5 Best Sushi Rolls for Beginners

It can be hard to know the best beginner sushi rolls if you’ve never eaten sushi before. Foreign words on the menu like “nitzume,” “hamachi,” and “masago” can be overwhelming. But no fear! We’re here to walk you through a short list of the five (5) best sushi rolls that are appealing to any first-time sushi eater.

What’s usually in sushi rolls

Sushi comes in the form of a roll and is typically cut into eight bites. Most beginner sushi rolls contain rice (most important ingredient), avocado, cream cheese, and/or raw fish. If the thought of raw fish scares you, you can order it without meat or choose a vegetable roll instead. 

The best rolls for beginners:

Here’s a short list of the best rolls for beginner sushi eaters, but take note: Each sushi roll is wrapped in sushi rice, a primary ingredient for authentic sushi.

1. California roll (“Kalifornia” on our menu)

If you’ve been around sushi at all, you’ve heard of the California Roll. If you want to stay clear of raw fish, this is a great all-around roll for you. The ingredients are:

  • Blue claw crab mix
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber

2. Philly roll

A Philly roll contains raw salmon which tastes fatty, buttery, and will melt in your mouth. Ingredients:

  • Salmon
  • Cream cheese
  • Avocado

3. Vegetable roll (“Veggie Kali” on our menu)

If you’re apprehensive about trying raw fish, then maybe a vegetable roll is right for you. Ingredients:

  • Red pepper
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber

4. Tempeh roll

This is another good option if you want to avoid meat. This role contains fried asparagus along with other complementing flavors. This roll typically has a crunch to it. Ingredients:

  • Seasoned tempeh
  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Avocado
  • Nitzume (a Japanese sauce)

5. Spicy tuna roll 

The spicy tuna roll is a popular one among beginners and veteran sushi eaters alike. The spicy tuna concoction is usually made of ground tuna, spicy sauce (like Sriracha), and mayonnaise. Ingredients:

  • Spicy tuna (a blend of tuna, spicy sauce, and mayo)
  • Cucumber

What typically comes with sushi rolls

Most traditional restaurants serve three items on the side to add flavor to the sushi rolls:

Soy sauce

Soy sauce adds to the flavor of the fish. Dip one side of the role in soy sauce, let soak for five seconds and eat.


Sushi rolls are served with a dab of wasabi, a blend of wasabi root, horseradish, and mustard. A little goes a long way! Put a tiny bit on one side of the role and soy sauce on the other. 

RELATED: How to Eat Sushi with Wasabi – Steps and Tips

Pickled ginger

Pickled ginger clears the palate between sushi bites. After eating a piece, use the ginger to clear the pallet so you get the full effect of the next sushi bite. 

Come try your first roll at Cobo

Cobo Sushi Bistro and Bar on W. Howard St. would love to host your first sushi roll experience. Come by and give them a try. We’d love to have you!