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Futomaki Sushi Recipe

Futomaki is a kind of sushi roll having a variety of fillings such as vegetables and seafood (cooked). It is much thicker than Tuna rolls or cucumber rolls, and the fillings are cooked and flavored, thus you don’t really need to dip in soy sauce (unless you want to).

Futomaki is eaten throughout the year; however, it is a main dish for Setsubun (February 3rd), the day of prayer for a good year without any illnesses and disasters.  It is said that the custom  started in the end of the Edo era (mid-19th century) among merchants in Osaka hoping for prosperous business.  Today eating Futomaki is a more commercial than traditional function like a lot of other festive events.  Futomaki in Setsubun is also called Ehoumaki (good luck roll), and people eat Ehoumaki facing to the good luck direction of the year (2016 is south by south east 🙂 to hope for good luck for the year.  Some people believe cutting the roll is cutting the luck it represents and they eat the whole roll without cutting it into pieces.

The fillings could be anything, but usually are cooked vegetables or some cooked seafood.  Popular ingredients are cooked sweet Kanpyo (ribbons of dried gourd) and/or Shiitake mushrooms, grilled unagi, Tamagoyaki or Datemaki, sweet fish flakes, boiled spinach and so on.  You can use any combinations, so be creative!

Don’t know whether you believe Futomaki will bring you good luck or not,  but you don’t want to lose any opportunities to enjoy this yummy sushi roll for sure.  Make Futomaki at home on Setsubun, and enjoy!

Futomaki Sushi Recipe



  1. Wash Kanpyo lightly, rub with salt, and wash again. Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes and drain water. Put Kanpyo back in the pot and add just enough water to cover. Cook with sugar and soy sauce until the liquid is almost gone. Set aside.
  2. Cut cucumber and Tamagoyaki into thin and long strips, about 8" long and 1/2" thick (8cm x 1cm).
  3. It's OK not to have 8" long pieces, just add pieces together to make the total length.
  4. Put a sushi mat flat on your work surface with the bamboo slats left to right, so you can roll the mat away from you. Place a piece of seaweed on the sushi mat with one of the seaweed's sides close to the front edge of the sushi mat (the edge near you). Spread about 1/3 of sushi rice on the seaweed leaving a 1" (2.5cm) space at the front and far edges of the seaweed. Place Tamagoyaki, a cucumber strip, boiled shrimp, and Kanpyo next to each other in the middle of the rice. Holding the filling down, roll from the front end of the mat with the sushi mat toward the other end. Tighten the roll like a roll cake, pulling the mat to tighten. Remove the roll from the mat.
  5. Cut the roll into 1/2" thick. Serve with soy sauce if you like.

Futomaki Recipe

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  • Emily
    September 19, 2016 at 8:44 am

    I love futomaki. I used to get it at a market and it had mushrooms in it that tasted a little sweet. How would you prepare the mushrooms to use inside futomaki?