheet of nori on the bamboo mat with the shiny side facing down.
Wet hands with water and spread a thin layer of cooked rice, around 1/2 inch thick. Leave 1/2 – 1 inch of the end of the nori without rice, to help seal the roll later.
Then, add a row of 3-4 slices of avocado in the middle of the sheet.
With the help of the mat, lift the bottom end of the nori sheet over the avocado and tuck it under.
Roll the nori toward the top end. Using your fingers, apply a little water to the edge of the sheet and roll to seal it.
Using a sharp wet knife, slice the roll halfway, then slice each half into 3-4 pieces. You should have 6-8 pieces in total.
Repeat with the remaining nori sheets until all are done.
Serve with your favorite sushi condiments such as soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger, etc.
- Make sure the rice has completely cooled down. Otherwise, the nori will get soggy and start to fall apart when you try to roll it. To cut down on waiting time, you can make the rice the day before and let it cool in the fridge overnight.
- Use a wet and very sharp knife to cut the rolls. This is essential to prevent the sushi from falling apart. Rinse your knife with warm water after every slice and make sure it’s slightly wet to prevent the rice from sticking.
- Don’t overfill the nori sheets. Probably the biggest mistake people make when they first start making sushi at home is over-stuffing it. This makes it hard to roll and can break the seaweed, causing the sushi to fall apart.
- Use damp fingers when spreading the rice. The rice is very sticky so you’ll need to damp your hands regularly. Keep a small bowl filled with water next to you to make this easier.
Seasoned rice, fresh avocado, and nori are the three main ingredients used to make avocado maki. It’s rolled into a cylindrical-shaped roll and then cut into bite-sized pieces.
Maki is the most common type of sushi, the one that comes to mind when we hear the word “sushi”. It consists of dried seaweed stuffed with rice and different fillings such as fish, vegetables, and fruits.
On the other hand, the word “sushi” is a general definition used to describe a wide range of fish and rice dishes.
While it’s technically possible, I recommend eating these rolls fresh. When you freeze and thaw avocado, it tends to release moisture and get mushy, changing the maki’s texture.
You can successfully make sushi without a bamboo mat. The most common substitutes include plastic wrap, a clean kitchen towel, or parchment paper.
While this avocado maki recipe is delicious as it is, you can always take it up a notch by adding one or more of the following ingredients:
- Vegan cream cheese: Spread 2 tablespoons of room temperature vegan cream cheese on the rice before adding any other fillings. You’ll need 1/2 cup in total. My vegan mascarpone recipe makes for a delicious cream cheese alternative.
- Vegan mock fish: Nowadays, you can find vegan fish products in the vegan section in most big grocery stores or health food stores.
- Tofu or tempeh: I love adding a few strips of my crispy tofu or air-fried marinated tempeh for more protein and flavor.
- Tempura veggies: Tempura is a Japanese dish made of coating ingredients in a light batter and then deep frying them. It works with *almost* any type of vegetable such as mushrooms, sweet potatoes, eggplant, etc. It’s delicious both rolled in sushi and served as a side dish.
- Fresh vegetables: Carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, and sweet potatoes are all great to add to this avocado maki. In general, you can use any fresh vegetables that you like that are either pre-cooked or don’t need cooking at all.
- Fruits: Mango, avocado, and pineapple are the most common type of fruits used in sushi. When added in small amounts, they bring sweetness and tanginess but don’t overpower the rest of the ingredients.
- Sprouts: Daikon radish sprouts are the most common type used in sushi, but you can also use bean, soy, and broccoli sprouts.
- Brown rice: To add more fiber to this avocado maki roll, you can use brown rice instead of short-grain rice. Cook it as per packaging instructions, then stir the rice vinegar and maple syrup and let it cool completely.
Here are some more suggestions on what to serve with avocado maki:
- Soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
- Spicy mayo like this sriracha aioli or this vegan kewpie mayo!
- Black and white sesame seeds
- Pickled ginger
- Korean BBQ sauce
- Teriyaki sauce
- Edamame beans
- Seaweed salad
For the best results, store the maki rolls whole, without cutting them into pieces.
Wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap then add them to an airtight container covered with a lid. Store in the fridge for 24 hours, and up to 2 days at best.
More Asian-inspired recipes
The Best Avocado Maki
- Bamboo mat
- Sharp knife
- 1 ½ cups short-grain rice uncooked
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 4 sheets nori seaweed
- 2 medium avocados ripe
- Prepare the sushi rice following the packaging instructions. When ready, remove it from the heat and drizzle the rice vinegar and maple syrup evenly. Using a spatula, stir very gently until they're evenly disturbed. Try not to mash the rice, but rather use a slicing and lifting motion. Set it aside to cool completely.TIP! To make the rice cool down faster, spread it in a thin layer on a baking sheet or another flat surface.1 ½ cups short-grain rice, 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- In the meantime, slice the avocado lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Fill a small bowl with cold water and set it aside for when you're ready to assemble everything.2 medium avocados
- To assemble your avocado maki, place a nori sheet on the bamboo mat with the rough side facing up. Dampen your fingers and spread the rice in a thin layer (about 1/2 inch thick) over most of the sheet, leaving 1/2 inch away from the top. To prevent the rice from sticking to your fingers, keep your hands damp.4 sheets nori seaweed
- Add a row of 3-4 strips of avocado in the center of the sheet. With the help of the mat, lift the bottom end of the nori sheet over the avocado and tuck under. Roll the nori away from you, toward the top end. Using your fingers, apply water to the edge of the sheet and roll to seal it.
- Using a sharp wet knife, slice the roll halfway, then slice each half into 3-4 pieces. You should have 6-8 pieces in total. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets until all are done.
- Serve them with your preferred sushi condiments, such as soy sauce, wasabi, sesame seeds, and pickled ginger.
- Fridge: For the best results, store the maki rolls whole, without cutting them into pieces. Wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap then add them to an airtight container covered with a lid. Store in the fridge for 24 hours, and up to 2 days at best.
- Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing the rolls. When you freeze and thaw avocado, it tends to release moisture and get mushy, changing the maki’s texture.