At first look, making sushi at home might sound like space engineering. Indeed, those Maki rolls look amazing at the fancy Asian restaurants. If you are not familiar with the Asian cuisine, you might feel intrigued by the elegant design of the dishes. Nevertheless, with a few tips and gears, you can also prepare yourself fresh and healthy sushi or sashimi right in the comfort of your house. As you might guess, having a razor-sharp Japanese knife is essential. Still, I consider having a quality mat as quintessential. If you don’t form the sushi roll tight and neatly with the best sushi rolling mat, then no knife in the world can help you. Your mat should be flexible and durable to give the final shape appropriately.
When it comes to sushi mats, you would hear the word bamboo from most seasoned chefs. It is the most popular version simply because it is the traditional way of making sushi. Don’t get me wrong; I love bamboo mats too. However, I think silicone and plastic ones might work out better for the home cooks. First of all, the cleaning and maintenance is a breeze. I will provide you information for the finest mats from each category below. You can choose the one that fits into your style best. Regardless of the one you select, each one of these will give you all the essential features you would expect from a high-quality sushi mat.
Here are my favorite sushi rolling mats:
- JapanBargain Sushi Rolling Mat | Bamboo Mat Selection
- Lekue Makisu Silicone Sushi Mat | Silicone Mat Selection – Premium
- Akebono Japanese Plastic Nonstick Sushi Mat | Plastic Mat Selection
- Pat & Doris Non-stick Sushi Mat
- Hasegawa Plastic Sushi Rolling Mat
√ – Bamboo Mat Selection
There are literally too many ways to roll the sushi. Some people even use kitchen towels to wrap them. However, it is best to use the traditional and proven techniques if your goal is to prepare steady rolls constantly. Like it or not, bamboo mats are the most preferred among all other types when it comes to making sushi. If you select the right one, you can make the best sushi at home all effortlessly.
It does not matter if you are a beginner or an experienced cook; JapanBargain’s chef-grade bamboo mat can accommodate both with its easy to use and highly durable characteristics. You will notice that its flexibility allows you to shape the roll smoothly. You can even make big size rolls.
On a side note, all bamboo mats are naturally anti-microbial. And this one is no exception since it is made from 100% natural sterilized bamboo. The cleaning is easy, but I do not recommend to put in the dishwasher. If you really insist, then use the upper rack of the machine and select the lightest cycle on the menu. Remember, you need to fully dry it in order to prevent any moisture or odor.
If you use a bamboo mat for sushi making, then I suggest you cover it with plastic wrap before using it. The cleaning will be a breeze afterward. You don’t want the sticky rice to get stuck in between the strings or the bamboo sticks.
The traditionally shaped sticks along with the thick bamboo base and the strong-cotton knits make this the ultimate roller. Selecting the right bamboo type is vital since high-quality mats require premium natural bamboo wood with the right color, size, and length. Another significant feature is the width of the sticks. The only way to hold the roll firmly is to have wider bamboo sticks on the mat during rolling. Sushi chefs always check for this feature before they make a final decision.
You can store the JapanBargain’s bamboo mat in a plastic zip-lock bag when not in use. Includes 2 mats.
- Made from natural bamboo
- 9.5-inch square
- Set of 2
- Easy to clean
√ – Premium Silicone Mat Selection
Here is my favorite sushi mat from Lekue. Practical, innovative, and best of all, no other sushi mat is more hygienic. Notice that there are no holes or empty space that rice or any other food can get stuck on this mat. I simply love a product that provides maximum safety and hygiene in the kitchen. You can wash it under running water by hand or place it in the dishwasher. It retains flavors and odors. Additionally, it repels water and germs, which is a perfect feature for sushi preparation.
The Lekue Makisu silicone sushi mat is non-stick. Plus, the company designed it with extreme flexibility in mind. One side of the mat is rigid to shape the roll tightly, while the other side is flexible. You can even wrap the sushi without even using nori. Made from platinum silicone material, it can stand high and low temperatures within -60°C and 220°C range. Feel free to use this revolutionary mat in your microwave, oven, refrigerator, freezer, or dishwasher all safely.
Nevertheless, it is not just made for sushi rolling. You can be creative with other food types as well. For example, save on calories when baking cookies since you don’t have to grease the mat. Besides, it will not rust or break!
If you are upgrading to this from a plastic or bamboo mat, it is guaranteed that you will make sushi more often from now on. It is no secret that cleaning the bamboo mat is no fun. However, this mat makes the whole process so easy that you want to prepare sushi every night. No need to worry about drying or cleaning once you are done rolling. Storing is easy, too; just fold it and place it in the utensil drawer.
It is economically priced than plastic mats. I would highly recommend this one over the other options for its distinct and useful features.
- Easy storage
- Durable and flexible
- Dishwasher safe
- Non-stick material
- Made from platinum silicone
- Versatile; safe to use in microwave, freezer, oven, etc.
- Withstand a wide array of temperatures: -60°C to 220°C
√ – Plastic Mat Selection
This innovative mat from Akebono is undoubtedly built to last. The plastic material used is of superior quality. It comes with woven silicone strings in between the strips to provide a fair amount of flexibility. Trust me; you want your plastic mat as flexible as it gets while rolling. However, the first thing that took my attention was the tiny holes on the plastic strips. They are made special that way to help with the release of the sushi roll. I love innovative products. The company truly wanted to make a difference. I have never seen this feature on any other mat. The convenient design sure deserves a thumbs up.
Moreover, the mat is nonstick. You can even make inside-out sushi effortlessly. As it is the case with most plastic sushi mats, this one is dishwasher safe too. So, cleaning and maintenance is a breeze. You might feel that it is a bit stiff when compared to standard bamboo mats. However, you get used to it after a few attempts. The stiffness is actually because of the extra durability of the product. The company wanted to provide a versatile item while extending longevity.
Don’t be surprised if you see pro chefs using this mat at Asian restaurants. It is made in Japan and highly popular among sushi chefs.
- Made in Japan
- Nonstick material
- Innovative tiny holes on the surface
This ultra-durable and highly flexible plastic mat is a popular choice among many sushi enthusiasts. It resembles a traditional bamboo mat and even comes with strings in between the plastic sticks. If you want to use a plastic mat and still have the traditional look, then it might be the best choice for you.
The nonstick plastic nature will ensure that you form the sushi roll tightly and without any hassle. Again, you don’t have to worry about the moisture and germs with this one as well since it is made from FDA and Japan MHLW approved food grade plastic. Keep in mind that it is versatile, too; feel free to use it for making various other foods. It can withstand to any temperature within -4°F to 248°F.
You don’t have to worry about cleaning and maintenance since this mat is dishwasher safe. Once you are done rolling, place it in the machine. You can also clean by hand, thanks to the smooth surface of the plastic strips. It retains odors and flavors, which is a must when dealing with sushi or other similar food that involves raw meat. The manufacturer states that it is more durable and flexible than a regular bamboo mat. Pick from white, beige, pink, or yellow color.
- Made in Taiwan
- Dishwasher safe
- Non-stick material
- Comes in four different colors
- FDA approved food-grade plastic
The Hasegawa plastic mat is a commercial grade product that is made in Japan. What you get is smooth wrapping at the maximum level. The company produced this item from polypropylene and monofilament material. You can roll and shape the sushi all hassle free.
This item might be a great match for you if you are looking to purchase a plastic mat with a tight budget. However, take note that the other items listed above might be more durable in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, though. The Hasegawa mat is great for novice cooks, but the strings tend to get broken with over use in time. Other than that, it has perfect flexibility and completely odor free.
If you use the textured side when preparing the roll, then nori or steamed rice should not get stuck on it. There is no need to wrap plastic sheet before use, as it is the case with the bamboo version. The mat is made from nonstick material, and it is safe for the dishwasher and UV storage. Besides, it is highly versatile too; the heatproof temperature is 120°C. Overall, it is an easy to use plastic sushi mat.
- Made in Japan
- Dishwasher safe
- Non-stick material
- Heatproof temperature: 120°C
What is a sushi rolling mat called?
In Japan, they call the sushi rolling mat as makisu. It is basically a mat that is made from bamboo and woven with cotton strings. Probably the most popular mat type when it comes to sushi making. However, they are also used for other types of food preparation in Japan.
How do you clean a bamboo sushi roller?
The best way to clean your bamboo mat roller is to wash it with hot water. Adding mild soap is optional. If you do so, make sure to rinse well and wipe with a cloth afterward. You can hang the mat to dry throughly or let it stand. If you wrap it in plastic before using it, then the cleaning will be much easier.
How much rice should I add on the Nori?
If you are making sushi either with a bamboo or plastic mat, you must add just enough rice to form the roll properly. As a general rule of thumb, half a cup of cooked and vinegar seasoned sushi rice will yield the best results. Make sure you cover only 3/4 of the Nori with rice.
If you are not good at rolling, then you might consider getting yourself a quality sushi-making kit. You can either use a mold or a sushi bazooka and skip the rolling step.
You can roll your sushi either with a bamboo or plastic mat; the choice is up to you. Both versions have their own advantages. In recent years, silicone mats also started to be popular among chefs. Everybody knows that the bamboo mats are the traditional choice. However, you can use plastic versions more efficiently due to their fast cleaning and easy maintenance features. If you ask me, I would definitely select the innovative silicone mat from Lekue Makisu. The cleaning is a breeze as it is dishwasher safe. Plus, it is highly versatile; you can use it almost in any appliance due to the wide range of temperatures it can stand. It is flexible, durable, and budget-friendly. What more can I ask? It is simply a perfect match for me. Nevertheless, you can opt for the JapanBargain Sushi Rolling Mat if you are searching for a traditional bamboo mat.