Cut Roll Vs Hand Roll Sushi – Essential Guide

What’s the difference between a cut roll and a hand roll sushi? Maki, also known as cut rolls are made by rolling ingredients into a large log and then cutting it into bite-sized pieces of 6-8 inches. Making sushi by hand, also known as temaki, is much simpler to prepare and doesn’t need cutting. The ingredients are simply rolled into a cone, forming more of a portion.

Everyone loves sushi, and today it’s accessible! Thanks to the internet we’re getting an increasing number of different types each day. Maki, sashimi, nigiri Temaki, Uramaki, and temaki – the list goes on!

However, the menus and guides insist that you know the product you’re purchasing without explaining the product you’re buying!

We’re glad to be able to step to help you understand the confusion and provide you with an idea of the essentials.

In today’s post, we’ll take an examination of what temaki and maki are and how they compare side-by-side to clarify the distinctions.

Then, we’ll take an overview of the various kinds of maki and thematic you can make, and the exact steps to make these!

Are you ready to get a sushi roll on?

What Is Sushi?

Before we go into the differences between the various kinds of sushi, let’s look into what sushi actually is.

Sushi is a Japanese dish made up of sweet and vinegar-flavored sushi rice that is served with (or garnished with) raw seafood or eggs. It can also be served with vegetables or other seafood.

The bite-sized portions are made up of fresh and simple ingredients, which are exquisitely arranged to make sometimes intricate and colorful pieces. Sushi should taste fresh, light, and filling.

Contrary to this general definition and popular opinion that sushi is referring to rice and not the seafood component of the dish.

In reality, sushi doesn’t have to have seafood in it in any way! There are plenty of vegetarian rolls such as Shiitake Mushroom Nigiri and Avocado Nigiri.

Even though sushi is typically prepared with raw ingredients, and served cold, it can be cooked to taste like California rolls (which are imitation crab) or tempura-fried Prawns.

As we’ve already mentioned that a common ingredient in sushi of all kinds is vinegar rice.

Seafood is is an extremely common ingredient. It includes some of the healthiest fish available like tuna, salmon yellowtail, halibut, and salmon to mention just a few, as well as Mollusks (scallops, clams, and abalone) and crustaceans (crabs, prawns, and shrimps) and finally crab and squid.

These are just some of the most well-known seafood species utilized in sushi. Since there is expensive fish used in sushi, there is a varied time with how long sushi will stay fresh!

Another ingredient that you’ll often come across in the food industry, and a crucial one we’ll be discussing today is nori. Norris is a dried, food-grade seaweed sheet used to wrap sushi in.

Let’s take a look at two of the major kinds of sushi: cut rolls and hand rolls.

What Exactly Is Cut Roll Sushi?

In Japan and on almost every sushi menu, “cut roll” or simply “roll sushi” is called “maki”. In certain regions, you may also find the word “makizushi” being used.

Maki is made from sushi rice fresh seafood, veggies, and even fruits. The ingredients are placed over a complete nori sheet, which measures around eight inches by seven inches (20x18cm).

The sheets are then rolled tight with the aid of bamboo rolling mats, forming an open-ended burrito.

The 8-inch roll is divided into 6-8 pieces by using an exclusive kind of sushi knife. The exact size of each piece is determined by the kind of sushi it’s. The sushi is placed on a table and served with soy sauce and pickled ginger and wasabi.

Maki is typically shared among groups of people. It is eaten with chopsticks each bite at a time.

What’s Hand Roll Sushi?

The Japanese term used to describe “hand roll” is “temaki” However, in order to prevent confusion many restaurants outside Japan don’t use the term “temaki.

Hand-rolled sushi is prepared using the same ingredients as cut-roll sushi. The nori sheet is cut in half, forming sheets of approximately 4×4 inches (10x9cm). The ingredients are placed on the sheet and folded manually which is why the name.

It typically has a cone-shaped shape however, this may be different depending on the type of sushi that is being made.

Sushi pieces that are hand-rolled don’t require cutting and typically range from three inches long. These sushi pieces are larger than cut-roll sushi.

They can also be consumed right away after they have been rolled as opposed to cut rolls which are kept for storage.

Temaki can include soy sauce and pickled ginger and wasabi, however, it is far more difficult to dip based on the technique of folding employed.

Traditionally, temaki is eaten by hand and requires several bites before you end. Naturally, it’s not something to share with others due to its size and shape.

Hand Roll Sushi vs Hand Roll Sushi

Now after we’ve talked about the differences between these types, let’s look at them side-by-side.

If you’ve not guessed it already, hand roll sushi is much more simple to prepare and requires less effort and equipment.

Most importantly the major distinction between them is the fact that maki is rolled using mats and is then divided into pieces unlike it is folded by hand. roll temaki folds with a hand and does not require cutting.

Temaki (hand roll sushi) is always made with nori sheets, while maki are sometimes made without the sheets. When it comes to other ingredients sushi rice is required, but other ingredients are equally flexible and adaptable.

Maki pieces are shorter than the hand rolls and are typically shared between two individuals. Maki can also be eaten with chopsticks, while temaki can be eaten using hands.

In spite of their distinct differences, they both offer delicious, nutritious, and filling choices to pick from.

Cut RollHand Roll
NameMaki Makizushi (traditional) Roll Cut rollTemaki (traditional) Roll hand
Size8-inch roll, 6-8 tiny pieces per rollSingle piece 3-5 inches long
ServingChopsticks are shared and eaten with chopsticksSingle serving Served by hand

Different Types of Cut Sushi Roll (Maki) Sushi

To summarize maki sushi is made with bamboo mats, then broken into bite-sized pieces.

The category is broken down into three subcategories: hosomaki (small) and futomaki (large). Another subcategory we’ll be discussing is uramaki.


Hosomaki is a common kind of sushi that is distinguished by its slim shape. This is because it has only one ingredient (ingredient) wrapped in rice, then wrapped in nori sheets.

Most Popular Varieties Made of Hosomaki rolls;

  • Kappa Maki (cucumber and rice sushi roll)
  • Shinko Maki (pickled daikons in yellow as well as rice sushi rolls)
  • Natto Maki (soybean as well as rice sushi roll)
  • Tekka Maki (tuna and rice sushi roll)


Futomaki is the other frequent and most likely more well-known type than is maki sushi. This is another kind of maki sushi that is often found in restaurants. When people speak of maki, they generally refer to futomaki.

Futomaki is more robust than hosomaki it has a range of fillers (ingredients). This could range from 3-to 10 fillings. Sushi rice also encloses these ingredients. They are then wrapped with nori in a sheet.

On the 4th of February every year, one day prior to when spring officially starts in Japan the futomaki transforms into “emaki”. Ehomaki is made up of exactly seven different ingredients in the filling, in order to represent numerology 7 as a lucky symbol in Japanese culture.

Other forms of futomaki are also popular rolls

  • Spicy tuna roll (spicy tuna, mayonnaise, avocado)
  • Spider roll (deep-fried soft-shell crabs with cucumber avocado, daikon sprouts as well as spicy mayonnaise)


Urakami is any kind of sushi roll (hosomaki or futomaki) that doesn’t contain nori sheets on the exterior instead, it’s rice. It is a very popular kind of sushi roll that is cut and requires lots of experience in assembling and cutting.

Most Popular Varieties Made of Uramaki Sushi Roll;

  • California roll (imitation crab, avocado, cucumber)
  • Alaska roll (smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber, asparagus)
  • Philadelphia roll (smoked salmon, avocado, cream cheese)

Hand Rolls In Various Types (Temaki) Sushi

Hand roll sushi is made of sushi rice as well as other ingredients. It is rolled or folded in a nori sheet using a hand. This kind of roll does not require cutting and is much bigger in comparison to cut sushi.

Hand roll sushi is made up of three parts: sushi rice, nori sheet, and the filling, which could consist of any mixture of ingredients you’d like.

In contrast to sushi cut rolls, hand rolls do not have particular names, and they’re very adaptable. If you’re situated, they’ll likely come with descriptions that have an individual name.

How To Make Cut Sushi Rolls (Maki)

Making maki is more challenging than you think. It requires lots of perseverance and practice.

Before you begin preparing all the necessary ingredients you must make sure you have the right equipment.

You’ll need the sushi mat (or bamboo rolling mat) as well as A very precise knife. There are special knives designed to slice sushi but any knife that is sharp and thin can be used.

Make Sushi by Cooking Rice

Begin by washing the rice grains to eliminate all the starch that has accumulated. This will allow the rice to become sticky as they cook. If you press the rice in a clump, it shouldn’t become mushy but it should be able to hold together and not break.

Once the rice is fully cooked, it is flavorful by adding sugar, rice vinegar, and a pinch of salt.

The rice in sushi isn’t a great choice by itself however when it’s paired with the other ingredients of sushi, it gives the perfect flavor profile.

Select and Prepare The Filling

If you’re making a particular kind of maki, be sure you select the finest products and ingredients from a reliable and reliable supplier. If you’re using seafood the food should be stored in the refrigerator indefinitely to ensure it is as fresh as possible.

You can select traditional ingredients like cucumbers and tuna, salmon and avocado, or distinctive ingredients like pickled fruits.

If you’re just beginning to learn about cutting-roll sushi, select one of the ingredients to begin with and then make delicious hosomaki.

What Is The Best Way To Roll Maki

Maki also requires patience and perseverance Don’t get discouraged even if your first couple of rolls don’t turn out well. It’s a process that requires practice and patience!

  • Place your bamboo rolling mat down. The nori sheet should be placed on the mat, with its shiny edge down.
  • Cover the entire nori sheet using about 1 cup of sushi rice. Start with the shortest side (the 7-inch side/one that is 18cm wide). It should measure 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, based on the you’re adding filling as well as the exact amount of rice that you require will be determined through experimentation and practice.

Tip: When the rice becomes too sticky for spreading, wet your fingers or a spatula using water to help spread it.

  • Fill the dish with your favorite fillings. Imagine the rice portion divided into three parts. Put the filling in the middle third and leave a third of white the rice to each.
  • Begin rolling! Utilizing the bamboo mat, remove the bottom portion of the mat (the portion that has 1/3 of the rice clean) and place it on top of the filling.

Begin rolling by moving your mat back from the side, helping the nori to form an ideal log. When you are satisfied that the log has been formed and is rolled up, place it inside the bamboo mat, and give it the slightest squeeze.

How To Cut A Maki Roll Using A Knife

As we’ve already mentioned the existing knives are made for slicing sushi rolls, but any knife with a thin blade and sharp edge can be used. Don’t employ the knife with serrations! It could cut the nori, and then draw out the other ingredients and alter the shape of the roll.

  1. Set it on a solid and flat surface, for example using a cutting board. Be sure that the entire roll is able to be placed on top.
  2. Estimate (or determine) the center of the roll and cut it into a single piece. Don’t cut because it can draw the ingredients in and change the shape.
  3. Cleanse and moisten your knife’s blade after each cut. This will keep your rice from sticking. The size you would like your maki to be cut each half in thirds or quarters following the same procedure.

Making the Hand Roll Sushi (Temaki)

Temaki is a lot easier to make and more tolerant. If you’re not trying to impress anyone or have a short time frame it’s the most suitable option.

And you can even turn it into a fun build-your-own-temaki activity. Just lay out all the ingredients and let your guests build their own.

What Is The Best Way To Roll Temaki

  1. You must prepare all your ingredients before beginning the process of rolling. This technique does not need a mat to roll nor an instrument for cutting.
  2. Cut a sheet of nori in half. You may choose to cut tiny portions of nori, however we like the standard size.
  3. Place the sheet of nori in your hand with the shiny side down. Be sure your hands are clean to ensure that the nori stays fresh and dry.
  4. Place a large amount of rice (about 1/3 cup) on the left-hand side of the sheet. Place it inside your palm. Make sure to position the rice around 45 degrees.
  5. Put the fillings into between the two rice stack with a angle of 45°. This is crucial since it will help shape the cone rather than an unfinished log.
  6. Starting from the lower-left corner Start rolling or folding the nori into an elongated cone. Continue to roll until you reach the tip that you want to finish. Set a piece of rice onto it to aid in the sealing.


  • It is important to work on distinct cutting boards. Fish should be cooked using a separate cutting board than vegetables and fruits. This can avoid cross-contamination, which could result in food poisoning.
  • All of your cooked ingredients in the refrigerator the longest time possible to keep breakage of the chain. Fish that is raw can be extremely risky if it is left out over a long period of time.
Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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