Difference Between Roll and Hand Roll

Roll vs Hand Roll

Roll and hand roll are the terms that are used in association with one of the most popular food items from Japan, the Sushi. There are many different ways to make rolls to serve this rice dish in Japan. While there are differences in ingredients and toppings, the common ingredient in all sushi remains the rice. The hand roll looks like a cone while roll is smaller in size and it is cut while making sushi into 6-8 different pieces. There are many who remain confused between roll and hand roll. This article takes a closer look at the two different ways of serving sushi to bring out their differences.


Roll is called Maki in Japan, and it is one of the several types of sushi rolls. When the boiled rice containing seafood is wrapped inside seaweed, it is cut into several pieces with each piece referred to as a roll. The thing to remember with roll is that it is cut into several pieces after making the cylinder with the wrapping.

Hand Roll

Hand roll is a system of wrapping sushi that is meant to be a single person serving. In this system, instead of making a long tube or cylinder, the rice and the fish are wrapped inside seaweed to make a cone. If you are hungry and do not want to share your sushi, it is better opt for the hand roll. In Japan, this kind or hand roll is called Tamaki sushi. The seaweed used to make Tamaki is called nori.

What is the difference between Roll and Hand Roll? 

• The difference between roll and hand roll is not as much as in ingredients as in shape. A roll is cylindrical or tubular while a hand roll is specially made into a cone.

• Roll is called Maki in Japan while hand roll is called Tamaki.

• Roll is smaller in size than a hand roll.

• Hand roll is better when you want a larger quantity of sushi and do not want to share it with others.