Maki VS Temaki 4 Differences & How To Tell Them Apart
Are you starting to fall in love with sushi as a food? If yes then you’re probably racking your brain trying to remember all the different kinds of sushi. And have you met the maki and temaki rolls? Yes? And you’re wondering exactly why and how they’re different since they’re both just rolls?
Well, that’s a great point you have right there. We’ll explore it right now because temaki is just as common and popular as make. This means you’ll find it on pretty much every sushi menu that serves at least decent food. Let’s talk.
Maki vs temaki
Maki is the typical sushi roll you see in restaurants, a cylinder cut into 6 or 8 pieces. Temaki is a cone made of the same ingredients as maki but meant for a single person. Where you can share a maki, a temaki is hard to share and is much larger.
Both use nori sheets but the temaki absorbs moisture much faster, so it has to be eaten right after rolling. It cannot sit, unlike a set of temaki rolls.
There is also more skill involved when rolling a maki roll: how to layer everything, how tight to roll, and getting a clean cut. A temaki is much more beginner friendly, and can even be a child’s fun snack.
In short, both are popular Japanese sushi types and they provide mostly the same flavors. You can stuff a maki roll with whatever you put into a temaki, just with more care. Now let’s explain those differences in a little more detail.
1. Temaki is cone-shaped, maki is a cut-up the cylindrical roll
The first way to tell the difference between maki and temaki is their shape. Maki is a cylindrical roll that is eventually cut into 6 or 8 pieces, and it looks like a savory Swiss roll.
Temaki uses a different technique and needs the rice to be spread differently. You spread it on one side, add whatever toppings you want, then roll the cone. It will end up looking like a flat ice cream cone, and the top part is meant to showcase the fillings.
You may also see temaki called hand roll because that’s the literal translation of the word from Japanese. You may also find maki rolls listed as makizushi, which means rolled sushi. Still, it’s important to know these secondary names since not every restaurant provides photos of the food on the menu.
2. Maki is the typical sushi roll you see everywhere
If you’re unsure which you want to start with, know that the maki roll is the typical sushi roll you see everywhere. It’s made up of vinegared rice, fish, and possibly a thin vegetable strip, all rolled with very thin nori (dried seaweed sheet).
It’s the sushi roll you see everywhere, in movies and cartoons and even in some games. It’s often pictured right next to nigiri, which is the thin strip of fish on top of an oval rice ball.
We haven’t seen temaki in so many movies or games or cartoons. Probably because it’s less showy than a maki roll, and to be honest not so many people know about temaki (unless they’re Japanese or really into sushi).
3. Temaki is kid-friendly, easy to make
A great point about temaki is how forgiving it is, and it’s very friendly towards kids and beginners. You can make it at home much easier than you could a maki roll. You do need an eye for detail and a bit of dexterity, but nowhere near as much as for maki rolls.
This means you can let the kids have some fun and make their food with this sushi style. As long as they’re supervised, and they have all the ingredients at their disposal, they can easily make their temaki.
This role uses a smaller nori sheet, so you can cut one in half and get two temaki sheets. Place the nori on the plate or table, add some rice on top, and spread it out evenly but leave one side empty. In the middle of the rice add whatever fillings or toppings you like. Then start rolling the temaki from the rice side. The part with just plain nori should be rolled last, to seal the cone.
Don’t worry if it comes out a little wonky. As long as the bottom is sharp and closed off so the rice doesn’t fall out, it’s alright.
This doesn’t cut it for maki rolls though. You need to judge the right amount of rice and toppings so you don’t overfill it. If there’s soo much inside the roll it’s much harder to roll evenly and cut through.
4. Maki may be shared, temaki is for a single person
If this matters or influences your decision, know that temaki is meant for a single person. Because of the way, it’s rolled it’s much harder to share without spilling it everywhere. Each person has to take a bite of the temaki if you want to share it, and for some, this may be off-putting.
Meanwhile, the maki roll is much easier to share since it’s always cut into 6 or 8 pieces. And most often you can order 2-3 maki styles so that everyone can taste each type more than once.
You can use whatever fillings you like for maki and temaki
If you’re wondering if there’s a specific style of stuffing or topping for maki or temaki, there isn’t one. The most common ones are with a type of fish (either tuna or salmon), rice, and nori. The simplest but probably the best out there.
That being said you can make your roll or order from the menu in different styles. For example, the California roll – crab, cucumber, avocado – is rolled inside-out, but you can turn it into a regular maki roll. Or, you can find completely vegan options such as the kappa maki – just cucumber and rice – or the avocado maki.
There are more options than these, and each restaurant will have its selection of sushi fillings to choose from. Some will let you choose the ingredients and make the order.
This is also available for temaki. Usually, you can find whatever kind of sushi filling you like. If you’re wondering about that sneaky dab of wasabi, it’s usually found in nigiri but not in temaki or make.
Dipping temaki in a bit of sushi can be…difficult. Make sure you want soy sauce if you wanna go that route. Maki is much easier to dip.
A short rundown of the other sushi types
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the sushi types ever made. But it’s a list of the most common sushi types you’re bound to find on a menu. Some menus don’t offer explanations or pictures for those who are beginners in sushi, so we’re going to help you out.
If you are in that phase of your life where you are exploring different cuisines and the Japanese cuisine enchanted your taste buds, then I believe you must have fallen in love with the charm of sushi. And are you trying to discover more and more about sushi? Yes, and also did the concept of Maki and Temaki baffled your brain? Then you are just at the perfect place.
If you have visited a cafe popular for its Japanese food, you must have picked up the menu and wondered which one would be better? maki or temaki? I will tell you.
What are maki and temaki and what is their prime difference?
Maki is the classic sushi omnipresent in cafes and restaurants. Structurally, it appears as a cylinder cut into either 6 or 8 pieces. There are several types of Maki, including Hosomaki and Futomaki.
Temaki is a sushi hand roll- a single large cone-shaped piece on the outside can be stuffed with varieties of ingredients and becomes complicated to eat with a chopstick.
Maki and Temaki both are covered with nori sheets, an edible seaweed used in Japanese cuisine but Temaki has the tendency to soak up and moisturize. Hence, you need to grab your temaki roll and eat it as soon as your order arrives.
Also, to prepare a maki roll, you need to be a virtuoso chef with a good culinary experience. If you manage to cook a perfect maki roll on your first go, it would be magical. However, temaki is perfect for beginners to make because temaki does not require a complex process.
Maki and Temaki, however, are equally popular Japanese dishes with almost equal flavouring, taste and ingredients. Some might say these dishes have no variation. So how do you actually differ between the two dishes more extensively? Here are some ways which can help you get your pick.
The difference in appearance between Temaki and Maki
The first and foremost way the foodie realizes that the two dishes are different is through their shape and size. Maki is cylindrical, cut into 6 or 8 small pieces, and each piece is finely cut. Maki is usually a one-bite food, which can be served as an appetizer, much like hors d’oeuvres.
Temaki, however, needs the rice to be spread differently unlike that of a maki roll. Usually, the rice is rolled on the layer of Temaki to make it look like an ice cream cone, long and conical. Temaki is eaten in a way you would eat a subway. It cannot be cut into smaller pieces, if you do, it won’t be called a temaki then.
Maki is ubiquitous, temaki is not
Usually, when you go to an eatery, the first sushi roll to show up on the menu will be Maki. Usually, maki is served as an appetizer. If you watch a lot of movies and tv shows, you may have noticed maki rolls decorated in a platter and it is served by waiters. Perhaps it is because maki is fancier sushi.
After all, the appearance and charisma reflected by the dish have become a principal factor in the culinary industry.
Temaki, however, is uncommon and you would not see many people ordering a temaki. You would not happen to know about temaki if you are not into Japanese cuisine. Although, that does not make it any less tasty than maki rolls.
If you are an amateur cook, try making temaki
If you want to dazzle your friends and family by cooking a dish belonging to foreign cuisine, temaki should be on the top of your bucket list. An admirable fact about temaki is that it is beginner-friendly. Temaki is much easier to make when compared to making maki rolls. Temaki rolls just require some deft hands and caution.
If your kid says he wants to experience what cooking is like, make him your little chef by letting him make temaki rolls. Temaki rolls are kid-friendly, as long as they are supervised. It is really difficult to make a mess out of temaki rolls.
The fun part is, temaki rolls can be customised in any way possible and innovate new sushi styles. They use a thinner nori sheet and do not need a precise cut as maki rolls do and it can be cut in half so as to obtain 2 temaki rolls. To add some flavour to your roll, you can also add rice to enhance flavour.
If your roll appears a little crooked, do not fret. Until the bottom is sealed sharply and there is no sign of rice does falling out, you are all good to go.
However, maki rolls don’t treat cooks the same way. One wrong cut or overfilling brings you back to step one. In other words, not at all beginner-friendly. The right amount of everything and exact cut techniques should be known.
Maki can be shared, temaki is hard to share
Temaki is a long roll meant for a single person. Maki is cut into smaller pieces and is preferably shared. If you go on to split the temaki, the fillings may spill and make a mess. It is eaten like a subway. If you would not like the other person to bite on the same food you eat, which may also disgust some foodies. And, if you cute temaki, it would be no longer called temaki.
Maki roll is easier to share among people. People do not have to face problems like tearing the food into two parts. So, if you are extremely hungry and would not like to share food with your mate, you know exactly what to order!
All the primary sushis
I believe that I have shared every information about maki and temaki you need to know. Now let’s talk about all the other types of sushis that exist in Japanese cuisine. If you have not eaten sushi before and want to know your ideal sushi type, I can help you out.
Out of all sushi rolls, makizushi or California roll is known to be the most typical dish that can be found in nearly every restaurant that serves sushi. Maki is layered with rice and seaweed. As per the ingredients to stuff into a maki roll, it truly depends on the chef. Maki needs to be crafted and cut with detail and dexterity.
Some say if you haven’t tried a maki roll, you are missing out on Japan’s best sushi. So if you are throwing a birthday party or hang out with your friends, the makizushi shall do just the right job!
Uramaki comes under the traditional sushi rolls and is an “inside-out”‘ sushi. The stuffing is wrapped in nori sheets, surfaced entirely with sushi rice. There is a further add-on of roe, onions and many more taste-enhancing components.
Uramaki is called the “rebel roll” because it stands out of the rules to wrap up typical sushi.
Hosomaki is a thinner version of makizushi. It only needs to be filed with one ingredient and that’s it. Usually, the onion maki and cucumber maki are parts of hosomaki because they only have one filling.
Out of the bigger makis that you see with 3 or 4 fillings, there is a high chance that it must be a futomaki. So a roll that includes rice, salmon or tuna, roe and cucumber will make a futomaki.
A singular hand roll sushi meant for a singular person with as many stuffings as required. Layered with nori sheets, it mainly consists of vinegared rice, fish and cucumber. The prime distinction of Temaki is its structure, which is not like sushi.
Gunkanmaki is the fanciest of sushis to ever exist. It is more of a delight from its appearance than its taste. Relatively smaller, it is bite-sized and is made with high culinary expertise.
The sushi rice is surrounded by nori sheets, and it is constructed in a way to give it the finest look possible. Gunkanmaki uses roe as its most common topping.
Nigiri is a raw sushi cut into fine strips. If you are into anime, you would often see sushis like Nigiri being portrayed. The fish is laid as an envelope over a ball of rice and is one of the sushis which have a subtle spice. This happens due to a thin punch of wasabi between the layers.
You can devour a nigiri in a single bite because it usually contains one stuffing. But sometimes, the larger ones may require more bites, but there can only be one ingredient and that’s the rule when you prepare nigiri.
There have been numerous arguments going on about whether you can call sashimi sushi or not. Sashimi does not have rice as an ingredient and that is quite astonishing that the whole concept of sushi is based on rice.
However, if we consider sashimi as sushi, it may be one of the spiciest ones. Sashimi may seem simple and plain but is one of the most expensive sushi because of its high-quality meat and exceptional skill to cut the fish in the right combination.
I am positive that you will be impressed by the quality that charms out of regular sushi. The flavours are subtle and delicate and if you are able to catch up on its real taste, deem yourself an official Japanese cuisine admirer.
So that was pretty much all about maki and temaki. I am sure you must have gotten the right pick for yourself. Developing a taste in sushi is one of the finest experiences you will countenance. Moreover, now when there is an internet feud about which sushi tastes better, you will be all set!
Most people choose uramaki over any other sushi. But your taste buds may not say the same. Explore every sushi and come back with a good review.
Whether it is maki or temaki, I hope sushi bedazzles you too, like it has done many other foodies around.