Maki zushi   巻き寿司

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Rolls of maki zushi

A platter of maki zushi

Maki and nigiri sushi wrapped in nori

On a roll

Maki zushi are true symbols of Japanese cuisine in the West. In Japan, you will find these small rolls of rice wrapped in seaweed in the supermarket, as well as at great restaurants.

In its most basic form, maki zushi is a roll of rice and filling, delicately surrounded by nori seaweed. This type of sushi is one that many people will recognise in most of the Japanese restaurants in the West. Maki zushi - maki means "roll" - is indeed one of the most common forms of sushi, characterized above all by its round shape. To create it, one uses a makisu, a small bamboo mat on which is placed a sheet of dried seaweed (yaki nori), covered with vinegared rice , and lined with one or more ingredients (fish, vegetable, tofu... ). The cylinder created after rolling up the makisu is then sliced into small pieces before serving.

Read also: 10 Japanese cooking utensils

A tablet to order sushi

A tablet to order, and some uramaki zushi

Infinite variations

Fish, shellfish, raw vegetables... maki zushi can be filled with of a multitude of ingredients, the most common  types of maki being tekka maki, tuna-based, or kappa maki, with cucumber.

You can also find maki stuffed with shrimp, salmon, egg, avocado or natto.

Multiple types

Hosomaki zushi - the smallest rolls - contain only one or two ingredients, unlike the bigger futomaki zushi, which are usually stuffed with a variety of ingredients and wrapped with a whole sheet of seaweed.

More original, uramaki zushi is the "inverted" version of futomaki: the seaweed, instead of being placed outside the rice, is found inside, between the filling and the rice, with the outside often covered with sesame seeds instead.

Finally, the exception to the rule is temaki zushi (temaki means "hand rolled") - it's not round! It's more like a seaweed cone, again filled with vinegared rice, fish and raw vegetables. An informal kind of sushi, to put together yourself during the meal.

Like most sushi, maki zushi are usually enjoyed with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

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