Sushi Vs Roll (Difference & Similarities)

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Sushi Vs Roll



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We both know how vast and perplexing the sushi world can be. Even if you are a bonafide sushi itamae, there is still a whole lot of sushi you haven’t tried yet or even come across. Questions upon questions are starting to get choked up. 

But one of the frequently asked questions that hasn’t yet gotten much rundown is the comparison between “sushi vs roll.” And that is what we’re going to address solely on this page. 

Traditional Japanese sushi pays more attention to the fish; it is simpler and less dressed up. However, its American counterpart concentrates more on rolls and toppings. 

Today, we are going to know the fate of both. 

So grab your chopsticks bamboo mat, wash your hands and let’s get started! 

What Is The Difference Between Sushi Vs Roll?

Pardon, let’s make this question clearer. 

“Sushi vs roll” is more or less the difference between a Sushi Roll and a hand Roll.

Let me break it down even more: 

Sushi Rolls is also known as maki. I’m saying this because most people may not understand what sushi roll is all about, but they might have come across the word maki or Makizushi. 

Well, it is like the general name for all sushi rolls. 

Hand Rolls, on the other hand, are commonly known as Temaki. 

While both have a fierce number of supporters, you will know which side you are on at the end of this article. 

What Are Sushi Rolls (Maki)?

To briefly put: 

Sushi Roll combines vinegar-flavored sushi rice packed with other ingredients like raw fish, seafood, sauces, and vegetables. Then it is wrapped and rolled using nori seaweed

It looks like an open-end burrito, only 6-8 equal-sized pieces. 

What Is Hand Rolls (Temaki)? 

This is like the taco version of sushi rolls — if you know what I’m talking about. 

They are a single large, cone-shaped piece of nori that contains a handful of ingredients such as seafood, raw fish, vegetables, and rice. It looks so cramped inside that ingredients pop out on the open end.

Sushi Roll Vs Hand Roll: Key Differences

Shape And Packaging

Sushi and roll are almost identical on the inside but distinguishable on the outside even at first glance. 

You just have to know what to look for. 

For instance, the hand rolls aren’t cut into smaller pieces like the sushi rolls with open ends. They are cone-shaped. The roll always starts at a 45-degree angle, with the ingredients at the bottom until it comes out at the top. 

Think of it like an ice cream cone. And since they aren’t cut, you can enjoy them casually with your hands and not with the annoying chopsticks. 

On the other hand, Makizushi is rolled into a tubular shape with nori and served with a bamboo mat. Furthermore, it is sliced into six or eight small pieces and traditionally eaten with chopsticks. 


Both sushi might come in many variations, but temaki shapes are always consistent — cone-shaped. 

However, sushi rolls could be quite confusing as you could have variants of tubular and cylindrical-shaped maki rolls. The cylindrical sushi rolls are mostly futomaki, hosomaki, or uramaki. 


That’s all you need to know for now about the sushi vs roll differences. 

Feels like there is so much to take in? 

If you’re new to the sushi world, hoping to learn a bit more, reading about the most popular types of sushi roll will do you some good. 

You will go into detail on all the top picks on every sushi menu. At least you can build up from there. The sushi trend is always on the roll these days. And trust me; you don’t want to be left behind.

The more acquainted you are with different sushi, the more confident you’ll often visit any Japanese restaurant.

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