Sandwich Sushi

Sandwich Sushi

Here’s a blast from the recent past… sandwich sushi! Laura and I are both living the high life of parents who don’t yet have to pack lunches five days a week. But it’s coming at us soon. We’d love to know what you all pack in your kids’ lunches. In fact, we’re begging you! I know this will definitely be on my roster as my kids ask for it all the time. I guess before she starts big school in September I’m going to have to break it to her it’s not pronounced “shushi”, right? – C.M.

I’m afraid of lunch. Not my own, but my kids’. And not the lunch they’re having now which is always great, thanks to the great cook at their daycare, but of all the lunches I’m going to have to be packing come September. That’s right, Esme is about to start big school and I’m freaking out. Honestly, it’s all I’ve thought about for the last month. Where we live, in Toronto, this is the week to register for Kindergarten so we’re down to the wire. We’ve been going to parent information nights at various schools and having about a million discussions, trying to figure out which school is best and how she’s going to get there and how will we handle after-care and what if French Immersion is not all it’s cracked up to be and… okay, maybe it’s not lunch that I’m afraid of.

I love change when it comes to my life, hate it when it comes to the kids. Even though any shifts we’ve made have always worked out they still weigh on me. And what can I do? Change is coming whether I like it or not. I can learn to make a great packed lunch, that’s what. I forget where I saw these sandwich sushi rolls first but we featured them as party snacks in our Birthday Magazine several months ago. But with all the cute bento-style lunch boxes out there, they’re also perfect for school. For the sake of this post I made three different kinds but if I were really packing a lunch I’d probably only do one. These are great for kids to who like to graze as each roll is small (although is actually half a sandwich!).

Let us know what you like to pack for lunch. We love hearing from you and will be building our own lunch-making rosters!

photos by Maya Visnyei

If theres’s a trick to these little sammies it’s that you want all your ingredients to be quite small. So, chop up your pickles and celery quite finely. If you’re doing ham and cheese, grate the cheese. Otherwise, anything goes!

Sandwich Sushi


  • 4 wholewheat bread
  • tuna salad (drained, mixed with a bit of mayo and diced pickle)
  • egg salad (hard boiled, mashed with a bit of mayo and a tiny bit of dijon and diced celery)
  • ham
  • cheese


Stack your bread neatly and use a serrated knife to cut off the crusts.

Take one piece of bread at a time and use a rolling pin to flatten it.

You want it to be quite thin and flexible, particularly at the ends

Spoon a line of your filling along the edge of the flattened piece of bread.

You're creating about an inch and a half thick line of filling.

With the filling end toward you start rolling, making it as tight and snug as you can.

Place the sandwich down so that the seam is underneath as you roll up the rest of your sushi.

Once all the sandwiches have been rolled, use your serrated knife to cut each sandwich in half. Stack them on their ends, close together to keep them from unraveling.


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  1. Dianne
    February 02, 10:05 Reply

    These look great! My son just started JK this year and I had the same lunch fear. What I’ve learned is that you need to add a little butter or marg to the bread or else the sandwiches end up soggy by lunch time. Whole wheat wraps also work well. And if you are concerned about soggy sandwiches, send the filling and bread/bun separately with a spoon. Then don’t be surprised if it all comes back with only the snacks or yogurt eaten. At least at my son’s school they are given only 20 minutes to eat, then they go outside. After being inside most of the morning all the kids want to do is go outside and they will eat whatever is quick.

  2. Javamom
    February 02, 10:44 Reply

    cute cute cute!!

    I must try. My 1st grader is a ‘real’ sushi lover and I can’t wait to try the lunch version like this.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Karen
    February 02, 11:19 Reply

    Love this idea and will definitely be trying it!

    I pack 3 lunches each day (kids in Grade 5, 9, 10).

    I used to really hate it but have completely embraced it and enjoy doing it now. I plan out menus each week and get the kids’ input. We use thermoses a lot (soup, leftover pasta etc.) and I also send a salad most days (I have a container where you put the greens on the bottom and a divided top part where you can put fixings like cherry tomatoes, cucumber or whatever! as well as a dressing container where I add homemade dressing).

    Another favourite are pizza bagels.

    Love the container that you have shown. What kind is that? (I’m all about the containers and presentation 🙂

  4. Laura
    February 02, 16:25 Reply

    One of my daughters isn’t a fan of the sandwich, so she just takes lots of healthy snacks. Her school has 2 nutrition breaks, rather than one lunch hour. So the rule is she needs to take 2 proteins (cheese, boiled egg or yogurt), 2 fruits, 2 veg and 2 cookies/treats. She chooses what those will be and eats everything.

  5. No kids to try this on, but I know that I get bored with packing my own lunch sometimes, so who knows. A sandwich sushi bento box may be in my near future!

  6. Ceri
    February 11, 07:21 Reply

    Wow! I love all of these ideas you guys! Karen, the little bento box is from Lunch Bots and they make a few different styles and colours. They’ve come a long way from the old brown paper bag my lunch was packed in! Although those did allow for the great pictures my Mum used to draw on them.
    Thanks for sharing your lunch ideas – we’ll definitely come back to this subject.

  7. […] without a proper vessel for transporting them? No good at all. I recently posted a recipe for sandwich sushi and got almost as much feedback on the container I packed them in as the sandwiches themselves! […]

  8. karengreeners
    April 30, 09:43 Reply

    My daughter also goes to a school with a ‘balanced day,’ meaning two nutrition breaks, so I have to be creative. I bought a Planet Box lunch box ( because I loved the company’s philosophy and the design of the product. It has definitely helped keep me inspired as I slog through 5 days of lunches, and the ever-changing food preferences of a 6 year old. We do a lot of smoked salmon, homemade pizza, hummus and veggies, and wraps, but I am always looking for additional ideas.

  9. Nat
    April 12, 22:32 Reply

    Easy lunch boxes are great!!! I use them for all my boys’ lunch. (ages 4 and 6).

    Try Italian tramezzini bread. It’s perfect for wow butter (tastes just like peanut butter but is school safe) and jam sushi rolls. The bread is thin, rectangular shape and has no crust. You can buy it at superstore and it comes in either white or whole wheat.
    Kids loveit!! Great for using sandwich cutters too.

  10. Ellen
    April 18, 16:25 Reply

    Don’t know if it’s available in Toronto, but Pepperidge Farm makes a whole wheat loaf sliced ultra thin (40 calories per slice) that you could use as is without needing to flatten it further. This loaf makes great tea sandwiches as well, which I’ll bet the kids would just love!

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