Temaki, also known as Hand Roll Sushi, is the easiest sushi to make because you don't need a rolling mat or any rolling skills. You just add the rice to the nori, lay your fillings down and roll it in a cone. Just look how stunning it looks too! Impressive enough for a dinner party, but takes minutes to assemble.
We love hand rolls, because when it comes to homemade sushi it doesn't get much easier, or impressive, than this. These sushi hand rolls are the perfect place to start if you have never made sushi, as you don't need any equipment or expertise.
What are Sushi Hand Rolls?
Temaki basically translates to "hand roll sushi" and whilst it originated in Japan, they are loved the world over and are usually the first thing people grab at a sushi bar, because they just look SO good.
Sushi hand rolls, also known as temaki sushi are rectangle pieces of nori (seaweed) with cooked and seasoned sushi rice laid on it and then topped with fillings like vegetables and fish. You then roll it into a cone shape and it is designed to be eaten with your hands, rather than chopsticks.
Why you will love it
- Easy - This is the easiest sushi to make because you don't need to use a mat to roll it up. Just shape it into a cone with your hands.
- Impressive - Cone sushi might be easy, but it's a real show stopper for a dinner party.
- Adaptable - The great thing about sushi in general is that it's so easy to adapt. We have given suggestions below. You can also adapt the ingredients to suit your budget too. You don't need to add avocado and salmon - more budget friendly ingredients like pepper and carrot work well too.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Nori - These are the sheets of edible seaweed that sushi is wrapped in. Choose a brand that is dark green in colour. You can find these in the world food aisle of most supermarkets.
- Sushi rice - You have to use sushi rice for the best results. Basmati or jasmine rice will not work. Follow our recipe for Sushi Rice for the best sticky rice. The measurements in this recipe are for cooked sushi rice.
- Cucumber - Traditionally you would use Japanese cucumber, which you can find in more Japanese supermarkets. However, any cucumber will work for this. Leave the skin on the cucumber for the best colour.
- Carrot - We used an orange carrot, but using rainbow carrots would add an amazing colour.
- Avocado - A sushi favourite and the creaminess is lovely in it.
- Smoked salmon or tofu - We have given the option of either here, so there is something for your vegetarian guests too.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make hand roll sushi - Step by step
One: Slice each piece of nori in half to make two rectangles. Divide the cooked sushi rice between the nori, spreading it over half the rectangle. Leave a ½ inch gap at the side of the rice.
Two: Place the fillings diagonally across the rice.
Three: From the corner that has the rice but no filling, roll in a diagonal direction over the filling and round to the uncovered side to make a cone.
Four: Repeat with all the nori. You can vary the filling combinations.
What to serve with sushi hand rolls
These temaki are great for a light lunch, but are also a great addition to a bigger sushi meal. Try them with some of these sushi recipes:
You could also serve it with an edamame salad and some pickled seaweed.
Of course some soy sauce, wasabi and ginger are a must served alongside sushi. But if you want something with a big more of a kick, then mix together some mayo and Sriracha to dip these hand rolls in.
We love dipping sushi in our Healthy Teriyaki Sauce too.
The great thing about sushi is that there is so many ways to adapt it and different fillings you can use. Some of our favourite sushi hand roll fillings are:
- Bell pepper
- Spring onion/Scallions
- Pickled radish
- Fish roe
- Cream cheese
If you wanted some more budget friendly ingredients, then shredded rotisserie chicken or canned tuna work well, and give it some protein.
It is best to eat sushi within 1-2 hours of it being made, as the rice will go dry and stale. However, if you do have any leftovers then it can be stored.
Because these are best eaten straight away, have all the ingredients prepped, so you can make one, eat one, and then make another.
Frequently Asked Questions
Maki means "to roll" and Te means hand, so it literally means hand rolled. Maki is rolled thinly with a bamboo mat, whereas this sushi cone it rolled by hand.
Depending on the type of nori you used, you may need to rub a little water along the seal of the nori to make it stick.
More Japanese recipes
Hand Roll Sushi (Temaki)
- 640 g (3.5 cups) Cooked sushi rice
- 4 sheet Nori
- 1 Carrot - cut into thin strips
- 0.25 Cucumber - cut into thin strips
- 1 Avocado - cut into thin strips
- 60 g (2 oz) Smoked salmon - cut into thin strips
- Slice the nori sheets in half to make two rectangles per sheet.4 sheet Nori
- Divide the cooked sushi rice between the nori, spreading it over half the rectangle. Leave a ½ inch gap at the side of the rice.640 g Cooked sushi rice
- Place the fillings diagonally across the rice.1 Carrot, 0.25 Cucumber, 1 Avocado, 60 g Smoked salmon
- From the corner that has the rice but no filling, roll in a diagonal direction over the filling and round to the uncovered side to make a cone.
- Repeat with all the nori. You can vary the filling combinations.
- This recipe calls for 640g of cooked sushi rice. To make this amount of cooked rice, you will need 210g of raw rice. If you are altering the serving size in the recipe card, divide the amount of cooked rice by 3 to get how much raw rice you will need.
- These are great for serving at a party and letting your guests assemble themselves, so everyone gets a filling they like.
- Always place the nori shiny side down. This is because the rice sticks better to the rough side and it looks better for presentation.
- Make sure the sushi rice is fully cooled before adding it to the nori, as the steam of the hot rice can cause the nori to go soggy.
- When handling the rice, use wet hands or a spoon, as it is very sticky.
- You may need to rub a bit of water on the nori to help it stick.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.