Yes We Can… Make Our Own Sushi in a Cubicle at Work

I am usually staunchly against eating lunch at your desk, and mostly against bringing your lunch to work (it would be the death of this site), but in these economic times even I admit that it’s tough to eat out every day. If you love sushi, it’s even harder. Lunch’er Jacob comes to the rescue with this awesome suggestion, co-opted from another commenter:


I love Yagura (on 41st btw. Mad+5th). What a treasure. Their curries are awesome. The udon/soba is so cheap and tasty. But, this week, I decided to take Ubu Walker’s advice and I have been making two sushi rolls and a few bite-sized rice balls for under $5 at work. I bought vinegar, soy sauce, a package of roasted sesame seeds, wasabi, and nori. Now each day I just go in and buy some sashimi meat and rice. You can get enough spicy tuna for two rolls for about $2 and rice for $1.50, or enough plain tuna for two rolls for about $4.

Your ideas are intriguing and I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter. Photos please…  

“Put a little vinegar on your hands and then roll a couple rice balls. Add about two tablespoons of vinegar to the remaining rice. Spread half the rice on a piece of nori covering about 1/3 to 1/2 of the nori. Sprinkle sesame seeds (you could add a little wasabi here as well).  I really like the spicy tuna, because it’s cheaper and easy to handle, but they didn’t make any at Yagura today, so I had to settle for regular tuna.”


“Add the meat and roll the whole thing up. Use a little water on your finger tip (or your tongue) to seal the roll. I don’t bother cutting the rolls up, I just dip the whole thing in some soy sauce and eat. The whole thing takes about 5-10 minutes and is pretty darn yummy. I also had an extra piece of tuna, so I put that on top of one of the rice balls with a strip of nori like a piece of nigiri. I just finished off my package of nori, so I actually did this for the past 5 business days in a row. Cheap and healthy.”



  • Jacob, I’d like to order 3 rolls to go. I’ll be at your cubicle at 12:15. No need to wrap them, I’ll eat them in the conference room. Do you take credit cards?

  • This looks very sanitary-5 days in a row, no chance of cross-contamination here.

  • Its one thing to eat at your desk(which has been proven to have more germs than bathrooms), but to make lunch at your desk?

    I’ll pass. Yagura is cheap enough when they make it for you.

  • this is all kinds of awesome.

    and yea, i hope you wiped off your desk with a disinfectant before this project.

  • Leaving food on your workspace.. check
    Cutting raw tuna with your scissors… check
    Putting said scissors back in copy room… check
    Re-using scissors with fermented tuna juice for the next 4 days… check

    Looks like you have it all covered.

  • Looks really tasty!!

  • I give you props for creativity!!

    Question – what do you cut the tuna with?

    When I make maki rolls, I smear the rice with my fingers for glue.

  • CockChug makes “sushi” in his Arkansas trailer home too

    Catfish guts, lard, grits and tabasco all wrapped up in kudzu

    Further explains why he & his porker wife are each jacking 300+ pounds

  • i make this a lot at home, and then bring the inevitable leftover ingredients (in separate containers) to work for lunch. it is an especially great thing to make bc as long as you aren’t a purist, you can put anything you like in there – i usually add some strips of cucumber, eel, even scrambled egg or teriyaki chicken. yum!

  • great creativity, maybe you can try it with annie chun’s sushi wraps (kit includes rice and nori and you add the rest).

    i love yagura as well, one of the few joys to look forward to when office moves further into midtown.

  • Ha. These comments are… pretty great. I do, of course, clean my desk. It takes about 30 seconds with the ol’ Fantastic. I, personally, use a reasonably sharp pocket knife. That also cleans up easy and stores nicely in the drawer. Although the nice thing about spicy tuna is you don’t need a knife, it is spreadable.

    bunch of germaphobes. :)

    Yagura IS pretty darn cheap. My thoughts are: I make two rolls+ for under $5 per day. I get rice balls, I like a couple pieces of plain rice for dipping. I am in control and it is a fun activity, it is kind of nice to do things for yourself sometimes.

    ambitious. The rice smear is an interesting technique. I never thought of that…

  • Careful Jake, ‘Adam’ might stop by and grab your ‘free samples’!!!

  • Awesome Homer quote! Can I get some photos of Banana Foster at somebody’s cubicle next?

  • You would benefit from those bamboo wrap / mat things that you can get from the korean supermarket in k-town. this way, you can really make your sushi rolls tight, ANNNNDDD keep it kind of sanitary.

    I am going to try that.

    also get power-free vinyl gloves, it wont make your fingers all sticky.

  • Haha, or smell like vinegar (above commenter w/the gloves) but rice balls are best rolled with salty water hands, I think (preference, anyway). You could also make rice and bring it in from home to cut out that cost and really, just buy the raw fish every day. That’s pretty awesome. People at work think I’m weird enough for the bento though. I wish I had a Japanese market or something that sold raw fish in blocks like that around my office though :P

  • hmmm. I used to have a bamboo mat somewhere, but I never felt is was all that necessary, but keeping things of my desk sure isn’t bad. A back, come to think of it, would be some plastic wrap to help roll and add a better level of sanitation.

    Also the gloves aren’t a bad idea either…

    These recommendations are great.

    Maybe in the future I will try bringing rice and also cut veggies to experiment some more with rolls.

    Also. The money saved on Monday only helped to feed my addiction to Beard Papa cream puffs next door at Cafe Zaiya…

  • This made me laugh. I don’t eat rice anymore, but if I did I would probably have already tried something like this.

    Sometimes I head to the supermarket and farmers market in back of the Port Authority and get some things to make lunch for the week.

    One time I bought some lox, cream, cheese, bagels, with carrots. Had lunch for the entire week.

  • properly made sushi rice should keep for a few days due to the vinegar, but most sushi chefs prefer to make it often. I think this is a great idea though. Just don’t go make the mistake that any fish could do. Of the twenty tons of fish in NYC sold as sushi, only around 8 are sushi grade.

  • hungryanon:
    you dont eat rice anymore but you eat bagels? me confused….

  • where are the rice balls @ this place! They were not in evidence today!

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