What is Futomaki and How Do You Make It?

Futomaki (Thick Japanese Sushi Roll). Junghee Choi/E+/Getty Images
    110 min
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Futomaki is a type of Japanese sushi that is rolled into a thick long cylinder. A literal translation of futomaki is "fat rolled sushi". It is rice and fillings wrapped in dried roasted seaweed (nori), and then sliced into smaller bite sized pieces. Futomaki is typically filled with a variety of vegetables; however, it might also include sweet dried fish known as sakura denbu, as well as a sweet, rolled egg omelette called tamagoyaki.

While the most standard futomaki fillings include cooked spinach, cucumber, egg omelette (tamagoyaki), and kanpyo (cooked and seasoned dried daikon), the fillings are limited only by the creativity of the sushi chef. What is important to keep in mind, is that the flavor combinations of the fillings should be harmonious, and when the futomaki is sliced, the fillings should appear colorful and beautiful. This might seem difficult to achieve, but follow the recipe below to see how easily futomaki can be made.

Special Equipment: Bamboo Sushi Mat

Article Edited by Judy Ung

What You'll Need

  • Make Kanpyo (Cooked Dried Daikon Radish):
  • Water for soaking
  • 1 ounce dried kanpyo (daikon radish)
  • 2/3 cup dashi soup stock
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons mirin
  • Make Tamagoyaki (Egg Omelette):
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Canola oil
  • Prepare Remaining Futomaki Ingredients:
  • 1 small cucumber, trimmed and cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 6 cups prepared sushi rice
  • 4 sheets of nori (dried seaweed)

How to Make It

  1. This recipe assumes that steamed short-grain white rice is prepared and seasoned with sushi vinegar. 
  2. Make kanpyo.
  3. In a small bowl, wash kanpyo (dried daikon radish), rinse, drain, and then soak in fresh water for about one hour until its soft and pliable.
  4. Squeeze excess water from kanpyo. Cut softened kanpyo into about 8-inch-long pieces.
  5. In a medium pot, combine dashi soup stock, soy sauce, sugar, and mirin. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Add kanpyo and simmer on low heat until the liquid is almost gone. Let it cool.
  6. Next, prepare tamagoyaki (or egg roulade).
  7. Beat eggs and sugar in a small bowl. In a small pan heat canola oil, making sure to coat the pan. Add the egg mixture to create a thin layer, then slowly roll, or fold the egg omelette to make a thick rolled omelet. Remove from pan and allow it to cool. Cut it into long sticks.
  8. Next, make the futomaki sushi rolls.
  9. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the bamboo mat. This makes cleanup easier.
  10. Then place a large sheet of dried roasted seaweed (nori) over the plastic wrap on the bamboo mat.
  11. Spread a quarter portion of sushi rice on top of the dried seaweed sheet, evenly.
  12. Place kanpyo, omelet and cucumber sticks horizontally on the rice in the center. Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing forward to shape the sushi into a cylinder. Press the bamboo mat firmly and remove it from the sushi. Set aside.
  13. Repeat, and make three more futomaki rolls.
  14. Wipe a knife with a wet cloth before slicing the futomaki. Cut the rolled futomaki sushi into bite-size pieces.