Temaki: the sushi cone

temaki de sushi

To all the sushi lovers out there… this article is for you ;). By now, whether you like it or not, you probably know what sushi is, the star dish of Japanese cuisine. But are you familiar with temaki? This dish, which is still becoming popular in Western kitchens, contains the same ingredients as sushi but with the particularity of being presented in the shape of a cone. That’s why it’s a perfect option for making it at home, as you don’t need to have a master’s degree in rolling it up on a mat, but you can make it with your own hands.


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What is sushi

Before we start diving into temaki, let’s recall the essential characteristics of sushi, which is, after all, the origin of this recipe.

Sushi is one of the most famous Japanese dishes in the world. It is made with rice seasoned with vinegar and is usually accompanied by seafood, fish or vegetables. There are different varieties of sushi depending on the form in which these ingredients are presented. The best known are maki, nigiri, uramaki, gohan, gunkan and temaki.


What is temaki?

In Japanese, the term “maki” refers to any type of sushi roll that incorporates nori seaweed, and “te” means hand. Thus, temaki is defined as a variety of sushi that is characterised by being rolled by hand, in the shape of a cone. The most important part of this recipe is the type of seaweed on the outside, nori seaweed, which is used to make the characteristic cone shape. For the filling, the same options can be used as for sushi, the most common ingredients being rice, fish or meat, and vegetables. It can also be accompanied by delicious sauces such as teriyaki sauce. So, let’s say that the three key points to be able to make a good temaki are:

  • Sushi rice. This rice has to be short-grain so that it is more sticky and acquires a better shape once the temaki is rolled. To prepare it, simply cook the rice with a little vinegar, salt and sugar.
  • Nori seaweed. The most important thing is to try to find the best quality.
  • Ingredients for filling. Choose the ones you enjoy the most!
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Because of its large size, temaki can be eaten with your hands, so you can eat it whether you go to a restaurant or you need a quick bite to eat on the street. Thanks to its versatility, you can enjoy it on any occasion.


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Origin of temaki

The origin of temaki can be traced back to 19th century Edo, where the people who lived there needed to create some kind of fast food that resembled the sushi they loved so much but was more convenient to eat. Thus, temaki was born.

The conical shape of temaki was created mainly so that the rich soy sauce that accompanies sushi could be incorporated into the roll itself without dripping. The Japanese only had to pick up their roll and eat it with their hands, no chopsticks, plates or anything else was needed.

For this reason, temaki became more and more popular to the point of becoming one of Japan’s favourite street food alternatives. Although it can also be found in restaurants, this variety is most often prepared at street stalls, at family gatherings or with friends at home.

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How to make temaki

If temaki has caught your eye but you don’t even know where to start preparing it, here is a step-by-step guide on how to make it:

  1. Cut a square sheet of nori seaweed in half or in a quarter. Depending on which of the two ways you choose, the result will be more professional or more artisan.
  2. Place the nori seaweed with the shiny side down.
  3. Place ¼ cup of sushi rice at a 45-degree angle on the top left corner of the seaweed sheet and spread it out evenly.
  4. Add your favourite ingredients on top of the rice: avocado, salmon and pineapple.
  5. Roll the bottom left corner halfway up the top edge of the nori seaweed to create a triangle and roll it into a cone shape.
  6. Put a little rice on the tip of the seaweed to make the cone stand up better.
  7. Finally, don’t forget to serve with your favourite toppings and sauces – enjoy!

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