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Sushi Rolls (Tuna and Cucumber Rolls) Recipe

Sushi Rolls or Hosomaki are a very basic but popular sushi in Japan.  Hoso means thin and maki means roll. We want to say “thin” because there are also thick rolls, Futomaki.  While Futomaki has a lot of fillings such as cooked vegetables and sweet fish flakes, Hosomaki rolls only have one skinny filling inside.  Because of the simplicity of ingredients and cooking technique, Hosomaki is suitable for home cooking as well as restaurant food.

The two most popular Hosomaki are Tekkamaki, tuna roll, and Kappamaki, cucumber rolls, and those are the recipes here.  Tekkamaki uses raw tuna which has a pretty red color against white rice. The name Tekka, hot iron, is said to come from this color.  You only need a little bit of fish for each roll, the price of this roll is very reasonable at restaurants.  Kappamaki is only cucumber and so is perfect for people who don’t eat raw fish.  There is something for everybody in sushi rolls!

Hosomaki filling can be something other than tuna and cucumber. Takuan (pickled radish) and cooked Kanpyo (cooked gourd) are popular.  People in Japan also like Nattomaki (fermented soybeans) which is a little hard to swallow, literally, for Kansai (western Japan) people since a lot of them don’t like Natto.  Believe it or not, tuna salad is a staple ingredient for rolls now too.

We didn’t specify the amount of ingredients so you can adjust how much rice and fillings can be in a roll for your taste.  However, if you use our Sushi Rice recipe and use 1/4 cup in each roll, you’ll probably get 7-8 rolls.  We recommend you have extra rice and fillings to experiment and have fun making them.

You may need a couple times to practice to roll (I did!), but you’ll get the hang of it.  (Watching the video really helps with this technique.)  Make varieties of rolls for dinner or better yet for parties, and your fiends and family will be very impressed!

Sushi Rolls (Tuna and Cucumber Rolls) Recipe



  1. Cut Roasted Seaweed in half (4 x 7 1/2" or 10 x 19cm). Cut tuna into 1/2" (1cm) thick pieces and 7 1/2" (19cm) long. Cut cucumber into the same size, cutting out seeds. (It's OK not to have one 7 1/2" long piece, just add pieces together to make the total length.)
  2. 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 long sides close to the front edge of the sushi mat (the edge near you). Spread about 1/4 cup sushi rice on the seaweed leaving a 1" (2.5cm) space along the far edge of the seaweed. Place tuna or a cucumber strip on the middle of rice. Holding the filling down, roll from the front end of the mat guiding with the sushi mat toward the other end. Tighten the rolls like roll cakes, pulling the mat to tighten. Remove the roll from the mat.
  3. Cut a roll into 8 pieces. Serve with soy sauce and Wasabi.

Sushi Rolls (Tuna and Cucumber Rolls) Recipe

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  • Dries
    December 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm


    Love the recipe. Love the sushi. Again a great video.

    One question, can you make sushi rolls in advance and how long maximum?


    • Noriko
      January 7, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      glad you liked the recipe! If you use sashimi Tuna, not too long. You can make them a couple hours ahead, but sushi rice gets hard if you leave it in the fridge too long.

  • Jess
    January 18, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Could I make this in the morning for lunch at school or not?

    • Noriko
      February 1, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      I would not with raw fish. You can do it with vegetables and cooked meat.

  • Erin
    April 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I love your videos and i love japanese food (Sushi the most) but how can you tell if you can eat the fish raw and i know you have to cook shrimp, what other kinds of seafood do you have to cook when you make sushi or rolls?

    • Noriko
      September 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      if it’s said “Sashimi grade” you can eat it in raw. I don’t see that often other than fish in Japanese market unfortunately.

  • Ali
    June 2, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I tried making some sushi but the nori seaweed has a very powerful fish taste which I did not like. Is there anyway to get rid or mask the seaweeds fishy taste?

    • Noriko
      June 2, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      If you don’t like Nori, you can try our Barazushi recipe which doesn’t need to use it.

  • Lanka
    August 5, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Love these things, especially on hot summer days when I don’t feel like making hot meal. Instead I’ll make a plate, keep it in cold and go have a snack when hungry. :p

    Since I like my food salty I make mine with salted or cold smoked salmon. They are a lot easier to find here than raw tuna (think I’ve seen that about twice in supermarkets.) Another pro for them is that they stay edible in fridge for week or more so you aren’t in hurry to use them before they go bad.

    I don’t know if adding green onion sprouts or chive with the fish still counts as “thin”, but they go together very well. :p

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 11:03 am

      you’re making interesting and creative sushi rolls. Rolls with smoked salmon and cream cheese are called “Philadelphia rolls” in the US. They are not very Japanese, but they are popular nonetheless.