Kappamaki (Cucumber Sushi Roll)

Kappamaki sushi rolls
Hiromi Kudo / Getty Images
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Yields: 8 rolls
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
372 Calories
3g Fat
78g Carbs
6g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 372
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 438mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 78g 28%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 217mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cucumber rolls are called kappamaki in Japan. It is one of the most popular sushi rolls and is easy to make, with just three ingredients–nori (dried seaweed), sushi rice, and cucumber. As there is no fish included, this roll is also perfect for vegetarians.

The word kappa doesn't actually mean cucumber in Japanese (that is kyuuri); it refers to a demon or imp figure from Japanese traditional folklore. The word kappa is a combination of words meaning "river" and "child" and is related to water. Somehow, a kappa is associated with cucumbers, hence the name of this sushi roll. Interestingly, no other Japanese cucumber dishes are called kappa.

This recipe calls for Japanese cucumbers, which are long, slender, and thin-skinned. They do not have seeds nor any bitter taste and are therefore easy to handle and a pleasure to eat. If you cannot find Japanese cucumbers, mini Persian or English cucumbers are good substitutes.


  • 4 sheets nori (dried seaweed, cut in half)

  • 6 cups sushi rice (prepared)

  • 2 Japanese cucumbers (cut into long sticks)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Put a piece of nori on top of a bamboo mat (makisu).

  3. Spread about 3/4 cup of sushi rice on top of the nori.

  4. Place 1/8 of the cucumber sticks horizontally on the rice.

  5. Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing forward to shape the sushi into a cylinder.

  6. Press the bamboo mat firmly with hands.

  7. Unwrap the bamboo mat and remove sushi roll. Repeat process to make more rolls.

  8. Wipe a knife with a wet cloth before slicing sushi.

  9. Cut the sushi roll into bite-size pieces.