National Hand Roll Day Date in the current year: July 6, 2024

National Hand Roll Day If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine, you absolutely have to celebrate National Hand Roll Day on July 6. It was created to promote one of the lesser known types of sushi.

Sushi is arguably the best-known dish of Japanese cuisine. It consists of cooked rice seasoned with vinegar and accompanied by raw fish, seafood, seaweed, vegetables, and other ingredients. The main between sushi and sashimi, another popular Japanese dish it is often confused with, is that the key ingredient of sushi is rice, whereas sashimi consists of thinly sliced raw fish or occasionally meat usually not accompanied by rice.

There are dozens of kinds of sushi in Japan, but they all can be divided into six main types:

  • Chirashizushi: rice in a bowl topped with a variety of ingredients such as raw fish, vegetables, and tamagoyaki (Japanese omelet).
  • Inarizushi: fried tofu filled with vinegared rice. In some regions, thin omelet is substituted for tofu.
  • Makizushi: rice and other fillings wrapped in nori, a sheet of dried edible seaweed.
  • Narezushi: fermented sushi that takes half a year to prepare and is edible for another half a year or more.
  • Nigirizushi: an oval-shaped mound of rice covered with a topping (typically a slice of fish) draped over it.
  • Oshizushi: pressed sushi, a specialty of the Kansai region.

The hand roll, or temaki in Japanese, is a type of makizushi. It consists of a large piece of nori shaped into a large cone and filled with rice and other ingredients such as sashimi-grade raw fish (yellowtail, amberjack, tuna, salmon), seafood (shrimp, scallop, salmon roe, flying fish roe), vegetables (cucumber, shiso leaves, radish sprouts, pickled daikon, avocado), roasted sesame seeds, and sometimes even fruit (mango).

A typical hand roll is about four inches long. Since it is hard to eat with chopsticks, the hand roll is usually eaten with fingers, hence the name. Temaki is supposed to be eaten immediately after it’s made because the seaweed wrapper easily absorbs moisture from the filling, losing its crispness and resulting in the roll becoming too chewy.

National Hand Roll Day has been observed annually since 2019. The celebration was initiated by Sushi Nozawa Group, an LA-based restaurant group that owns and operates KazuNori, Nozawa Bar, and SUGARFISH. It was founded by Kazunori Nozawa, a Japanese-born sushi chef who opened his first restaurant in California in 1987 to educate American restaurant-goers on Edo-style sushi.

National Hand Roll Day was created to commemorate the introduction of the hand roll to the United States by Chef Nozawa. To celebrate the holiday, go out to a sushi restaurant that serves hand rolls or try making them at home — with sushi-making kits widely available, it is easier than you may think!

You can invite your friends over for a DIY temaki party and enjoy delicious sushi together. Since hand rolls must be eaten right after they’re made, the best way to make them is to prep all ingredients, sauces and sides like wasabi and pickled ginger ahead of time and assemble rolls one by one. And don’t forget to promote the holiday on social media with the hashtag #NationalHandRollDay.

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National Hand Roll Day, observances in the United States, unofficial holidays, food days, sushi, types of sushi