WHAT IS KAPPA MAKI?
Kappa maki is a simple sushi roll (maki) made with cucumber encased in sushi rice and dried seaweed. It is one of a handful of sushi recipes that is entirely vegetarian. And although a kappa roll is simple to make – with a super short list of ingredients – it has the perfect balance of flavors and textures.
We prefer to use either small Japanese cucumbers or English cucumbers when making kappa maki. Both types of cucumber have thin skin, the perfect light crispness and very few (if any) seeds.
WHAT DOES KAPPA MEAN?
If a sushi roll is maki – it would make sense if kappa meant cucumbers. But that isn’t the case. Cucumber in Japanese is actually kyuuri.
So what’s the deal?
Well, kappa is a reference to a spirit in Japanese folklore – and throughout history has somehow become associated with cucumbers when it comes to kappa maki. Who knew that the inclusion of this vegetarian sushi ingredient could alter the meaning of a word!
HOW TO MAKE SUSHI RICE AT HOME
Making sushi rice is as simple as preparing premium short grain Japanese rice in your Tiger rice cooker – and then adding a trio of flavor enhancers to your cooked rice.
And you’ve probably got everything you need for this simple task sitting on your pantry shelves already.
You’ll just add a mixture of salt, sugar and rice vinegar (see ingredients tab for amounts) to your rice and mix well. This will impart a balanced tangy, sweet and savory essence to the rice which will amplify the nuanced flavors of the bite – especially when dipped in a bit of soy sauce (shoyu). The flavor of sushi rice is out of sight… and so easy to accomplish.
So get your bamboo mat ready and roll, roll, ROLL! Itadakimasu!
Kappa Maki (Cucumber Roll)
You only need a few ingredients to make this iconic cucumber roll at home! Bonus: kappa maki is totally vegetarian!
- Place cooked rice in a container and add rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix well.
- Wrap bamboo mat with plastic wrap and have a bowl of water mixed with a little rice vinegar on the side.
- Lay a nori sheet with the shiny side facing down on the bamboo mat. Add 1 cup of rice to the center of the nori sheet and wet your fingers with vinegar water.
- Spread the rice using your fingers, evenly across the nori sheet.
- Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds onto the rice evenly across.
- Turn the nori sheet over so the rice is facing down. Move the nori sheet close to the edge of the bottom of the bamboo mat.
- Thinly slice the cucumber (as long as possible)
- Place cucumber horizontally on top of the nori.
- Grab the bottom edges of the mat with your thumbs and hold on to the toppings with your other fingers.
- Roll into a tight cylinder and lift the edges of the bamboo mat to prevent it from rolling into the roll together with the filling. The mat should look like the letter C from the side as you roll forward. Keep rolling forward using a little pressure and let go when the roll is done.
- Cut the roll in half and then into thirds.
- Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.
Ingredients for sushi rice
- 3 cups cooked Japanese rice
- 40 ml rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
Ingredients for rolls
- 1-2 Cucumbers