Kappa Maki Ready in 30 Minutes

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Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

Kappa maki is a popular sushi choice! Plus, it is the easiest type of sushi to make. This easy dish requires only a few ingredients, making it a great recipe to help beginners learn how to roll their own sushi. Let’s begin!

What is “MAKIZUSHI?”

Makizushi (巻きずし) is the Japanese term for sushi rolls. “Maki” is the Japanese word for roll and “zushi” comes from the word “sushi.”

It is a combination of one or more fillings wrapped in rice flavored with vinegar, and then rolled in an edible dried seaweed paper called nori. Makizushi is typically rolled on a bamboo sushi mat.

Makazushi Types And Kappa Maki

There are different types of makizushi:

  • Hosomaki (細巻き): small thin sushi rolls with one filling
  • Chumaki (中巻き): medium-sized sushi rolls with 2 to 3 fillings
  • Futomaki (太巻き): thick sushi rolls with approximately 4 fillings
  • Uramaki (裏巻き): reversed makizushi, with fillings wrapped in nori and the rice on the outside.
  • Temaki (手巻き), A cone-shaped sushi that is rolled by hand, rather than using a bamboo mat

Because kappamaki has only one filling, it is considered hosomaki.

What Is Kappa Maki?

Kappamaki is a type of hosomaki or thin sushi roll. It is made with 3 main ingredients:

  • Sushi rice
  • Nori
  • Cucumber

This is a simple recipe that everyone can enjoy, even vegans. Besides that, it only requires one filling so it is a great sushi recipe to try for makizushi practice at home.

Once you have mastered kappamaki or any other hosomaki, you can then move on to more difficult sushi rolls with multiple fillings.

What is “KAPPA?”

One of the most common questions about this sushi roll is “what is kappa?”

Although it may sound strange, Kappa is actually a type of “yokai” or demon, from traditional Japanese folklore. It looks a bit like a cross between a turtle and a human, with a beak. And it is known to live in rivers or lakes.

The Kappa is well-known for its ability to lure people into the water and drown them. But, on a lighter note, it is also known for its love for cucumbers!

In Japan, there are festivals where cucumber offerings to Kappa are made. There also used to be a tradition in which people wrote the names of their relatives on cucumbers and sent them into the river to protect them from Kappa.

Kappa Monster would surely love kappamaki! Especially because the dish’s name is after him.

Cutting Cucumber For Kappa Maki

Cucumber is the main ingredient in this dish, but how can you make it look good for kappamaki purposes?

First, you may buy small Japanese or Persian cucumbers for kappamaki. For small cucumbers, slice them in half, and then cut them into quarters. Then remove the fleshy seed part.

Cucumbers in Japan are small and have a rough texture, a bit bumpy and rough. But rub the skin with salt, then wash it off before we cut to smooth out the skin.

If you are only able to buy large English cucumbers, start by  cutting them into halves. You can then cut each half in 3 to 4 lengthwise pieces to create 6 to 8 strips.

For a better texture and presentation in your kappamaki, make sure that every cucumber piece has skin.

What You Will Need For Making Kappa Maki At Home

Below is a list with the essential equipment and ingredients needed to make kappamaki.


A bamboo rolling mat is the best tool to make kappamaki.

Although a sushi mat doesn’t necessarily make your sushi better, having one will help you roll your kappamaki perfectly. It’s also very affordable so it’s an essential item if you’re looking to improve your sushi rolling skills.

You can also use cling wrap (saran wrap), on top of a tea towel if you don’t own one.


These are the essentials to making the best Kappamaki.

  • Sushi Rice
  • Cucumber
  • Salt (to scrub the cucumber’s skin)
  • Wasabi (optional).
  • Nori
  • Soy sauce to dip

That’s all! Simple right?

How To Make Kappamaki

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



  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 300g Cooked Japanese short grain rice (1 rice cup or 150g when uncooked)


  • ½ 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. Mix 1 tbsp of rice vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 tsp of salt in a small bowl until well combined.
  2. Combine the vinegar mixture and 300g of rice. Don’t worry, it’s fine if the rice is still warm.
  3. Next, add 1/2 tbsp salt to a cutting board and then roll the cucumber on top.
  4. Rub the salt to the cucumber skin, then rinse the cucumber with cold water.
  5. Cut off both ends, then remove the skin from the top and bottom. The skin at the ends can be thicker than others and may have a slightly bitter taste.
  6. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthways, then cut them into quarters. You will need to cut your cucumber into sixes or eights if it is large.
  7. To remove the seeds, run a knife across the area below them.
  8. Fold the nori sheets in half, then pinch the crease to tear them in half. If you’d rather, you can also use scissors. After, you will get 6 smaller nori sheets.
  9. Lay the nori on the bamboo rolling mat, with the rough side facing upward. Keep the bamboo horizontally in front of you.
  10. Use cold water to wet your hands. But keeping a bowl of cold water is always handy when necessary because this helps to prevent rice from sticking to your hands.
  11. Make a cylindrical shape with a handful of sushi rice (approx. 50g).
  12. The rice cylinder should be placed on one end of the nori and then gently spread to the other. If you like, you can spread it with a rice paddle.
  13. Make a wall with your hand at the end, then push the sushi rice up to the edge.
  14. Pull the rice down so that the bottom edge is covered, but leave a gap at its top. The top will wrap around the maki and hold it’s form.
  15. Spread a little bit of wasabi down the middle.
  16. To stop the cucumber slice from moving, place it over the wasabi and push it into the rice.
  17. Take the bottom edge of the bamboo mat nearest to you and roll it up so that the edges of the rice meet. Remember to make sure it is tight!
  18. To close the sushi, open the bamboo mat slightly and roll over the nori flap. The rice moisture will help the nori stick together, so you won’t need to wet it.
  19. After you are satisfied with your sushi roll, press the edges using the bamboo mat and shape it into a cube. Kappamaki is usually a cube, rather than a round.
  20. Continue this process until you have 6 rolls. Finally, wet a knife with a damp cloth and use it to cut the sushi rolls. Each sushi roll can be cut into 4 to 6 pieces, depending on your size preference.
  21. You can enjoy homemade kappamaki with soy sauce for dipping.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Category: Rice
Method: Rolling
Cuisine: Japanese



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