How to Make SUSHI DOUGHNUTS {recipe}


sushi doughnuts with salmon tuna avocado and cucumber

Sushi purists, look away.

Sushi Doughnuts — or “donuts,” if you’re into that sort of spelling — are a THING, and we’re not talking about sushi-shaped sweet confections on regular doughnuts. We are talking about actual sushi, made with sushi rice, vegetables, and fish.

We first saw Sushi Doughnuts last year on instagram, vegetarian versions with avocado, cucumber, and other various colorful vegetables draped over doughnut-shaped rice and thought they were in that group of fleetingly “instagram famous” foods.

But here we are, dozens upon dozens of avocado roses and herds of unicorn lattes later, making our own Sushi Doughnuts and sharing them with you because, well, why wouldn’t we? Who knew that we’d kind of love Sushi Doughnuts.

Speaking of sharing and loving… Use #ShareTheExceptional to tag your TasteSpotting submissions, instagrams, twitter pics, and facebook photos so we can peep your exceptional culinary moments and broadcast our favorites! Check out this post for more details about the cool, new #ShareTheExceptional program by Thermador.

Full, detailed recipe for our Sushi Doughnuts with Salmon, Tuna, Avocado, and Cucumber below, with Notes and Shopping Resources as well as a Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial following.

Need a little inspiration to get you started on some of your own sushi-based creations? Scroll down and peep the round-up of some of our favorites!
sushi doughnuts salmon and tuna, side view


makes 12 sushi doughnuts, serves 4-6


for the Sushi Rice:
2 cups short grain brown rice
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

for the Sushi Doughnuts:
fresh tuna, sashimi grade **see notes and resources below
fresh salmon, sashimi grade
1 ripe avocado
2 Persian cucumbers
3 full sheets sushi nori, toasted
toasted black and white sesame seeds
sliced scallions
serve with: tamari, wasabi, pickled ginger


1. Cook the Rice: Rinse the rice with water until the water runs clear, about five times. Cook the rice according to rice cooker instructions. Our Japanese rice cooker cooks brown rice in about 90 minutes.

Stir together rice vinegar, kosher salt, and sesame oil in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Prepare the Sushi Doughnut Fish Toppings: While the rice is cooking, prepare the fish if it isn’t already thinly sliced by your fishmonger or sushi chef. Slice fish as thin as possible on the bias, aiming for slices that are about ½-inch wide and 2 inches long. Depending on the shape of the piece of fish, you may have to cut each slice in half to get the right dimensions. You want at least 24 slices of salmon and 24 slices of tuna. Set the salmon and tuna on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and keep in refrigerator until ready to roll.

3. Prepare the Sushi Doughnut Vegetable Toppings: Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and peel off the skin. Slice each avocado half lengthwise into paper thin slices. Set aside.

Cut each cucumber into halves lengthwise. Set a cucumber half on the cutting board and slice on the bias into paper thin “spears” about 2 inches long. Place the cucumber slices between paper towels and press out as much water as you can without breaking or tearing the slices. Set the cucumber slices in the paper towels aside.

Cut each toasted nori sheet into 4 squares. Depending on the original size, the squares should be anywhere from 4 to 5 inches square.

4. Season the Sushi Rice:: Once the rice is cooked, put the rice in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the vinegar-salt mixture. Using a large spoon or a wooden paddle, gently stir the vinegar mixture into the steamed rice. If you have help in the kitchen, ask someone to gently fan the bowl while you mix the rice to cool and dry it.

5. Shape the Sushi Rice Into Doughnuts: Lightly coat the doughnut pan with oil. Place seasoned rice in the molds and press down until the molds are full and the rice is flush with the top of the mold. Flip the mold over onto your cutting board or work surface. Using a thin, flexible spatula, transfer each rice doughnut to the center of a nori sheet.

6. Make the Sushi Doughnuts:Working quickly, wrap two salmon slices, two tuna slices, 2-3 avocado slices, and 2-3 cucumber slices around the doughnuts, using a sharp paring knife to cut the excess off around the bottom edges, the tucking the edge of the slices under the rice.

7. Garnish the Sushi Doughnuts and Serve:Press toasted sesame seeds into the rice. Garnish with sliced scallions.

Serve and eat immediately with tamari or light soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

Sushi Doughnuts do not keep well.

salmon tuna sashimi grade fish


  • RICE for Sushi: Traditional sushi rice is made of Asian short-grain white rice mixed with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. We used an Asian short-grain brown rice because we need the nutrients. We seasoned our rice with vinegar, but left out the sugar completely because we’re just not into added sugar. The sugar probably helps with keeping the rice “sticky” for shaping, but short-grain rice is already sticky, so it didn’t seem to be a problem. We also added a touch of sesame oil, partly for the flavor, partly to help with removing the doughnut shapes from the pan. The brand of rice we use is Koda Farms Organic Kokuho Rose Brown Rice, grown in California. It is $18 for a 5 pound bag. This pricing has made it easier for us to reduce carbs in our diet.
  • RICE COOKER: We use a small, 5-cup capacity Zojirushi brand rice cooker that we inherited from someone back when we were young and poor and would take any free appliance that was offered to us. It still works, remarkably well, though we know that there are some fancy ass rice cookers out there that can cost hundreds of dollars.
  • RICE VINEGAR: We use Marukan brand organic brown rice vinegar. We have never had a problem finding it in Whole Foods Markets in Los Angeles.
  • SESAME OIL: Any brand of sesame oil works, as long as it’s toasted sesame oil, which is a very deep dark brown color, as opposed to regular unrefined sesame oil, which is a light golden color. We have several brands in our pantry, a couple of which we found at Whole Foods.
  • DOUGHNUT TRAY: We bought our Wilton brand non-stick 6-doughnut baking pan at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a 20% off coupon from 2010, so it was $7.99. We were hoping that a seven-year-old coupon would have increased its discount with inflation over the years and all, but no. You can buy the doughnut pan on amazon for even less, but at that cheap-ass price, it’s an “add-on” so you have to spend more money to buy something along with it.
  • SASHIMI FISH: We buy our sashimi and sushi fish from a Japanese market, either Mitsuwa Marketplace or Nijiya. You can find sashimi-grade fish from fishmongers and higher-end grocery stores. If you are unsure about your knife skills with raw fish (it is, in fact, harder than you might think), ask the fishmonger to slice it for you into paper thin slices. If you can’t find sashimi-grade fish at grocery stores or fishmonger, you can also order sashimi to go from your local Japanese or sushi restaurant; more expensive that way, but definitely works.
  • AVOCADOS: Avocados are from JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch, available at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesday and Saturday, and Hollywood on Sunday. All other produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market or Whole Foods Market.
  • NORI These are the full sheets of nori about the size of a sheet of paper, used for making roll sushi. We get ours from either a Japanese or Korean market, though we have seen nori in most Whole Foods markets.
  • TAMARI is a Japanese soy sauce that had no wheat and is, therefore, gluten-free. Not that we were going for that. We use San-J brand.
  • PICKLED GINGER: We bought a small jar of house pickled ginger at the Japanese market when we bought our salmon and tuna. You can also just ask for it at the Japanese or sushi restaurant if you order fish there. If you’re ambitious, you can make your own.
  • GLUTEN-FREE: This recipe is gluten-free, unless you serve your sushi doughnuts with regular soy sauce, which has wheat in it.
  • VEGAN/VEGETARIAN: To make these vegan or vegetarian, use only the avocado, cucumber, and add other vegetables.

sushi doughnuts vegan avocado and cucumberQUICK STEP-BY-STEP for ASSEMBLING SUSHI DOUGHNUTS

Lightly oil a Baked Doughnut pan:
doughnut baking tray
Spoon warm, cooked, seasoned rice into each doughnut hole:
sushi doughnuts, rice in doughnut tray
Gently press the rice and pack into the doughnut hole, make it flush with the top:
sushi doughnuts, rice pressed in doughnut tray
Flip the doughnut pan over and gently shake to release the rice doughnuts from the pan:
sushi doughnuts, rice doughnuts
Place salmon and tuna sashimi slices on rice doughnuts:
sushi doughnuts with salmon and tuna, in process
Prep and slice avocado for Sushi Doughnuts:
sushi doughnuts with salmon and tuna and avoados, in process
Place thinly sliced avocados onto doughnuts:
sushi doughnuts salmon and tuna, in process
Add cucumber slices to doughnuts:
sushi doughnuts salmon and tuna avocado cucumber, in process
Press toasted sesame seeds onto rice:
sushi doughnuts with salmon tuna avocado cucumber and toasted sesame


Click on any photo below to get to the recipe for a sushi-isnpired dish…

  • Spring Onion Sushi Rolls
  • Kitty Cat Sushi
  • Giant Hello Kitty Sushi
  • Vegetable Sushi
  • Sushi as a Cake
  • Sweet Sushi
  • How to make Sweet Sushi
  • Rilakkuma Inari Sushi
  • Homemade Sushirrito Sushi Burrito Recipe
  • Halloween Sushi Balls Recipe
  • Sushi Rice Burger Recipe
  • Salmon Sushi Bowl with Avocado and Pickled Ginger Recipe

And one more shot of our own Sushi Doughnuts because we love them so much…
sushi doughnuts salmon and tuna, side view

by Sarah J. Gim on February 21, 2017 · 2 comments

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

brenda backal February 28, 2017 at 11:35 am

Thanks for sharing I have been looking for this for a while, and gives me more Ideas to make for my family and friends.


Ericka Axtle May 2, 2017 at 6:20 am

Beautiful perfect for a poste workout. A healthy and fun event to do for your love ones. Thank you!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: