Roll vs. Handroll: What is the difference between Roll and Hand Roll?

Roll vs. Handroll: Let’s discuss their differences, similarities, pros and cons, safety, define which is better, and answer some frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Roll vs. Handroll: Differences, Pros & Cons, Safety

Roll vs. Handroll: Roll and hand rolls are two types of Japanese dish Sushi. The difference between hand roll and roll can be marked with their shape. Roll vs. hand roll is Japanese sushi called Maki and Temaki respectively. The varying shape and serving technique highlight maki vs. hand roll deliberation.

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Analyzing roll vs. hand roll definitions

What is Roll?

A type of sushi prepared in a cylindrical shape with rice, fish, seafood as filling ingredients and wrapped with seaweed.

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What is Handroll?

A type of sushi cooked with rice, fish, and sometimes fruits and veggies wrapped in seaweed in a conical shape, specially made for one person.  

Highlighting Pros and Cons of Cut roll vs. Hand Roll

Pros of maki roll vs. hand roll

Maki RollHand roll
It is easy to eat.It is healthier.  
It is eaten by chopsticks.A person can satisfy his hunger with a hand roll.
It can be divided into pieces.It can be eaten on the go. 
More than a single person can eat a roll. 

Cons of regular roll vs. hand roll

Regular rollHand roll
It is not enough to satisfy hunger.It cannot be eaten by chopsticks.  
It is not as healthy as a hand roll.One serving is meant for one person only.

What are the similarities between sushi roll vs. hand roll?

  • Both are Japanese cuisine.  
  • Both are types of sushi.
  • Both contain almost the same ingredients. 
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Difference between roll and hand roll at a glance

BasisRollHand roll
NameIt is called Maki.It is named Temaki.
Appearance  This is made in a cylindrical shape.  A hand roll is in a cone shape.
MakingIt is made with the help of bamboo.It is made by hand.
SizeRolls are cut into 6 or 8 pieces after cooking. They are smaller.The handroll is large and requires no cutting.
EatingIt can be eaten by 6-8 people at a time.It can only be consumed by one person at a time.
TypesThe other types of the roll are Chumaki, Hosomaki, Uramaki, and Futomaki.Temaki is the only type of hand roll.
Eating MethodsThe small pieces of the roll are to be eaten using chopsticks.  Hand rolls are eaten by bare hands only.  

How can you differentiate sushi hand roll vs. regular roll?

A hand roll vs. regular roll comparison can be easily done by looking at the shape and size of sushi rolls. If the roll is in a large cone shape, it’s a sushi hand roll. And if it is in small round pieces, it’s a regular roll. Another difference is a sushi hand roll has fish, rice, and seafood inside, but a regular roll can have these ingredients outside. Sushi hand rolls can only be prepared by hand, whereas a regular roll can only be prepared with the help of bamboo. One can consider if a roll in front of him is a hand roll or regular roll by analyzing if there is a single serving or 6 to 8 servings. You can eat a regular roll with chopsticks, but you cannot do the same with the other. You can always eat a sushi hand roll by holding it in your hand.

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What is the difference between a roll and a hand roll?

A roll is presented in a cylindrical shape and can be served to 6 to 8 people at a time, whereas a hand roll seems to be a big cone that can be served to one person. This is the basic difference between cut roll vs. hand roll.

What is a hand roll sushi roll?

A hand roll sushi roll is a tube-like conical seaweed roll that has rice and fish along with other ingredients wrapped inside.

How do you eat hand rolls?

Unlike other sushi rolls, hand rolls aren’t in pieces and cannot be eaten with chopsticks. The proper manner of eating a hand roll is to hold it in your hand and take bites until it is fully consumed.

Make sure not to keep it back in the plate in the middle because if you do so, the ingredients will fall.

What is the difference between a roll and sushi?

A roll contains the fish/seafood inside, and it is cut from roulette, but sushi always has the fish outside, and it cannot be cut into pieces. No vegetables can be added to sushi, but anything can be filled in a roll.

What is a classic sushi roll?

A classic sushi roll is that roll that is filled with rice and fish wrapped in seaweed (nori).

Do sushi hand rolls have rice?

Yes, sushi hand rolls have rice wrapped in seaweed.  

How do you roll a hand roll?

  • Take a seaweed and cut it half.
  • Place nori on your palm and start filling with a thin layer of rice on the left third of it.
  • Add all the other ingredients.
  • Fold the bottom left corner in a cone shape.
  • Keep following until it’s a proper cone.
  • Glue it at the end for a tight hold.

What is a Japanese hand roll?

A Japanese hand roll is a type of sushi that consists of rice, vegetables, and fish wrapped in seaweed. It can’t be eaten by chopsticks.

What is inside a rainbow roll?

The ingredients of a rainbow roll are cucumber, crab, and avocado. The multiple fishes that can be used in it’s making are tuna, white fish, yellowtail, and salmon.

What is the healthiest sushi roll?

The healthiest sushi roll is the one that:

  • is made with brown rice;
  • has veggies in it;
  • has good fish like tuna or salmon;
  • has no mayo and less soya sauce;  
  • is grilled, raw, or steamed;
  • contains avocado; and  
  • comes with enough serving.  

Comparison Chart

Roll vs. Handroll: Let’s discuss their differences, similarities, pros and cons, safety, define which is better, and answer some frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Comparison Video

Maki Roll vs Hand Roll

Summarizing roll vs. hand roll sushi 

Both the roll vs. hand roll sushi are Japanese dishes that are handy enough to eat anytime. The basic difference between hand roll and cut roll is the latter can be cut into pieces, whereas the earlier cannot. The roll is smaller and made with bamboo, but hand roll sushi is large and made with hand. 

Alex Stantor
Alex Stantor

Alex Stantor is a Sorbonne University (Paris, France) graduate in Philosophy and Data Analysis. Currently, he is an Author and Researcher at Difference 101, he writes articles/blog posts on topics such as "thinking differently" and "the importance of difference". Alex is a passionate advocate of diversity in the workplace and in companies, and diversity and inclusion in corporate communications. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

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