Sushi is a worldwide representation of Japanese cuisine. It is truly a delicious dish that has captured countless peoples taste buds and appetites. There are many different types of sushi for us to indulge in. One of the most preferred and chosen kind of sushi is the Maki roll. Maki Sushi or Makizushi is the true symbol of sushi and Japan in the western hemisphere. Makizushi has been celebrated and improved upon in the west, where countless versions and fillings of maki zushi have been created.

Makizushi is just sushi… Right?

In the most basic of words makizushi is vinegar rice and filling wrapped in the delicate Nori or seaweed. These tightly rolled cylinders are then cut into small circles of deliciousness. Makizushi is named as such because Maki in Japanese translates to roll, thus you have “rolled sushi” or “sushi rolls”. There are zero limitations of what ingredients you can use with maki. Whether you prefer to do a simple vegetarian roll, or if you prefer something with a few more ingredients and some protein then there are countless fish types available for choosing. Except for the sushi rice and nori, which are mandatory parts of the makizushi, the most popular ingredients used in makizushi are: tuna, cucumber, shrimp, egg, avocado, and salmon.

The nori is crucial to the dish, and is used in most types of Maki rolls, so much so that these sushi rolls are sometimes called norimaki or nori rolls. Most commonly the nori is used as the external layer to keep the ingredients tight and in form, however in certain types of Makizushi, the seaweed is placed inside the roll. There a few popular types of maki for us to enjoy, varying by their rolling style, shape, and ingredients.

  • Hosomaki: long and thing. Usually only having one ingredient to accompany the rice. Made with half the seaweed of usual rolls. Comes in variety of styles
      • Oshinomaki: made from takuan
      • Kappa-Maki: known also as cucumber rolls
      • Tekka-Maki: made with red tuna meat
      • Negitoromaki: Made with miched tuna and green onions
  • Futomaki: thicker sushi rolls with several ingredients. Common ingredients include cucumber, sakura denbu, and omelet. Combination of many flavors in one roll.
  • Uramkizushi: is formed as an inverted makizushi. Made using a plastic wrap, with the vinegared rice serving as the exterior of the sushi role, replacing the nori, which is lined inside the rice. The makizushi is then rolled as usual, and garnished with sesame seed and fish eggs. Popular ingredients: crab, canned tuna, mayonnaise, salmon and other raw fish, avocado, lettuce.
  • Temakizushi: is another name for “hand rolled sushi”. These are completely tool-free sushi rolls. Most often is served at home. The base consists of nori seaweed, and the rest of the ingredients are truly up to you. After you choose your ingredients, you roll the temakizushi in a cone shape and enjoy.

Endless options available in sushi make it a truly unique dish. New innovations are coming out every day. The west has brought a variety of flavors into the makizushi, combining the history and culture of the east with the flavor preferences of the west. You can find ingredients in the west that do not exist in the east. Makizushi is truly the flagship of sushi. This many people cannot be wrong, from countless Japanese restaurants to supermarkets people can find these wonderful little delicacies everywhere across the globe. I do recommend going to Japan however, to try many different types of sushi you will not find anywhere else.