One of the most popular types of sushi is the sushi roll. This is also what many people think of when they think of sushi. There are two primary types of sushi rolls that are sold in restaurants and sushi bars both in Japan and in North America. The first style of sushi roll has the nori, or seaweed, on the outside of the roll. The other type has the nori on the inside of the roll. Whether or not the nori is on the outside or inside of the roll can dramatically change the flavor and texture of the sushi. Those who enjoy nori often prefer the style of sushi roll where the nori is on the outside of the roll. This style of sushi roll is called futomaki. A sushi roll with the nori on the inside is called uramaki. Futomaki is the more popular type of maki sushi roll, as it is considered the more traditional form.
When you purchase a sushi roll from a restaurant, at a sushi bar, or even in the grocery store, you will typically see futomaki. Futomaki is typically vegetarian with non vegetarian toppings, such as fish eggs, on top of the roll. Futomaki is typically cut into pieces, although during some Japanese festivals, the futomaki is served as an entire roll.
On the other hand, uramaki is less common in Japan, as the Japanese prefer to be able to eat with their fingers when it is possible. Uramaki is very difficult to eat with fingers and chopsticks due to its tendency to not only be sticky, but fall apart under pressure. Unlike futomaki, an uramaki sushi roll is almost always non vegetarian, with fish eggs or sesame as a coating on the top of the roll. Uramaki is primarily a North American dish, as Americans are not typically fond of the black coating left on futomaki.
Hosomaki is the unsung hero of the sushi roll family. Like futomaki, hosomaki is wrapped with the nori on the outside of the roll. However, there are four primary types of hosomaki. These inclue Kappamaki, Tekkamaki, Negitoromaki and Tsunamayomaki. Kappamaki contains cucumber, as well as some other ingredients, and is used to cleanse the pallate between raw fish dishes and other parts of the meal. Tekkamaki is the tuna sushi roll, named after the red color of the fish meat. Negitoromaki is filled with tuna and scallions. Fatty tuna is commonly used in this type of sushi roll. Last, but not least, is the tsunamayomaki, which is canned tuna and mayonnaise. This is considered a home style sushi, and can be made by virtually anyone easily.