Hand roll sushi, or temaki 手巻き in Japanese, is a very popular way to eat sushi, not only in restaurants but also at home, due the relative ease with which they can be made.

It goes without saying that the hand roll wouldn't be possible without the wrapper. Whether it's made of nori seaweed or soybean paper, one thing all hand roll wrappers have in common is their rectangular shape. However, as it turns out, the traditional square shape of the nori seaweed wrapper isn't the most efficient one for the perfect roll.

For their first project of the Reiwa Era, Mizkan Holdings, a Japanese company that produces rice vinegar for sushi, as well as other vinegars, mustards, salad dressings and other food products, teamed up with package design expert Prof. Sato Hiroki (Chiba Institute of Technology, Faculty of Creative Engineering, Department of Design) to do nothing more than completely rethink the shape of the temaki seaweed wrapper.

Their answer: the cycloid curve

A cycloid is the curve traced by a point on the rim of a circular wheel as the wheel rolls along a straight line without slipping:

D.328 10:34, 23 November 2006 (UTC) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Using cycloid curves instead of straight lines, their proposed improved wrapper creates the perfect rolled shape every time. And to get the point across, Mizkan created a dramatic video:

Downloadable template

Thankfully, Mizkan has a downlaodable template so you can try this new-fangled temaki wrapper for yourself.

  • 1. Download and print out this image of the template with our English translations added. (Or just have the image below on your mobile device as you work on the template.)
  • 2. Download the actual template here, print it out at 100%, then follow the instructions.

Trying it out

What it looks like when you finish cutting out the template and use it to cut your nori into the final shape:

Rice spread, fillings placed, and ready to wrap.

Et voila! The finished hand roll. Isn't it beautiful?

If you'd like to see all the details, you can visit Mizkan's special home page for the project here.

By - Ben K.