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Kappa Maki (Cucumber Sushi Rolls)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 pieces 1x


How to make simple and tasty "Kappa Maki" (かっぱ巻き) the perfect sushi roll for beginners! (Makes 6 rolls cut into 24-36 pieces)



Sushi Rice

Kappa Maki

  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 small Japanese cucumbers (or 1 medium cucumber)
  • 2 tbsp wasabi (optional)
  • 3 sheets of nori
  • A bowl of cold water
  • Soy sauce for dipping


  1. In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1/4 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt until dissolved.
  2. Mix the vinegar mixture with 300g of cooked rice. (It's okay if it's still warm.)
  3. Next, sprinkle 1/2 tbsp of salt onto a chopping board and roll the cucumber over it.
         cucumber covered in salt
  4. Rub the salt over the skin and then rinse the cucumber under cold water.
    rolling cucumber in salt
  5. Cut off both ends, and peel the skin off of the top and bottom. (The skin at the ends is often thicker and can have a slightly bitter taste.)
    cucumber with ends peeled
  6. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthways, then again into quarters. If your cucumber is large, you'll need to cut it into sixths or eighths. 
    Small cucumber cut into quarters lengthways
  7. Run a knife along the area just below the seeds to remove them. 
    Seeds removed from cucumber
  8. Fold your nori sheets in half and pinch along the crease so that you tear them in half. (You can use scissors if you prefer.) This will give you 6 smaller nori sheets.
  9. Place the nori onto the bamboo rolling mat with the rough side facing up. Make sure the bamboo is laying horizontally in front of you.
    laying out the nori onto the bamboo mat
  10. Wet your hands with cold water. Keep a bowl of cold water nearby to use when necessary. (This helps stop rice sticking to your hands.)
    wetting hands with cold water
  11. Take a handful of sushi rice (approx 50g) and shape it into a cylindrical shape.
    making a rice cylinder to put onto the nori
  12. Place the rice cylinder onto one end of the nori, and gently spread it to the other end. (You can use a rice paddle to spread it if you prefer.)
    spreading sushi rice on nori
  13. Use your hand to make a wall at the end of the nori, and push the sushi rice right up to the edge.
    spreading sushi rice on nori
  14. Now pull the rice down so the bottom edge is covered with rice, but leave a gap at the top. The top part will wrap around and help the maki hold it's shape.
  15. Add a small blob of wasabi and spread it down the middle.
    wasabi on kappa maki
  16. Place the slice of cucumber over the wasabi and push it into the rice to prevent it from moving.
    placing cucumber on sushi rice, making kappa maki
  17. Lift the edge of the bamboo mat closest to you (the bottom edge) and carefully roll it over so that the two edges of the rice meet. (Make sure it's tight!)
    rolling kappa maki using a bamboo rolling mat
  18. Open the bamboo mat slightly and roll over the flap of nori to close the sushi. You don't need to wet it down, the moisture from the rice will help the nori stick together.
    folding over the flap of nori using a bamboo rolling mat
  19.  Once you have your completed sushi roll, use the bamboo mat to press the edges and make it into a cube shape. (Kappa maki is typically a cube rather than round.)
    rolling kappa maki into a cube shape
  20. Repeat until you have 6 rolls and wet a sharp knife with a damp cloth. Cut each sushi roll into 4, 5 or 6 pieces depending on size preference. 
    cutting kappa maki on a wooden chopping board
  21. Enjoy your homemade kappamaki with soy sauce for dipping! 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Rice
  • Method: Rolling
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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