Food Culture

How to Tell Differences between Maki Roll and Hand Roll

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How are Maki Roll and Hand Roll Different?

Maki roll and hand rolls are the terms that are categorized in the most well-known Japanese food, sushi. Sushi is a type of food that is comprised of vinegary rice and ingredients like raw/cooked fish, pickled vegetables, and egg, and both maki roll and hand roll have those components. Although these two are a kind of roll, they are often referred as different types of rolls. It makes many people confused.

Today, we will explain the differences between maki roll and hand roll with definitions of these two and comparisons of several aspects like appearance, size, serving, and eating methods.

Comparison chart of Maki roll and Hand Roll

First of all, let’s have a look at the overview of maki roll and hand roll with this comparison chart.

Maki Roll Hand Roll
Also referred to; Maki zushi Temaki zushi
Appearance It is long and has a cylindrical shape. It has a cone shape.
How to make Vinegared rice and ingredients are rolled with seaweed paper (nori) by using a bamboo mat (makisu). Vinegared rice and ingredients are placed on a sheet of seaweed paper (nori) and rolled with hands into a cone shape.
Size It is about 15~20 cm long. The width varies depending on the number of ingredients. It is cut into one-bite size when served. It is about the same size as your hand.
Serving It is good when you want to share the same sushi with others. It is good when you want a larger quantity roll and want to make sushi by yourself.
Eating method Mostly eaten with chopsticks Always eaten with hands

What is Maki Roll?

makizushi

Maki roll is called maki zushi in Japanese, with “maki” meaning wrapping or coiling something and “zushi” meaning sushi (the word “sushi” changes to “zushi” when combined with other words). Maki roll is a type of rolled sushi that is most commonly eaten in Japan because it is easy to make at home, and easily found in convenience stores at a low price.

Maki roll is made with vinegared rice, ingredients like fish and vegetables, and seaweed paper. Rice and ingredients are placed on a sheet of square-shaped seaweed paper and rolled with a bamboo mat into a cylindrical shape. The bamboo mat helps make a perfect tube-like shape and makes the roll dense and firm so that it won’t be broken apart.

Maki roll comes in two different types according to the width. One kind is Hoso maki (thin roll), which has only one kind of ingredient at the center. Hoso maki is a familiar type of maki roll served at sushi restaurants, and common ingredients for this roll include a strip of tuna, takuan (pickled daikon radish), kappa (cucumber), and negitoro (chopped tuna belly fat and green onion). It is cut into six pieces when served and eaten with soy sauce.

The other type of maki roll is Futo maki (fat roll/ thick roll), which contains two or more ingredients. Futo maki is often made at home on the day of Setsubun (February 3rd) or bought at many locations like convenience stores, supermarkets, and train stations. This roll is also good for bento box lunch. It is cut into about 1cm thick when eaten. Ingredients vary, but egg omelet is often used for Futo maki.

What is Hand Roll?

temakizushi

Hand roll is called Temaki zuhi in Japanese with “te” meaning hands, so it literally is “hand roll sushi.” Ingredients do not differentiate hand roll from maki roll, but the making method and the shape create the difference. It is made by placing a sheet of seaweed paper, vinegared rice and whichever ingredients you want and rolling them all together with your hands, creating a cone shape.

Unlike maki roll, a sheet of rectangular-shaped seaweed paper is used instead of square-shaped one. The size is smaller than maki roll, as big as you finish one hand roll in three bites. Once you made your hand roll, you dip it into soy sauce and eat it directly with your hands. You neither have to cut it into pieces nor eat it with chopsticks.

Hand roll is perfect for parties because you can make your hand rolls with your favorite ingredients. When Japanese people have hand rolls at home, they prepare several sheets of seaweed paper, vinegared rice, and several kinds of ingredients on a large plate so that each one can enjoy making hand rolls. Making rolls with your creativity is a lot of fun!

Summary of Differences between Maki and Hand Roll

-Maki roll is called Maki zushi and hand roll is called Temaki zushi.

-Maki roll is cylindrical in shape and is cut into pieces while hand roll is cone-like in shape and eaten with hands.

-Maki roll has two kinds (hoso maki and futo maki) and is rolled by using a bamboo mat, and whares hand roll is made with hands.

-Maki roll is a common type of rolled sushi served at sushi restaurants and sold at stores, but hand roll is mostly made at home and good for parties.

-Maki roll is eaten with chopsticks while hand roll is eaten with hands.

Did you get the idea of maki roll and hand roll?
We hope you find it helpful!

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