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Hand Roll Vs Cut Roll Sushi: A Complete Comparison

Both sushi rolls and hand rolls are familiar dishes from Japan. But not everyone can distinguish between hand roll vs roll. It leads to some confusion at necessary times, like when you are looking for a recipe for hand roll sushi at home.

The way to distinguish these two types of sushi is relatively simple because each has its own unique characteristics. 

Let’s find out with Battersby in this article!

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The key differences between cut roll and hand roll 

Hand Roll Vs Cut Roll Overview

There is no more straightforward way of showing the difference between hand roll and cut roll than using a table. Let’s compare these two types of sushi based on a few simple factors.

Factors  Sushi Roll Hand Roll
Name Maki Temaki
Appearance/Roll form Cylindrical shape Ice-cream cone shape
Making process You can make it with the help of a bamboo mat You can make it by hand
Size You can cut a maki into 6 – 8 pieces after cooking You don’t need to cut or divide the temaki roll
Way to eat sushi Many people can eat a maki roll at one time. You can use chopsticks to eat these sushi rolls. Temaki is a one-person portion. You can use your bare hands to eat it.
Varieties Chumaki, Hosomaki, Uramaki, and Futomaki roll Temaki

What Is A Sushi Cut Roll?

hand roll vs cut roll

Sushi cut rolls 

Sushi roll (maki or makizushi) is a nutritious and delicious dish from Japan. 

You can make this dish from many different ingredients. Some of the required ingredients include Japanese sushi rice with vinegar and nori sheet. Other ingredients are optional, such as omelets, Japanese Shiitake mushrooms, or pickled vegetables.

When making maki sushi, people often use a bamboo mat to make the rolling process more convenient and beautiful. Such a roll of traditional sushi can be split into six to eight pieces with a sharp knife.

Thanks to this factor, these sushi rolls are the top choice for family parties with many people. You can also find it at your favorite sushi restaurant with different variations.

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There are many kinds of sushi maki such as Uramaki, Futomaki, Chumaki, Hosomaki. But at sushi restaurants, the two most popular rolls are Hosomaki and Futomaki.

Hosomaki rolls are usually relatively thin and contain one ingredient so that you can eat them with just one bite. For example, they can use raw fish like salmon, tuna, or even cucumber. In contrast, Futomaki rolls are much thicker and fuller.

You can enjoy these sushi rolls with Japanese soy sauce and wasabi. Some places even present this dish with gari shoga, a type of pink ginger, to enhance the taste for people to enjoy.

If you are eager to explore how to make sushi roll at home, check out this video.

Different Types Of Cut Roll

A few things that you need to remember is that a cut roll is a Japanese dish with a cylinder. The main ingredients are Japanese rice with nori and optional fillings. The types of sushi maki that you need to look out for are Futomaki, Hosomaki, and Uramaki.

Let’s find out their differences in this section.

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Ehomaki sushi 

1. Futomaki

Futomaki is the most popular cut roll. It is very thick and contains a variety of ingredients. The number of components can range from 3 to 10 types of fillings. The taste of futomaki is, therefore, very unique and impressive.

People use vinegared rice to cover the whole ingredient and wrap it with seaweed.

In Japanese cuisine, people transform futomaki into ehomaki on February 3 every year. Ehomaki contains seven different types of kernels, which represent the lucky number seven. This dish is an exciting springtime Japanese dish.

Some familiar futomaki dishes are spider rolls or spicy tuna rolls.

2. Hosomaki

Hosomaki has a somewhat thinner shape compared to futomaki. It contains fewer kernels, usually just 1 or 2 unique fillings.

Some well-known types of hosomaki are Shinko maki (pickled yellow daikon), Kappa maki (cucumber), Tekka maki (tuna), and Natto maki (soybean).

3. Uramaki

The difference between uramaki and the two types of sushi rolls mentioned above is that it does not have a nori layer on the outside. Many people love this type of sushi, but it takes a lot of technique and experience to make. The use of a sushi mat when making uramaki is essential.

We may already be familiar with a few varieties of uramaki are California, Alaska, and Philadelphia roll. Their ingredients are pretty sophisticated, like smoked salmon, cream cheese, or avocado.

What Is A Hand Roll Sushi?

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Hand roll sushi 

The Japanese often call hand roll sushi Temaki, with the word “Te” meaning hand. This term is quite similar to Maki sushi, so non-Japanese restaurants will refrain from using it.

The main ingredients for hand roll sushi are pretty similar to cut roll, including rice with rice vinegar and nori sheet. So what is the main difference between sushi cut vs hand roll? It lies in the processing and design of two types.

Usually, people will cut the nori sheets into squares of 4-inch size. Then they put all the ingredients and ingredients on the top left corner of the sheet and then rolled it up. The shape of the hand roll sushi will therefore resemble an ice cream cone.

Related: Chalupa Vs Tostada

With this approach, we will not cut or split the hand-rolled sushi. You also do not need to use bamboo mats during the process.

In terms of size, when comparing sushi roll vs. hand roll, the size of the hand rolls is much larger. It is about 3 – 5 inches long and is only for one person to eat. It would help if you used it immediately after cooking is done. With cut rolls, you can store them in the fridge if you have leftovers.

One thing in common between cut roll vs hand roll sushi is that they are all served with soy sauce, wasabi, or pickled ginger to enhance the flavor.

Some popular fillings for hand rolls are spicy tuna with radish sprouts or salmon butter with sesame seeds.

If you want to learn about hand roll sushi making, watch this video.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section help you understand more about the different types of sushi rolls.

1. What types are California roll and Alaska roll?

Both California roll and Alaska roll are cut rolls. Their difference lies in the ingredients that the chef uses to make the dish.

2. What is nigiri sushi?

Nigiri is usually a combination of raw seafood in the form of a slice of sashimi placed on a layer of rice mixed with vinegar rice.

Final Thoughts

Sushi roll vs hand roll, what will you choose? Ignoring the differences between these two dishes, we can’t deny that they both taste great and are incredibly healthy.

Depending on your dietary needs and personal preferences, each of these sushi rolls shines. Cut roll is suitable for large parties, while hand roll is a quick way to feed one person.

If you can, try making these two types of sushi rolls at home. We are sure that you will no longer be confused anymore.

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Thursday 17th of February 2022

I made it at home according to your instruction. An easy, simple, and tasty recipe, many thanks


Friday 7th of January 2022

A very informative article in complete detail, thank you. I will share it with my friends