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Rollin’ with your homies takes on a totally new meaning with the help of Taichi Kitamura, executive chef at one of our favorite Seattle sushi destinations, Sushi Kappo Tamura. Taichi walks us through the steps of making three different types of maki: futomaki, uramaki, and hosomaki. All of them are easy and fun to make, with endless opportunities for creativity, and they’ll wow your raw-fish-loving friends any day of the week.


One of the best things about sushi-making is that once you’ve mastered the technique, you can use as many new flavor combinations as you can dream up for your homemade sushi. An Americanized sushi-house favorite like spicy tuna? Sure! A Northwest-inspired salmon-and-kale roll? Sounds delightful and daring! The freshest, most local piece of fish you’ve ever bought and some crunchy cucumber? Go for it. Your new best friend Taichi is serving up the inside scoop on how to roll your own creations, so take advantage, and don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to rolling on your own.


OTHER PEOPLE’S IDEAS: A Series From ChefSteps
At ChefSteps, we love to cook. And we love to share our top tips and techniques with you. But we’re not the boss of everything, and we learn from our friends and colleagues every day. That’s why we created Other People’s Ideas, a new series starring our favorite subject experts. These talented folks are here to help you tackle everything from sushi to pizza pie—and have a ton of fun along the way. You down with OPI? Yeah you are. Let’s do this.


  • Secrets to Perfect Sushi Rice, With Taichi Kitamura, as needed
  • Wasabi, optional, as needed
  • Pickled ginger, for serving, as needed
  • Water, lukewarm, as needed
  • Fish, or other filling, as needed
  • Vegetables, as needed
  • Nori, as needed
  • Sesame seeds, optional, as needed

Zanim zaczniemy

What exactly is maki?
Maki. Sweet, rolled maki. Short for makizushi, maki are cylindrical rolls of sushi usually cut into six to eight bite-sized pieces. Chefs traditionally wrap maki in nori and use a bamboo mat—a makisu—to roll them.

Are there different types of maki?
Yup! There are many different types—maki is really just a blanket term for rolled sushi. Taichi walks us through how to make three different kinds: futomaki, uramaki, and hosomaki.

All right. Who is this Taichi guy, and how does he know so much?
Taichi Kitamura is the executive chef at Sushi Kappo Tamura here in Seattle. Born and raised in Kyoto, Taichi ended up in Seattle for school and has called it home ever since. He is famous for making some of the best sushi this side of Puget Sound.

What should I use to fill my sushi?
You can get as creative as you’d like! The perfectly seasoned sushi rice and seaweed are there to showcase the perfect protein. Here are some of our favorite tips for picking out the freshest fish. Whatever you buy, make sure you look for fish that’s sustainable and vendors that are environmentally friendly. If you haven’t already explored Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website and app, you’re in for a real treat—their database of seafood and sushi products is helpful, educational, and incredibly thorough.

Does the fish have to be raw?
While sushi is typically made with raw fish, it can also be made with cooked products. For example, ebi is lightly cooked and quickly chilled shrimp, and it’s found in sushi joints around the world.

What kind of utensil should I use to eat sushi?
You were given two hands for a reason—to eat delicious raw fish. Seriously, it’s not bad manners to eat any type of sushi with your hands. (In fact, it’s almost bad manners not to use your hands.) Chopsticks are fine for rolls, but a fork? Yeah, that’s gonna be a no for us, dawg.

This looks cool! Now that I’m basically a sushi master, what else can I make?
How about some homemade nigiri?


Make sushi rice

Secrets to Perfect Sushi Rice, With Taichi Kitamura

Cooking time: 90 min


Set up your workstation

  • Wasabi, optional, as needed
  • Pickled ginger, for serving, as needed
  • Water, lukewarm, as needed
  • Fish, or other filling, as needed, as needed
  • Vegetables, as needed

Set up your workstation in advance to make creating party-starting rolled sushi a breeze.

To make any of these rolls at home, you’ll need a cutting board, a bamboo rolling mat, a chef’s knife, some lukewarm water, and some pickled ginger, wasabi, sushi rice, and fishy fixins.


Know your nori

Nori, a type of edible seaweed used for sushi, has two distinct sides to it. One side is rough and the other is smooth. When you lay your nori down on the bamboo mat, make sure the rough side faces up.