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rice in water

sheet of nori

natto, scallion and wasabi

red pepper and sesame seeds

umeboshi and carrot, cucmber and celery

jar of tahin and and sauerkraut

shoyu brown rice vinegar and mirin

natto and cut scallion

red pepper and sesame seeds

cut vegetables and umeboshi

mixing wasabi

toasting nori

cooked rice

wet rice paddle

spreading rice on nori

natto, scallion, wasabi, on rice


vegetables umeboshi rice nori

sauerkraut, tahini and rice

rolling maki

rolling maki

rolling maki

squeezing sushi mat

cutting maki

filling maki ends

dinner setting of maki

  Home > Free information > Macrobiotics > Recipes > Macrobiotic Sushi

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Macrobiotic Maki / Sushi Roll

plate of maki




Sushi are a great way to combine rice, sea vegetables, vegetables, seed or nut butters, bean products and pickles into a delicious meal.

Sushi can be a lot of fun as it is easy to include different ingredients and create a variety of tastes, colours and textures.

The Japanese name for a sushi roll is Maki. Traditionally the rice and other ingredients were rolled into nori sea vegetable to create a maki, however, to make the maki more appealing to Americans who did not like to see the nori, Japanese chefs created rolls with the rice on the outside.

Traditional maki can include raw fish, natto, pickles or vegetables. Wasabi, a form of mustard, is often added to the maki.

Modern maki making has become very creative with a much wider range of ingredients and sauces, creating very colourful dish with an abundance of interesting tastes.

Macrobiotic Maki uses brown rice and other natural ingredients, to make a beautiful, healthy, tasty meal.

Maki are excellent for parties, they can easily be eaten with fingers, they make good travel foods, are ideal for picnics and can be a satisfying snack.

Below is the basic method for making maki. I have chosen 4 style from my cooking class. These are natto maki, pepper and seed maki, vegetable and umeboshi maki, and tahini and sauerkraut maki.




2 cups short grain brown rice, 4 cups water and 1/4 tsp sea salt

4 nori sheets (toasted or un toasted) 1 sheet per maki roll. Each roll makes 6 pieces.




1 carton of natto, defrosted if bought frozen

2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions / scallions

1/4 tsp wasabi powder




3 tbsp finely chopped red pepper

1 heaped tsp of black sesame seeds




1 tbsp finely chopped carrots

1 tbsp finely chopped cucumber

1 tbsp finely chopped celery

1/2 umeboshi plum or 1/2 tsp umeboshi paste




2 tsp tahini

1 heaped tbsp of Sauerkraut




Per person

2 tsp tamari or shoyu

1 tsp brown rice vinegar (optional)

1 tsp mirin (optional)


Equipment Needed


Sushi Mat

Wooden rice paddle

Pot to cook rice

Vegetable knife

Wooden chopping board

Bowl filled with water




Remember, that if Dr. Masaru is correct, the emotions you feel as you make your maki will change, at least the energy of the water in the foods. So if you feel loving and are kind and affectionate to your ingredients, you will have a maki full of love!


Make sure the natto is defrosted if kept frozen.


Soak the brown rice in water overnight or during the day. Add the salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the water has evaporated.


To maki the rice more sticky you can add about 1/4 sweet brown rice, or use a whole sushi rice.


Whilst the rice is cooking cut up the vegetable into fine strips about 1 inch or 2.5 cm long.


Toast the nori by sweeping across the flame of a gas stove or across an electric hob. This gives un toasted nori and richer nutty flavour and can refresh older toasted nori. Try toasting with the shiny smooth side of the nori closest to the heat. The nori will appear slightly lighter and green when held up to the light.


Mix the powdered wasabi with a little water to make a thick paste.


When the rice is cooked, spread out on an open dish to cool.


Take a sheet of nori and place on the sushi mat.


Spread a thin layer of rice onto the nori, leaving about 1/2 inch or 12mm free on the edge closest to you, and about 1 1/2 inches or 4cm free along the end furthest from you. See photographs.


Use a wet wooden rice paddle to press the rice down into an even thin layer, about 1/4 of an inch or 6mm thick. If the rice and other ingredient are too thick the maki can be hard to eat, and may fall apart.


Now you can place the vegetables, pickles, tahini, natto, wasabi or other ingredient in lines across the rice, as shown in the photographs. If the filling is too thick the maki may fall apart when cut.


When you have fillings in place you are ready to roll the maki. Keep you fingers very dry when touch the nori.


Pick up the edge of the sushi mat closest to you and start to make a large roll forwards. Try to get the edge of the nori over the filling and down onto the rice. Use your fingers to keep the nori, tucked under, as you continue to roll. Roll and pull back on the sushi mat slightly with your fingers to form a tight roll. You will now have to be careful not to roll the sushi mat into the maki. So lift up the edge of the sushi mat and continue to roll.


Once you have rolled the maki, wrap the sushi mat around the maki and give it a gentle squeeze. The edge of the nori will usually stick to the roll by itself, however, if it does not, you may need to smear a little water, with your finger, along the edge to help it stick to the nori around the maki.


Lay the maki on your chopping board and with a sharp, wet knife, cut the maki in half. Use lots of sawing motion and very little pressure to avoid squashing the maki. You can use your free fingers to hold the maki in its round shape. Cut each half into 3 to give 6 bit sized pieces.


The ends may look empty. You can be creative and stick pieces of the left over vegetable sticks into the end and create a colourful garden effect.


To make the dipping sauce mix the shoyu / tamari, brown rice vinegar, and mirin into a small dish.


Traditionally sushi are served with pickled ginger to help clean our palette between tasting different flavours of sushi.


Creative Options


You can be creative with colourful ingredients and introduce an explosion of amazing tastes. Consider using any fresh herbs, fried tempeh, tofu, avocado, coconut flakes, flaked nuts, takuan pickles, nut butters, grins, mustard, olive tapenard, grated ginger, and any other ingredients you can conjure up in your amazing imagination. Feel free to invent your own combinations.


Eating With Awareness


Try to be aware of the appearance, smell, taste and texture of each kind of maki. Make it a sensorial experience.

After, see if you can feel your maki inside you. How does it feel? How do you feel?

Simon can help you with macrobiotic cooking classes so you can learn new skills and ways to create your own macrobiotic diet.

plate of vegetable maki

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