How To Make Hand Rolls (Temaki Sushi Recipe)

There are so many different types of sushi available these days that it’s hard to remember which one is which. However, Temaki sushi is hard to mistake for anything else.

Temaki sushi on a plate

The delectable hand-roll sushi is often the quickest to go from the sushi bar. This is because eating them immediately after they are made is best. The nori sheet outside the hand-roll sushi remains crisp enough to hold onto it while you enjoy the seasoned rice and fillings. Is your mouth watering yet?

Well, the good news is that it is easy to make hand-rolled sushi at home. This Temaki roll recipe will satisfy your cravings and impress your friends the next time you have them over!

What Is Temaki Sushi and Where Did It Originate?

Temaki sushi with chopsticks on the side

Temaki rolled sushi originates in Japan and is a popular snack among people all around the world. Temaki sushi has a cone shape and means hand-roll sushi in Japanese.

This hand-roll sushi came about so that people could enjoy their favorite sushi more conveniently without using utensils. The hand-roll sushi is easy to eat by hand and can be made quickly with no fuss.

Classic Japanese recipes for Temaki sushi contain various raw seafood, sushi rice, and fresh vegetables like carrots, radish sprouts, and cucumbers.

Temaki Vs. Maki

Generally, the various sushi we are familiar with belong to just two types. Maki, or cut sushi, is what many people are used to seeing across the globe.

Temaki sushi is hand-rolled and not cut. This is what gives them their famous cone shape. Making hand-roll sushi is much easier than making cut sushi. In order to make maki sushi rolls, there is a certain amount of expertise involved.

Before cutting, you need to know how to correctly lay the rice and fillings on top of the nori sheet and how to roll the sushi into a cylinder-like shape.

However, with temaki sushi, you can have all cut sushi flavors without using a bamboo mat to roll the sushi ingredients together. You can do it all by hand and use a variety of your favorite fillings.

It is easier to eat by hand due to its shape and cannot be kept for very long as the nori sheets tend to get soggy and lose their crispness.

Thus, eating right after you make them is best, which is why they disappear so quickly from a sushi bar. Knowing how to make them is an excellent way to enjoy temaki sushi at home and at its best.

Temaki or Hand-Rolled Sushi Ingredients

Making temaki sushi at home is a great experience and an opportunity to share sushi with friends and family.

It’s an interactive experience that allows everyone to make their own filling combinations and enjoy sushi without being limited. That being said, there are four main ingredients that you will need.

Sushi Rice

You can’t have sushi without sushi rice! Sushi rice is short-grain Japanese rice that you cook and season with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. The easiest way to prepare your rice is to wash it and place it in a rice cooker.

After it cooks, you can then season it with a mixture of salt, rice vinegar, and sugar. Add this mixture to the cooked rice a teaspoon at a time until you get the desired result.

Nori Sheets

Nori seaweed sheets are a crucial ingredient for Temaki sushi. They hold all your favorite fillings together and make it easy to eat. You may see different types of nori sheets at the store.

The difference comes in the grade or quality of the nori seaweed. Ideally, to make great hand-rolled sushi, you want to get either blue, silver, or gold nori sheets. These are more uniform in color and thickness, providing a pleasurable, crisp texture when you eat your hand-roll sushi.


When making hand rolls, you can use whichever raw fish you prefer. This should be sashimi-grade fish that is undoubtedly fresh. You can choose classics like salmon and spicy tuna or venture into more exotic seafood like uni and scallops.

The best part of making temaki sushi at home is that you can make it as simple or fancy as you like. You can prepare your ingredients to be fit for main course cuisine or use canned tuna if you want a quick snack. The possibilities are endless when it comes to fillings!


Vegetables enhance the flavors of temaki sushi rolls and make them a nutritious snack as well. The vegetables that you choose to use in your hand-roll sushi are completely up to you. Common additions to the hand rolls are radish sprouts, cucumber, carrot, and avocado.

However, you can experiment with your chosen fillings and make truly home-style hand-rolled sushi! You don’t have to stick to what you have at the restaurant. You can even make a hand roll with just vegetables and no fish.

These are the four core ingredients for the recipe for making hand rolls at home. However, they are not the only ingredients. We will go through the full list of ingredients later.

In addition, you can also have extra ingredients that you would like to add, like sesame seeds, for added texture or wasabi mayo for a unique twist.

Making Hand Rolls

The key to making great temaki sushi is getting all your ingredients ready during your prep time. Having everything set out and ready to roll means that you can enjoy your sushi hand-rolls immediately. 

This is important because you cannot prepare all the sushi hand rolls beforehand and leave them out. The nori will lose its crispness, and the temaki will be soggy.

A chef handrolling sushi

So, to make your hand-roll sushi, you must first prepare all your ingredients. That means cooking and seasoning your sushi rice, cutting your sheets of nori into half, and prepping your raw fish and vegetables.

You can also have a small bowl with soy sauce and another dish with pickled ginger and wasabi so that you are ready to serve immediately after rolling your hand roll.

To start, you want to place your nori sheet on a flat surface. You can use a plate or a bamboo mat; it doesn’t really matter. Then, take a spoonful of sushi rice and place it on the left side of the nori sheet.

You want to cover approximately half the sheet with an even layer of sushi rice. Then assemble your chosen fillings diagonally on the rice. Thus, your fillings will run from the top left corner of the rice to the bottom right corner.

Once you have your filling combinations on the rice, you then want to roll the nori sheet to form a cone shape. To do this, you start by rolling the bottom left corner of the nori sheet over your fillings until it meets the top edge where the sushi rice ends. Then, take the right side of the nori sheet and roll it to the left, effectively wrapping the entire roll.

How to Eat Temaki Sushi

The best part about temaki sushi is that you can eat it with your hands. The nori makes it easy to hold, and you can just hold the bottom of the hand roll, add whichever condiments you want to the exposed filling and then dip it into soy sauce before taking a bite.

The most important thing is that the sushi hand roll should be eaten after you roll it. Don’t continue rolling because you think you want to have a few ready. Eat them as soon as you make them, and they will taste even better than the ones from the restaurant!

Easy Hand Roll Sushi (Temaki Sushi)

This recipe is for four servings but can be easily adjusted according to your requirements. Thus, you can scale down for a snack for one or scale up for a large gathering. In addition, you don't need all the different types of fish.
The amounts for each are given so that you can easily substitute as you see fit. The total prep time is approximately 30 minutes. The rice takes about 20 minutes to cook, but you can prep your fillings at this time.
It is of the utmost importance that you purchase high-quality, sushi-grade seafood if you are using raw fish. If you just want to prepare some temaki sushi as a quick snack, you can also use canned tuna if you don't have any fresh fish.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese, Vietnamese
Servings 4
Calories 434 kcal


  • Rice cooker or Instant pot
  • Knife
  • Bamboo mat or Placemat
  • Spoon


  • 2 cups of cooked and seasoned sushi rice
  • 1 pack of high-quality nori sheets


  • All fish should be of the highest sushi grade
  • 2 oz salmon
  • 2 oz yellowtail
  • 1.5 oz tuna
  • 2 oz scallops

Other Filling Ingredients

  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Radish sprouts
  • Shiso leaves
  • Avocado


  • Soy sauce
  • Pickled ginger
  • Wasabi

Optional Extras for Filling

  • Sesame seeds
  • Roe
  • Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise
  • Sriracha


  • Prep the sushi rice by washing it and cooking it in an instant pot or rice cooker.
  • Season the sushi rice with salt, sugar, and rice vinegar.
  • While the rice is cooking, slice your salmon and yellowtail into thin slices. If you want to make a spicy tuna filling, you can mince the tuna or cut it into small pieces before mixing it with sriracha and Kewpie mayonnaise. Cut the scallops into bite-size pieces, and you can even prepare a spicy scallop mix the same way as the spicy tuna.
  • Wash your fresh vegetables and slice them thinly.
  • Prepare your nori by slicing sheets in half horizontally.
  • Place a spoonful of cooked rice onto the left side of your nori sheet and press down firmly until an even layer of rice covers half the sheet.
  • Lay a selection of your vegetables diagonally across the rice so that it runs from the top left to the bottom right corner of the rice.
  • Place your choice of seafood over the vegetables.
  • Roll your temaki sushi by first taking the bottom left corner, rolling it over the fish toward where the rice meets the top edge, making a cone shape. Then take the right side of the nori sheet and roll over the left side until the cone shape is complete. You can use a grain of cooked rice to glue the open end of the nori in place.
  • Serve immediately with fresh pickled ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi.


This recipe is great for a dinner party with friends and family as everything can be laid out on the table, and they can make their own sushi hand rolls. It's also an excellent way to learn new filling ideas, as everyone has different tastes! In addition, the only thing you have to do is cook the sushi rice and prepare the fillings.


Calories: 434kcalCarbohydrates: 79g
Keyword hand roll sushi, temaki sushi
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Wrap Up 

We hope this article has helped you learn how to make Temaki sushi. You can now enjoy this lovely dish at home with your friends and family.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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