Kanpyo Roll (Japanese Dried Gourd Strips Maki Sushi)

5 from 7 votes
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Dive into the deliciousness of a Kanpyo Roll! In this recipe, you will learn how to make these easy sushi rolls by combining flavored kanpyo and seasoned rice in no time!

Kanpyo roll served on a plate

This tasty Kanpyo roll is a traditional Japanese sushi roll with seasoned gourd strips as a main ingredient. We love it because it offers a delightfully chewy texture and a subtly sweet taste that perfectly complements the sushi rice.

Even if you’re new to sushi, no worries. Just follow the simple steps, and you’ll make this delightful sushi roll in your kitchen! Give it a try!

    This recipe is for you if:
  • You love Japanese sushi.
  • You love sushi rolls or maki sushi.
  • You are looking for an easy kanpyo roll recipe.

If you want to check the recipe immediately, please visit the link below. Let’s get started!

About This Recipe

  • Japanese sushi roll recipe
  • Kanpyo is the main ingredient
  • Vegetarian-friendly sushi
  • Sweet and savory taste

What is Kanpyo Roll?

Kanpyo mak illustration.

The Kanpyo roll, also known as Kanpyo maki, is the most classic sushi roll and one of the popular menu items at Japanese sushi restaurants.

It features kanpyo, the dried gourd strips, as a main ingredient. The kanpyo is cooked and seasoned before being rolled into sushi along with vinegared rice, wrapped in a nori sheet.

Kanpyo sushi rolls offer a unique texture and mildly sweet flavor and are an excellent option for vegetarians.

A Brief Introduction to Sushi Roll (Maki Sushi)

Futomaki and hosomaki illustrations.

The sushi roll, known as Maki sushi or Nori maki in Japanese, is created by wrapping a nori sheet (seaweed) around a layer of vinegared rice seasoned with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, along with the chosen main ingredient in the center.

Maki sushi comes in two different sizes:

  • Hosomaki refers to thin sushi rolls, typically containing one main ingredient inside the roll. Kanpyo roll is a type of hosomaki.
  • Futomaki, on the other hand, refers to thicker sushi rolls that can contain multiple ingredients.

I hope this simple knowledge will make ordering sushi at restaurants a more enjoyable and effortless experience for you!

📋 Ingredients

Here are the Kanpyo roll ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below):

Kanpyo roll ingredients.
  • Cooked Japanese rice: See below
  • Kanpyo: See below.
  • Nori Sheet: See below.
  • Rice Vinegar, Sugar, and Salt: We blend them well and mix them into the rice to make vinegared rice. Other types of vinegar might be a little too strong for the rice, so I highly recommend using rice vinegar. You can also use store-bought seasoned rice vinegar.
  • Sugar, Soy Sauce, and Mirin for seasoning Kanpyo.

Japanese Short-grain Rice

Japanese rice on a plate

The best rice for sushi rolls is short-grain rice, which is more starchy than long-grain rice and helps maintain the desired shape of the sushi roll and onigiri rice balls.

Koshihikari rice is the most famous and popular brand of Japanese rice. Or you can use the one labeled “sushi rice” on the packaging.

I won’t go into how to cook rice in this recipe, so please see the “How to cook Japanese rice on the stove” recipe.

How To Cook Perfect Japanese Rice on The Stove
5 from 11 votes
You don't have a rice cooker? Don't worry. You can easily cook fluffy and delicious Japanese short-grain rice on the stove! Let's learn how!
Make This Recipe
Japanese short grain rice in a pot

Nori Sheet

Nori sheet

Nori seaweed sheets are dried seaweed that are crisp and come in sheet form, as shown in the picture above.

Get this full-size nori sheet (8.3″ x 7.5″ or 21 x 19 cm) at a grocery store, and we will divide it into half to make this Kanpyo roll recipe.

Kanpyo

Kanpyo, dried gourd strips

Kanpyo, or dried gourd shavings or gourd strips, is a traditional Japanese ingredient primarily produced in Tochigi Prefecture. It is commonly used in simmered dishes with shiitake mushrooms and sushi rolls.

Typically seasoned with sugar and soy sauce, kanpyo offers a slightly sweet taste and a delightfully chewy texture.

Where to Buy Japanese Ingredients

If you live in the US, you can find Japanese ingredients in the list below.

  • Japanese market: Mitsuwa MarketplaceMarukai
  • Asian market
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Health food stores
  • Online stores: Instacart, Walmart, Amazon

Makisu (Bamboo Mat)

makisu, bamboo sushi mat

A Makisu, a bamboo mat or sushi rolling mat, is a traditional tool used in Japanese cuisine for rolling sushi. It is made from thin bamboo strips woven together with string. The Makisu provides support and helps shape the sushi roll while keeping the ingredients tightly wrapped.

When you closely observe the side profile of Makisu, you’ll notice that one side is flat while the other is round. Place the nori sheet on the flat side to achieve a smooth surface for your sushi roll.

If you don’t have a Makisu, you can still make sushi using plastic wrap as a substitute.

🔪Instructions

Here are the step-by-step instructions for making the Kanpyo roll. The process consists of the following four straightforward steps!

  • Step 1: Preparing the Rice
  • Step 2: Preparing the Ingredients
  • Step 3: Assembling the Roll
  • Step 4: Cutting the Roll

Step 1: Preparing the Rice

Step for preparing sushi rice.

1. Blend rice vinegar, salt, and sugar well to make sushi vinegar.

Step for preparing sushi rice.

2. Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl, and gradually pour the sushi vinegar mixture over the rice while gently mixing it with a rice paddle.

Step for preparing sushi rice.

3. Mix until the rice is evenly coated with vinegar. Be careful not to mash the rice.

Step for preparing sushi rice.

4. Cover with a wet cloth over the bowl while preparing the ingredients. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature before using it for making sushi rolls.

Helpful Tips for Preparing the Rice

  • When preparing the sushi rice, avoid mashing the grains while stirring. Use a gentle folding motion to mix the rice and seasonings.
  • If the sushi rice is still hot, you can use a paper fan to cool it down to room temperature.

Step 2: Preparing the Ingredients

Nori sheet divided into half

Divide a nori sheet in half. Follow the lines on the seaweed and cut along their direction with your hand or scissors.

Preparing kanpyo for sushi roll

1. Rinse the dried kanpyo with water, add one teaspoon of salt, and massage. Rinse it with water again.

Preparing kanpyo for sushi roll

2. Cut the kanpyo into lengths that match the size of the nori sheets.

Preparing kanpyo for sushi roll

3. In a pot, add plenty of water and the kanpyo. Boil for about 10 minutes to soften it.

Preparing kanpyo for sushi roll

4. Drain the kanpyo.

Preparing kanpyo for sushi roll

5. Add it back into the pot along with the seasoning.

Preparing kanpyo for sushi roll

6. Cook over low heat until the liquid is evaporated.

Step 3: Assembling the Roll

Step for assembling sushi roll.

1. Place a bamboo sushi mat on a flat surface and place the nori sheet, shiny side down and rough side up, on the mat.

Step for assembling sushi roll.

2. Wet your hands with water to prevent the rice from sticking, grab the sushi rice, and shape it into a cylindrical form.

Step for assembling sushi roll.

3. Evenly spread the rice on the nori sheet using your hand. Leave half an inch (1.2 cm) of the nori uncovered at the top.

Step for assembling sushi roll.

4. Place the kanpyo in the center of the rice.

Step for assembling sushi roll.

5. Align the seaweed with the bottom edge of the sushi mat. Use your middle finger to hold down the kanpyo, lift the mat with your thumb, and start rolling from the front until the end of the rice. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.

Step for assembling sushi roll.

6. Lift the sushi mat and roll the sushi to seal the roll. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.

Oshinko roll on a cutting board.

The first one is complete! Repeat the rolling process to make four more rolls. Allow them to sit for a few minutes before cutting.

Helpful Tips for Assembling the Roll

  • Use around 70-80g of rice for each roll as a guide to avoid overflow when rolling.
  • When spreading the rice, ensure it is evenly distributed on the nori sheet. Wet your hands with water to prevent sticking, as rice tends to be quite sticky. You can also use a rice paddle as it can make the spreading process easier.
  • Nori sheets have a shiny side and a rough side. When placing the nori sheet, ensure the shiny side faces down. Once the sushi roll is completed, the shiny side of the nori should be on the outside.
  • Ensure that the smooth side of the sushi mat faces up and the knot is positioned on the upper side.

Step 4: Cutting the Roll

Step for cutting oshinko roll.

1. Prepare a damp cloth, as the rice tends to be sticky. Use a sharp knife to slice it into bite-sized pieces.

Step for cutting oshinko roll.

2. Wet the knife with the damp cloth and cut the sushi roll in half.

Step for cutting oshinko roll.

3. Align the two halves of the sushi rolls and cut them into thirds.

Step for cutting oshinko roll.

4. Done! Serve the sushi rolls with the cut side facing up.

Helpful Tips for Cutting the Roll

  • Position the end of the roll facing down and let it sit for a few minutes before cutting. This will make it easier to cut. Have a damp cloth ready to wipe the knife after each cut, ensuring clean cuts.
  • Make sure to cut each sushi roll to the same length. It looks visually appealing when each piece has the same height when serving.

Serve

Kanpyo roll served on a plate

Serve the Kanpyo rolls alongside traditional accompaniments like Gari (pickled ginger), and enjoy the harmonious flavors!

Hosomaki Variations

Oshinko roll served on a plate

You can create even more variations if you substitute kanpyo with other ingredients. Here are some classic hosomaki options:

Thanks For Stopping By!

Kanpyo roll served on a plate

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡ . If you’ve tried this recipe (or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!

Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!

Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.

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Kanpyo roll served on a plate.

Kanpyo Roll (Japanese Dried Gourd Strips Maki Sushi)

5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 5 rolls
Author: JURI
Dive into the deliciousness of a Kanpyo Roll! In this recipe, you will learn how to make these easy sushi rolls by combining flavored kanpyo and seasoned rice in no time!

Equipment

Ingredients

Seasonings For Kanpyo

Sushi vinegar

Instructions

Preparing Sushi Rice

  • Blend rice vinegar, salt, and sugar well to make sushi vinegar.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl, and gradually pour the sushi vinegar mixture over the rice while gently mixing it with a rice paddle.
  • Cover with a wet cloth over the bowl while preparing the ingredients. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature before using it for making sushi rolls.

Preparing the Ingredients

  • Nori sheet: Divide a nori sheet in half. Follow the lines on the seaweed and cut along their direction with your hand or scissors.
  • Kanpyo: Rinse the dried kanpyo with water, add one teaspoon of salt, and massage. Rinse it with water again.
  • Cut the kanpyo into lengths that match the size of the nori sheets.
  • In a pot, add plenty of water and the kanpyo. Boil for about 10 minutes to soften it.
  • Drain the kanpyo and add it back into the pot along with the seasoning. Cook over low heat until the liquid is evaporated.

Assembling the Roll

  • Place a bamboo sushi mat on a flat surface and place the nori sheet, shiny side down, on the mat.
  • Wet your hands with water to prevent the rice from sticking, grab the sushi rice, and shape it into a cylindrical form.
  • Evenly spread the rice on the nori sheet using your hand. Leave half an inch (1.2 cm) of the nori uncovered at the top.
  • Place the kanpyo in the center of the rice.
  • Align the seaweed with the bottom edge of the sushi mat. Use your middle finger to hold down the kanpyo, lift the mat with your thumb, and start rolling from the front until the end of the rice. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.
  • Lift the sushi mat and roll the sushi to seal the roll. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.

Cutting the Roll

  • Wet the knife with the damp cloth and cut the sushi roll in half.
  • Align the two halves of the sushi rolls and cut them into thirds.

Video

Notes

  • When preparing the sushi rice, be careful not to mash the grains while stirring. Use a gentle folding motion to mix the rice and seasonings.
  • If the sushi rice is still hot, you can use a paper fan to cool it down to room temperature.
  • Use around 70-80g of rice for each roll as a guide to avoid overflow when rolling.
  • When spreading the rice, ensure it is evenly distributed on the nori sheet.
  • Nori sheets have a shiny side and a rough side. When placing the nori sheet, ensure that the shiny side is facing down.
  • Make sure to cut each sushi rolls to the same length. It looks visually appealing when each piece has the same height when serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.3g
Course: Rice
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: kanpyo roll, sushi roll
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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