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Recipe: Kappamaki Sushi

Little pieces of heaven, perfect for any occassion!

Sushi came about by way of preserving fish and has, over time, developed into many styles.  Here we present an easy step-by-step guide to making these tasty bite-size sushi rolls,  demonstrated by Japan Fooding Ltd as part of their sushi challenge sessions.  You will need…

Utensils and Equipment

  • Bamboo rolling mat
  • Sharp knife
  • Cloth
  • Wooden or plastic paddle
  • Water bowl



  • 3 cups of water
  • 90ml Japanese rice
  • Vinegar
  • Cucumber
  • 2 nori sheets



Step One

Using a sieve, rinse rice under cold water until water runs clear.  Tip rice into a suitable bowl and soak for 30 – 60 minutes. Drain rice and return to bowl.  Add 3-cups of water and cover with cling film.  Place in a microwave and cook for 15 seconds.

Step Two

Remove from microwave and dispose of film lid.  Transfer rice into a large mixing bowl and cool to room temperature with a fan.

Step Three

Whilst the rice is cooling, pour over the vinegar.  When rice has cooled, mix in the vinegar using a cut and fold action for about 2 minutes.  Be careful not to mash the rice.

Step Four

Place half a nori sheet (smooth side facing up) onto a bamboo mat which is rolled out over a chopping board.  Take a handful of rice and, using the tips of your fingers, spread evenly out leaving a 12mm lip on the edge of the nori sheet furthest from you.

Step Five

Place a strip of cucumber that has been cut to the width of the nori sheet across the rice.Lift the end of the bamboo mat nearest to you and roll once.  Bring it back slightly and roll again.  Roll it a third time and shape with the bamboo mat using the tips of your fingers starting from the centre working outwards.  Once done, remove the mat and place the sushi roll on to the chopping board.

Step Six

Take a sharp knife and, very carefully, wet the blade.  Using a sawing motion, cut the roll in half.  Place the two-halves together and, collectively, cut them into three pieces making a total of six pieces; wiping the blade of the knife with a wet cloth before every cut.

Step Seven

Present the bite-size rolls on a small tray or Japanese style plate alongside a dish of soya sauce, dab of wasabi.   Kappamaki are great for any party or as a snack.  They are best enjoyed when eaten immediately after being made while the rice is still slightly warm.



Kappamaki sushi derives its name from a Japanese mythological legend called Kappa which lives in water and eats only cucumbers.  It is cheeky and often very mischievous causing havoc with village folk.  However, it is also believed that the Kappa has the ability to bring rain to the farms.  Villagers are known to offer the kappa cucumber in exchange for their children to be able to swim safely and freely in the rivers.  It’s difficult to define exactly what a kappa looks like.  According to some descriptions its appearance is a cross between a monkey and a frog or a turtle-like creature, but depictions vary.  So next time you decide to take a paddle, make sure you’ve a good supply of cucumber.

For more details on Kappa, click here.


Japan Fooding Ltd

A sushi challenge session.

Japan Fooding Ltd’s sushi challenges are open to members of the public, and far from being a competition, are simply sushi lessons, which take place under the watchful eye of sensei Masami Suenaga, who trained at the Tokyo Sushi Academy.  Sensei Suenaga meticulously demonstrates the sushi-making method for attendees, emphasising the importance of good quality ingredients, particularly the Japanese short grain rice, which is the key ingredient in sushi.  Once the demonstration is over, it is time for the chosen few to make their own sushi – and eat it after, of course!  The atmosphere is relaxed and enjoyable, and the challenge is free and lasts for about two hours.  Try it – its a lot of fun!

For information on the next sushi challenge and other up-and-coming events organised by Japan Fooding Ltd, which include Japanese tea and sake tasting, write to info@japanfooding.com

First published in NEO magazine issue 65

Categories: Food & Drink

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