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Ehomaki (Lucky Direction Sushi Rolls)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x


How to make Japanese "Ehomaki" sushi rolls to enjoy on Setsubun (February 3rd). 


  • 300g Japanese short grain white rice (sushi rice)
  • 400ml cold water
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 sheets nori
  • 1 block of tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelette - see my recipe)
  • 2 Japanese cucumbers
  • 12-18 shiso (perilla) leaves
  • 6 crab sticks
  • block of sushi grade salmon (or tuna)
  • ikura (salmon roe)
  • takuan (yellow pickled daikon)


Washing the rice

  1. First, measure out 300g of rice. You can use kitchen scales to measure, or use 2 rice cooker cups.
  2. Next, pour the rice into a sieve and put the sieve into a large bowl. Pour cold water on to the rice and wash. When the water becomes cloudy, drain it out and repeat this step 2 more times (3 times in total).Wash Japanese Rice
  3. Transfer your rice to a rice cooker or a pot with a lid and add 400ml of cold water.
  4. Leave it to soak for 30 minutes. (If it's winter, extend soaking time to 1 hour.)
  5. Once the soaking time is up, start your rice cooker or follow the steps below to cook rice on the stove.

How to cook sushi rice on a stove

  1. Put your pot on the stove on a medium heat and bring it to the boil.
    Boil Japanese rice
  2. Don't remove the lid, listen for the boiling water. Once you can hear it boiling set a timer for 2 minutes.
  3. After 2 minutes are up, reduce the heat to medium-low and set a timer for 3 minutes.
    How to cook Japanese rice
  4. After 3 minutes are up, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 5 minutes.
    simmer Japanese rice
  5. Turn up the heat to max for 10 seconds and then turn off the heat completely, leave the rice to steam for 10 minutes. Don't be tempted to take off the lid or mix it.
    How to steam Japanese rice
  6. After the 10 minutes are up, the rice is cooked and can be transferred to a large mixing bowl. Wet bowl slightly before putting the rice in, this will help stop it from sticking too much. Spread the rice in a thin layer. The thinner the layer, the quicker it will cool down, so it helps to use a large bowl and spread the rice up the edges. (Be careful not to crush the rice.)


  1. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp rice vinegar, ½ tbsp sugar and 1 tsp salt until the salt and sugar is dissolved.
  2. Once the rice is slightly cooled (still warm), pour the vinegar mixture over the rice.
  3. Using a rice paddle (or spoon) mix the rice until the vinegar is evenly distributed throughout.


  1. Cut the salmon block, tamagoyaki and takuan into long strips. If the block is approx 10cm long, you will need 12 strips of each.
  2. Cut each crab stick in half lengthways.
  3. Take a chopping board and sprinkle 1/2 tbsp salt. Roll the cucumber in the salt, rinse with cold water and dry with a paper towel.
  4. Cut the ends of the cucumber, scoop out the seeds and cut each cucumber lengthways into 12 strips. (See my kappa maki post for more details on how to cut Japanese cucumber for sushi.)
  5. Place the nori on a bamboo rolling mat with the rough side facing up. Spread 1/6 of your sushi rice (approx 50-60g) evenly over the surface. (You can use wettened hands to prevent it sticking, or use a rice paddle.) Make sure to leave a 1-2cm gap along the top edge (furthest away from you) so that you can seal the sushi roll.
  6. Add a small blob of wasabi and use your finger to spread it lengthways through the middle of the rice.
  7. Place 2-3 perilla leaves (shiso) through the middle.
  8. Lay the rest of your cut ingredients over the perilla leaves and sprinkle 1/2 tsp of ikura.
  9. Carefully lift the edge of the bamboo mat closest to you and fold it over the top of the fillings.
  10. Continue to roll until the far edge comes into contact and seals your sushi roll. 
  11. Repeat steps 5-10 until you have 6 ehomaki in total.
  12. Face the lucky direction and enjoy! 


You can use different ingredient depending on your preference. See post above for more ideas.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Soaking Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Sushi
  • Method: Rolling
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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