Hand roll sushi, also called Temaki in Japanese tradition, is prepared using a large piece of dried, roasted seaweed sheet wrapped around cold boiled rice moistened with rice vinegar, strips of vegetables, and different types of raw seafood.
It’s about 4 inches long and can only be eaten with bare hands like a Taco. If you don’t know how to eat hand roll sushi, this will be helpful.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Hand Roll Sushi?
Apart from being easy and quick to make, hand roll sushi also adds an excellent nutritional value to the body. It is a go-to meal if you want something quick, tasty, and healthy. Here is a nutrition table for one serving of hand roll sushi.
Below are the benefits of eating hand-roll sushi:
- Hand roll sushi satisfies hunger faster than sushi rolls. It is more nutritious and can be eaten on the go. Not many foods can fill you with more than a delectable and fresh hand-rolled sushi plate. Besides, temaki hits the right spots if you are a vegetarian, seafood lover, or love to have your dinner with a cold drink or special wine.
- Besides, in making temaki, the wrists and the fingers are bent slightly, and the thumb is stretched out. This helps exercise the wrist and fingers.
- The main ingredients in hand roll sushi are fish, tuna, vegetables, and salmon, which are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids and fight against heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease. Vegetables help ward off weight and maintain a good body shape.
- The dried, roasted seaweed sheet used in making hand roll sushi is rich in iodine, which regulates the endocrine and hormones in your body. Hand roll Sushi also contains other vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, etc., that help avoid incurable diseases and boost immunity.
- Eating hand roll sushi is suitable for your metabolism due to its high content of protein and calories. Moreover, its antioxidants help maintain healthy skin, hair, and fingernails.
4 Things To Know About Hand Roll Sushi
If you are new to hand-roll sushi and want to try it out, it only makes sense if you know what it’s about before trying it. Below are a few things you should know about handroll sushi.
Hand Roll means “Temaki”
The first thing to know when eating handroll is that it translates literally to “temaki”l in Japanese. The name “hand roll” applies to how it is made and consumed.
Temaki is made by rolling up a nori sheet placed on the palm into the shape of a cone, and it should be eaten without the aid of any cutlery but with the hand.
Variety of Neta
Neta in sushi terms refers to the toppings and fillings used to make particular sushi. For one serving of temaki, the number of neta used can vary, but it usually consists of seafood, fish, vegetables, or an egg omelet.
Temaki is sushi in a cone shape to keep its form as you eat. If you are ordering a Temaki, make sure that it isn’t wobbly but adequately sealed before eating it.
If you are making a Temaki roll yourself, ensure you close it right. Hand-roll sushi not rolled correctly would end up as a mess.
While there are different hand rolls with various fillings, they are all called temaki, unlike maki or some other sushi types with different names for the types and number of fillings or toppings used.
4 Ways To Eat Hand Roll Sushi
With temaki being a new sushi trend, you would not see it in fancy sushi restaurants, but be sure to request it in the more casual ones.
The idea of sushi in a cone seems messy, but there are ways to eat hand-roll sushi and avoid a mess. Here is a helpful guide:
Eat it with your hands
Just as you use your hands to roll the sushi, you should also eat it with your hands. It is easy as it is cone-shaped. If made well, it would not fall apart.
Eat it immediately
Because of its nature, hand roll sushi should not be left sitting, nor should it be put down on a plate. It would be best to eat it as soon as it is served.
Ideally, the sushi chef makes the roll and hands it directly to you or places it on a hand rack so you can pick it up. Leaving the hand roll on a plate for a while would make the roll fall apart and make the nori soft and soggy.
The nori should be crispy, but it becomes chewy and difficult to eat if it becomes wet. Besides, temaki was made on the sushi streets to be eaten on the go.
Eat it from the top
To avoid spillage while eating from your temaki, hold the roll by the side and begin to eat it from the top down. You could eat it like a taco, eating it from the wide and open session and moving down.
Eat it with soy sauce
Eating the hand roll with your hands doesn’t stop you from enjoying the meal with soy sauce. You can eat soy sauce on your roll in two ways. First, you could pour the soy sauce into the cone and wait for it to soak the fillings.
If you are worried that the soy sauce will spill through the roll and on your hands, hold the cone at a 30 degrees angle until the sauce has gotten through. You could also dip the roll in soy sauce as you eat.
6 Accompaniments With Which To Eat Hand Roll Sushi
You can eat your temaki alone or accompany it with other items such as
- Sauce: like every other sushi, Temaki can be eaten with either soy sauce, wasabi, or both. This, however, doesn’t stop you from trying it out with other sauces. Hand roll sushi goes well with Thai hot sauce. It also goes well with sauces made from Japanese mayonnaise, yogurt, and sesame oil.
- Pickled ginger: If you have decided to eat your temaki with soy sauce and wasabi, you must get the whole package. You need to serve it with a side dish of pickled ginger, also known as gari shoga in Japanese.
- Drinks: to keep the Japanese theme, you could choose between Sake or beer. There are various Sake brands and flavors to choose from; what is essential is that you get what suits you best. On the other hand, you could also try a cup of green tea to pair well with the sushi. Not only is green tea very refreshing and has a fantastic scent, but it is also packed with a lot of nutrients.
- Soup: Soup is also another good accompaniment with temaki. Miso soup, a simple soup dish made from miso paste and dashi, is an excellent side dish for your temaki.
- Salads: Another side dish that pairs well with hand-roll sushi is salads. If you aren’t sure about what type of salad, try Gomaae. Gomaae is made by soaking spinach in boiled water and then in cold water, after which it is then drained. After, it is then dressed in sesame sauce, sugar, and soy sauce.
- Tempura: If you are addicted to the incredible taste of seafood, meat, or vegetable, dipped in batter and then fried, tempura is what you want. Try eating your temaki along with this tasty side dish.
Can You Make Hand Roll Sushi Yourself?
Yes, you can. Making a temaki roll is easy as it is straightforward sushi to prepare anywhere.
You’d need sushi rice, kombu ( a kelp that grows in cold seawater), rice vinegar, wasabi, seaweed, neta, and sauce for dipping to make hand-roll sushi. To make the rice for the temaki sushi:
- In boiling water, put the sushi rice and a little bit of kombu and allow them to simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed.
- Let it stay for a bit after turning off the stove.
- Pour the rice into a bowl, and add the rice vinegar.
- After, toss the rice to mix it well with the vinegar.
Let the rice cool before moving to the next step. For the next step, get a sheet of roasted seaweed and spread it on your palm.
On the nori, spread some of the rice and some wasabi. After this, you can add the neta before carefully rolling up the nori sheet like a cone.
Temaki is a perfect option if you are craving some sushi but don’t just feel like spending much time preparing it in the kitchen. Enriched with many nutrients like maki sushi, temaki would feel you up just right.
It can also serve as finger food for a sushi party. Temaki is the new sushi trend, and what better way to show just how much of a sushi lover you are than by enjoying this goodness!
Hiroshi Nakamura, a Tokyo-born sushi chef turned US-based writer and critic, is the voice behind ichisushi.com, blending traditional sushi wisdom with modern insights.