How to Make a Cucumber Roll

The cucumber roll is one of the easiest vegetarian sushi rolls to make. There are two ways to make one:

  • Hosomaki, or skinny roll- usually cut into 6 pieces with the nori on the outside.
  • Short Futomaki roll- also cut into 6 pieces, but the pieces are substantially wider. This version can be rolled with seaweed on outside as well as on the inside.


The instructions for rolling these two styles are on the How to Roll Sushi page.



Here is what you will need for this tutorial:

  1. Cucumbers
  2. A cutting board
  3. A sharp knife- I recommend a Usuba
  4. A peeler
  5. Nori
  6. Sushi Rice
  7. A spoon

In sushi bars across the world, there are several ways to cut the cucumber for sushi. I will show you three different ways to prepare it. First, the easiest version, with medium sized,half roll cut (or Julienne). Second, the long and thick version (Batonnete).  And finally, the traditional Japanese version with small, thin cuts (Fine Julienne).

Could I use other vegetables in the same way for sushi?

Absolutely! As long as the pieces are elongated and relatively dry, they should be just fine for sushi. Be creative with it! Here is a really helpful site for tips on how to buy, store, and prepare vegetables.

Cutting Techniques for the Cucumber Roll

Julienne

  1. Peel the cucumber completely.
  2. Cut off the ends.
  3. Cut the cucumber in half- giving you two, round halves.
  4. Stand each half on it’s smallest end.
  5. Cut a square around the seeds. This should give you four cucumber panels. Set those aside.
  6. Repeat the previous steps for the second half.

Now we will slice the eight panels into smaller “sticks.”

  1. Line up each cucumber panel from side to side.
  2. Use the Julienne cutting technique (tutorial coming soon).
  3. Cut approx. 1/4 inch wide Julienne sticks.

Batonnete

  1. Peel the cucumber, leaving approx. 1cm of the skin on in increments
  2. Cut off the ends
  3. Cut the cucumber in half, this time from end to end. You should have two , long half circle sections.
  4. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds
  5. Now that we have our “cucumber C’s” lay them out like the cucumber panels
  6. Use the Julienne cutting technique to cut 1/4″-1/3″ sticks from top to bottom. If the cucumber was long enough, then one piece should be the perfect size for the inside of a roll!

Fine Julienne

This technique is best taught through a video demonstration. I will try my best to get this video up soon.

Also, pictures of the above processes on how to “prep” for a cucumber roll will be posted soon.

Finally, use the cut cucumber as the main (and typically the only) ingredient in your Hosomaki. Don’t limit yourself to only using cucumber, though. There are several different types of vegetables that work really well in sushi- like avocado, sweet potato, asparagus, and many more.

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Bryan Sekine with Secrets of Sushi

Bryan Sekine

I’ve been a professional sushi chef since 2008, but my passion is in teaching others. I have taught over 300 people in my live sushi classes and countless others online!

My goal is to teach people how to make sushi at home while educating them about sustainable seafood practices.

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