If you're in college, you probably know the struggle of calling home to beg mom for more money. Because you spent all your money on booze—I mean, textbooks, amirite?—you don't wanna dish out some dough for a sushi mat. Time to figure out how to roll sushi without a mat with an item you (hopefully) already have in your kitchen. 

What is a Sushi Mat Anyway?

The traditional sushi mat is actually called a makisu, and has been circulating Japanese kitchens for centuries. It's made of bamboo sticks, and rice often gets stuck in between the slits, making clean-up a drag. Not exactly for college kids, huh?

But you still love sushi, right? Rolling your own sushi saves money and, because you pick where you get the ingredients from, it can even be healthier. Sure, it takes some time and practice, but, with this guide, you'll be rolling in no time.

Resourcefulness is Key

rice, salt
Hailey Tom

Oddly enough, your average kitchen towel works just as well as a traditional sushi mat. Try to use one that is just a bit bigger than the sushi roll you are trying to create. Line it with cling wrap to make clean-up a breeze, throw down some nori and rice, and breath deeply to gather zen.

meat, pork, beef
Hailey Tom

I used some canned fish for this sushi roll to keep things simple, but you can use any type of fish or veggies to personalize your roll. Grabbing the edge of the towel with your thumb supporting the bottom, lift the nori up and away from you, and start to roll.

Tuck 'n Roll

Hailey Tom

Continue onward like the samurai warrior you are, tucking and molding with your fingers as you go. Be careful not to press too hard, or the filling will escape. Sneaky little sushi filling.

sushi, rice, fish, vegetable, seafood, burrito
Hailey Tom

When you get to the edge of the nori, wet it so the roll seals up and nothing falls out - but, hey, if some rice falls out like mine did, then you could just use to to make another sushi roll so, no stress. Slice it up, or follow the sushi burrito trend and eat it as is.

sushi, rice, fish, seafood, cannoli
Hailey Tom

Now that you know how to roll sushi without a mat, nothing can stop you from creating some epic sushi. Go the traditional route with spicy tuna or throw in some quinoa to shake things up a bit. You have no excuse now–be bold and roll out.