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How to make Chicken Teriyaki Sushi: Tips I Probably Shouldn't be Disclosing

Growing up pocket money from my parents was sporadic and never sufficient. So my biggest wish was turning 16 and being able to take on a part-time job to earn my own money. One of my first jobs was working at a sushi shop in Botany centre, and I'm here to teach you what I learnt there. Writing this article feels very akin to the moment a customer asked me during a shift what cream cheese we used in one of our sushi flavours, and I went to the fridge to get the cream cheese to show the customer. Auntie ran over and said "You never disclose to customers what we use!!" Oopsay.

Obviously making sushi at home versus a shop, means there are certain short-cuts you can take, but behold this is my take on the Chicken Teriyaki Sushi Roll - warning ahead, it's 70% time on prep-work, 25% making the sushi, and 5% actually enjoying the sushi. Also this is definitely a canton take on making sushi.

All in all including prep, it took me 1.5 hours to do this, but I'm not the most talented cook so if you can do this faster, all props to you.

(If you need the math, one roll of sushi is approx. 8 pieces of sushi enough for 1 person / and the mini ones is the ones you see at the bottom right of the photo above)

First step you really want to do is get the rice cooking, so take 2-cups of pearl rice, wash it a few times to get rid of the starch, and fill up the water to just below the 2. Pearl rice I find tends to need less water.

Once the rice is cooking, you need to marinate the chicken. For the best flavour you should really let the chicken marinate for at least 24 hours beforehand, but since this was a spontaneous decision on my part to make sushi for lunch - 30 minutes also does the job.

Wash the raw chicken breast, and put it into a container. Put the minced ginger over, and add the castor sugar so that it's a light layer covering the chicken. Drop in the pinch of salt.

Then you want to put approx. 1-cup /1.5 cup of Dark Soy Sauce to cover the chicken. Apparently using your hand gives the most even mix, so go-on and stick your hand in and mix that chicken up. Once it's even, close the container and put it in the fridge for half an hour.

I hope it goes without saying before the next steps, please make sure you wash your hands after handling raw chicken.

Next you want to prep the veggies. Wash and dry all the veggies.

For the Red Capsicum / Pepper, you want to cut it in half, pull out the green part, and the seeds. Then cut it in half again and lay the capsicum flat and slice off the white meat. Once that is done take the tip of your knife from the top of the capsicum and slice into approx. 1cm slices. The knife should slide through easily if you're using the tip.

For the Cucumber, you need to cut it half LONG-WAYS and quarter it again LONG-WAYS...once done lie the cucumber flat with it's insides staring up at you, and slice away the heart of the cucumber. The heart is the clear more jelly like substance in the middle. And then with the same technique as the capsicum, take the tip of your knife from the top and slide it down for 1cm strips.

Once these are all done, you want to dry them and let them lie on top of the paper towel to get as dry as possible. You don't need the heart of the cucumber, so I usually snack on these.

In the event you wanted to use an avocado, then cut the avocado in half, and hit the blade of the knife into the seed and twist. The seed should come out with the knife. Then use a spoon to scoop out the avocado without breaking the shape, and use a knife to cut it into slices.

At this point for me, the rice was done, so I took it out, and mixed it and put it in a bowl to cool down. I did something naughty and put the hot rice into the fridge to cool down faster (highly do not recommend given its damaging to your fridge, the best way is to let the rice naturally cool down with cling film over top to room temperature).

OK. Still with me? Because at this point my husband was already asking for a piece of sushi to taste.

Now you need to cook the chicken. By now it should have marinated and turned brown in colour. Take a non-stick pan, and turn it to a little above medium heat. Lie the chicken straight, you want to make sure you keep your chicken breasts intact. Pour in the marinade mixture in, and using the same container you used for the marinade fill it with approx 3/4-cup water. Swirl it so that it gets any remains of the marinade and pour it in with the chicken.

Let the chicken cook 1-min on each side, lower the heat slightly and then let it cook for an additional 5 mins on each side until the mixture boils. While it's cooking you can use a spatula to move the chicken a bit to make sure it's not sticking. Hot tip from auntie was that you should let the chicken boil over 2-3 times, and don't cook the chicken for over 12-13 mins. Cut open one of the chicken to check, and you should see a beautiful white cooked color.

Now the chicken needs to cool down, I usually put these on a cooling rack (with a tray underneath of course so the sauce doesn't go everywhere). While the chicken is cooling, grab the rice from the fridge, pour the Sushi vinegar over the rice just cover the tops with a gentle pour. If it's too wet, you'll see a pool of vinegar, if too little, it'll just be dry. Mix the vinegar in.

We're almost at the wrapping part, the prep was fun wasn't it?

Take a chopping board (wrap it in cling film if you have it), and put the rolling mat down (it should be portrait). Put a piece of seaweed on top and again, it should be portrait. Take the baby mayo, and if you have food handling gloves this is the less messy option, and rub it all over your gloves like hand lotion. This is to prevent the rice sticking to your hands and making it easier to control the wrapping part.

Take a handful of rice with both hands, it should fit nicely into the your two hands. For my Grey fans, picture Christina Yang holding a heart in her hands.

Put the rice on the seaweed, and spread it gently as a layer of rice around 1-1.5cm thick, leaving approx 4cm gap at the top and 2-3cm gap at the bottom. Do NOT squish the rice. Auntie was very clear on this as squishing the rice causes the rice to lose its springiness when you bite in.

Take one piece of chicken breast and squeeze it so that the sauce drips out, and you loosen the meat a bit, then put it on the end closest to you, leave 1cm gap from the start of the rice. Take a second piece and repeat, you should now have two pieces of chicken breast liking in a perfect row. Now put a piece of capsicum in front of each chicken breast. and lastly a piece of cucumber at the top, filling the gap between the chicken breast and the capsicum.

Now squeeze some baby mayo over the top, like a thin squiggle.

Take the end of the mat closest to you and roll it forward covering the ingredients and given it a gentle squeeze before pushing the sushi forward. The rolling mat should not roll into the sushi with the ingredients and the rice, you are just using it the gather the sushi and push it forward. Once you get to the end, open the rolling mat fully and then top up the sides of your sushi with some extra rice if necessary.

Put it on a plate, roll the remaining sushi until you finish all the chicken slices.

You want to give each roll a chance to breathe and let the seaweed ending stick before you can cut it.

Take the first sushi roll, and use a sharp knife, and cut the sushi up into. After cutting off both sides (the ugly bits which are the best reward after all that prep), you should be able to cut out 8-pieces of sushi. Repeat for all the rolls and voilaaaa - Sushi for the common people.


For the Chicken:

  1. 400g of chicken breast

  2. Dark Soy Sauce

  3. Fresh Minced Ginger (1-teaspoon)

  4. Castor Sugar

  5. Pinch of Salt

For the remaining ingredients:

  1. Red capsicum/pepper

  2. Cucumber OR Avocado

  3. Baby Mayo

  4. A packet of sushi seaweed (you will only need 4-5 sheets)

  5. Pearl rice (cook 2-cups)

  6. Sushi Vinegar for the Rice


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission should you chose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using my link.



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