Japanese Setsubun and “thick sushi rolls”


In Japan, in February, thick sushi roll called “Ehomaki” is lined up at convenience stores and supermarkets. And there is another big event “Mamemaki“. Here are the details of these.

What is Setsubun?

“Setsubun” refers to the day before the beginning of each season, which is the beginning of each season: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Among them, the day of the beginning of spring is close to the New Year, so it was said that it was called “Setsubun”.
It seems that 2021 will be February 2nd for the first time in 124 years. February 3rd has been Setsubun for 37 years since 1984. (Until before that, February 4th).

How to spend “Setsubun”


For “Setsubun”, soybeans are sprinkled all over the house. It contains the wish to drive away the bad demons at home and invite a good god. At that time, we shout “Oni-ha-soto!(Demon is outside!) And “Fuku-ha-uchi!(Fortune is inside!) .
Especially important is the role of “demon”.
One of the house (usually a dad) acts as a demon and the children hit the beans.
Then, we will act to escape to the outside of the house. Recently, it seems that an increasing number of households do not do it because of “it’s embarrassing” or “it’s difficult to clean after finishing”.
After that, eat as many soybeans as your age and wish for the health of the year.



Recently, in February, many supermarkets and convenience stores sell “thick sushi rolls”. This is called “Ehomaki”, and it is said that you will be happy if you turn to the direction of the god of the year and eat thick seaweed rolls.
As a rule at that time,

1:Turn to ”Eho(The direction in which God is)”
(2021 is south-southeast)
2:Eat the whole piece
(do not cut it with a knife so that the edges are not cut or the fortune is not added)
3:Don’t talk in the middle
(luck will run away if you talk)

The whole family quietly faces the same direction and eats thick seaweed rolls.
It’s interesting to imagine.

Origin of “Ehomaki”


In fact, it is only recently that eating Ehomaki has become widespread throughout Japan.
It is said that it started from the geisha play in Osaka in the latter half of the Edo period about 150 years ago. Originally, it was called “Marukaburi sushi” or “Futomaki sushi”.
After that, a major convenience store campaigned under the name “Ehomaki”, and it is said that it spread nationwide.

How to make thick-rolled sushi



180ml rice
*1.5 tbsp. Vinegar
*1 tbsp. Sugar
*1/3 tsp. Salt ( *is for the Sushi rice)
**1 tsp. Sugar
**1 tsp. Soy sauce
**1 tsp. Rice wine (or sake or white wine)
(** is for Mushroom)
1 tbsp. Shio-Koji (if any)
Tinned Tuna
1 egg
***1/2 tsp. Sugar
*** a little salt (*** is for egg)
1 tbsp. Mayonnaise
2 pc. Seaweed Nori


Step 1

Cooked rice.

Step 2


Make “Sushi vinegar ”
This time, I made myself
Mix vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Heat by microwave 800 w 20 sec.
(This is to dissolve the sugar..)

Step 3


Boil spinach for 2 min.
After boiled, immediately chill with cold water.
Then squeeze the water.

Step 4


Cut the mushrooms into thin slices and the cucumbers into sticks.
Sprinkle SHIO-KOJI on the cucumbers, if any.
If not, sprinkle with salt.

Step 5


Remove the tuna from the can and squeeze the oil or water.
After that, sprinkle some mayonnaise and salt and pepper.

Step 6


Melt the eggs well, add sugar and salt and mix.
Spread the oil to make a thin omelette.
Cut it in half and make it more elongated.

Step 7


Oil the frying pan and fry the mushrooms.
Then add sugar, soy sauce and mirin and fry without burning.

Step 8


When the rice is cooked, mix the sushi vinegar while the rice is hot.

Step 9

Place the seaweed on Makisu and spread the rice half thinly on it. (Make a 1 cm gap in the back.)

Step 10


Place the ingredients in the centre and roll.

Step 11


Cut it into a size that is easy to eat, and it’s done.

Click here for how to make thin seaweed rolls
Related article:How to make ” Norimaki “


It is said that seven kinds of ingredients are good for “Ehomaki”. Other ingredients such as smoked salmon, crab sticks, and boiled carrots are also recommended.




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Author of this article

This blog was created with the concept of having many people enjoy Japanese cuisine overseas. Here are some simple Japanese recipes. In addition to that, I would like to tell everyone that Japanese ingredients are available overseas. And I want to spread the fun of Japanese culture to the world.


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