Maki vs. Temaki (Differences, Techniques, and Other Types of Sushi)

Maki vs. Temaki is a puzzle since both can be pretty delicious!

Here are our views on this debate.


What Is a Maki Roll?

Rolled sushi is referred to as maki, norimaki, or makizushi.

Maki rolls come in various sizes and shapes and may be hand-rolled or formed in a makisu, a special bamboo mat. They usually include toasted nori seaweed used to wrap toppings and sushi rice.

Makizushi is often served with soy sauce to dip in and gari, pickled ginger, to clear the palate.

It may be served as an appetizer, a main meal, or a component of the bento box. Maki rolls are often divided into smaller pieces to be had in one bit to get a whole punch of flavor.


What is a Temaki?

Temaki, or hand roll sushi, consists of sashimi (raw fish), vinegared rice, vegetables, or other contents encased in cone-shaped nori (seaweed).

In Japan, cooked seafood is often used for temaki, including shrimp tempura (deep-fried shrimp prepared in the Japanese way), smoked salmon, and even Tamago, a delicious omelet served in several sushi restaurants.


Temaki Vs. Maki

The standard sushi roll you have at local restaurants is called maki and is a cylindrical roll divided into 6 to 8 sections.

Temaki is a single-person cone prepared from the same components as maki. A temaki is substantially more extensive and difficult to distribute than a maki.

Both contain nori sheets; however, the temaki must be eaten immediately after rolling since it absorbs moisture far more quickly. In contrast to temaki rolls, you cannot let it sit.

When making a maki roll, additional skills are required, like how to arrange the ingredients, how tightly to roll, and how to create a neat cut.

Temaki is significantly more user-friendly for beginners and is even a delightful snack for kids.

In essence, both are well-known Japanese sushi varieties with similar tastes. You can fill a maki roll with the same ingredients as a temaki, but more carefully.

Let’s now go into further depth about those distinctions.


1. Preparing the Dishes

The first approach to distinguishing between temaki and maki is looking at their shapes. Maki resembles a tasty Swiss roll and is a cylinder that is finally divided into 6 to 8 pieces.

Temaki requires a distinct rice spreading method and employs a different method.

Finally, you roll the cone after spreading it on one side and adding any desired toppings. When finished, it will resemble a flat cone of ice cream, with the top portion highlighting the contents.

Considering that the exact meaning of the term in Japanese is “hand roll,” temaki could also be referred to as such.

Makizushi, which is rolled sushi, is another name for maki rolls that you could come across. Although not all restaurants have pictures of the dishes on the menu, it is still vital to be familiar with these secondary titles.


2. Maki is More Common

If you’re unsure what to get first, remember that the maki roll is the standard sushi roll you encounter anywhere.

It consists of fish, vinegared rice, and maybe a thin layer of vegetables wrapped in an extremely thin nori sheet.

The sushi roll is common in media, including cartoons, movies, and video games. It is frequently shown adjacent to nigiri, which you will learn more about below.

Temaki hasn’t appeared in as many films, video games, or animated series. It is perhaps less flashy than the maki roll, and not many people are familiar with temaki (unless they are Japanese or huge sushi fans).


3. Temaki is Kid-Friendly

Temaki’s tolerance and friendliness with novices are extremely amazing qualities.

It’s considerably simpler to create yourself than a maki roll. You do want some dexterity and attention to detail, but not nearly as much as you would need for maki rolls.

This implies that you may let the youngsters enjoy making sushi alone.

They may easily manufacture their temaki provided they are guided a little and can access all the components.

You may split a nori sheet in half to create two temaki sheets since this roll utilizes a narrower nori sheet. Rice should be added on top of the nori, distributed evenly, and one side should be left vacant.

Add your preferred toppings or fillings to the center of the rice.

Then, beginning from the side of the rice, start to roll the temaki. To bind the cone, the portion of the nori that is plain should be wrapped last.

If it turns out a bit crooked, don’t fret. It should be good to go as long as one end is pointed and sealed to prevent the rice from spilling.

However, this is inadequate for maki rolls. To avoid overfilling, you must determine the appropriate quantity of toppings and rice.

It is considerably more challenging to roll uniformly and cut through when there is a lot within the roll.


4. Serving

Temaki is designed for a single individual, so keep that in mind if it matters or affects your choice.

It’s considerably more difficult to distribute without spilling it due to how it’s rolled in. If you wish to share the temaki, each individual must take a mouthful, which may be unpleasant to some people.

On the other hand, the maki roll is considerably simpler to share because it is usually divided into 6 to 8 pieces. For everyone to sample each style of maki more than once, you may often order two to three different maki types.

For temaki and maki, whatsoever fillings you choose may be used. Some may add cream cheese, avocado, tabasco, vegetables, fruits, and anything else they want.

There isn’t a particular topping or filling that goes well with temaki or maki.

The most typical ones include nori, rice, and a certain kind of fish (either salmon or tuna). The easiest but perhaps finest option available can be used.

As a result, you can design your roll or choose one from the restaurant’s several varieties. For instance, the California roll, which consists of crab, cucumber, and avocado, is often made inside-out but may also be made as a standard maki roll.

Alternatively, you may discover vegan choices like the kappa maki, which consists of cucumbers and rice, or even the avocado maki.

There are other alternatives, and every restaurant will provide a unique menu of sushi toppings. You may pick the ingredients for some and have them made to order.

Most of the time, you can get whatever kind of sushi filling you want for temaki too.

Wasabi is often present in nigiri, but it’s not in maki or temaki, in case you are wondering about a sneaky dollop.

It might be challenging to dip a piece of temaki in specific bowls. If you decide to go that path, be sure you want soy sauce.

Dipping maki is significantly more straightforward.


Other Sushi Varieties

Understanding the distinctions between temaki vs. maki without at least mentioning certain other sushi varieties is pointless.

There are undoubtedly hundreds of distinct varieties of sushi, so this is by no means an exhaustive list.

To better understand different sushi that one might find on a restaurant menu, we have put this list together.

Knowing the titles of the sushi by memory will always be helpful since many menus won’t include photographs of the sushi next to it.


Hosomaki and Futomaki

Hosomaki may be compared to a thinner variant of the maki roll with a single filling. Hosomaki is salmon or cucumber maki since it only has one filling and rice.

On the other side, Futomaki is the complete opposite. This may contain three or more fillings, similar to a more extensive form of hosomaki.

Rice, cucumber, salmon, and roe are common fillings for Futomaki.



Consider uramaki as an inside-out maki roll. It has around two fillings encased in nori before being covered with sushi rice.

Roe, sesame seeds, or anything else crunchy is sprinkled over this rice. No matter the topping, it is a barrier to keep the rice from sticking to surfaces or sticking together.



This is just fish—typically raw—cut into very thin strips and spread like a blanket over rice. You often also receive some wasabi with something like this.

Nigiri, made of tofu or vegetables, is an additional option. When choosing components that won’t adhere well to the rice, such as veggies, a strip of nori will be used to hold everything together.

Nigiri may be larger, even though it’s normally bite-sized. In contrast to maki, you will always receive only one topping, the fish.



Close to maki, but much more artistic and striking.

Roe is often used as a garnish, and ingredients are arranged to make lovely designs.

To make sushi, rice will be put gently around the rice, creating a half-inch area that will later be filled with delicious ingredients.



Many people don’t consider this to be authentic sushi since they think that sushi is just food that is covered in vinegared rice.

Sashimi is slices of meat—typically raw—served with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi but no rice.

The fundamental objective of this style of meal, which is often regarded as a specialty and an art form, is to be astounded by the taste of the meats.

Not everybody will be able to recognize the mildness and excellence since flavors are subtle. Stay away from this entirely if you’re inexperienced in sushi.

Simply put, you’ll be shelling out a lot of cash for a dish you won’t be capable of thoroughly enjoying.

Now you know the difference between maki and temaki. So, go ahead and enjoy both dishes to the fullest.

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