An ‘Iron Chef’ Shares Easy, 10-Minute Recipe Perfect for Sushi Night

  • Chef Masaharu Morimoto shared his easy hand roll recipe.
  • According to the chef, making eight hand rolls takes 10 minutes.
  • Morimoto’s recipe is perfect for anyone looking to have an interactive sushi night at home. 

Celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto first entered Americans’ homes in 1999 when he landed a spot as one of the experts on “Iron Chef America” after competing on the Japanese version of the show in 1998. 

Through his cookbook, “Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking,” Morimoto shares his tips and tricks for creating traditional Japanese meals at home. 

The TV star and restaurateur didn’t always have his heart set on being a famous chef — he was actually on track to become a professional baseball player. According to his personal website, a shoulder injury ruined those chances for him, so he pivoted and began learning to make sushi in Hiroshima.

He went on to open his first restaurant at the age of 24, became the executive chef at Nobu after moving stateside, and continued to build his worldwide restaurant portfolio, the website adds. 

Iron Chef Morimoto and sous chef during a taping

Chef Morimoto (left) and his sous chef (right) during a 2004 “Iron Chef America” taping.

Mel Melcon/Contributor/Getty Images

In an email to Insider, the chef shared a recipe reminiscent of his early days as a student of sushi: temaki. 

“To this day, my favorite kind of sushi to serve is temaki,” Morimoto told Insider via email.

He described temaki as nori that has been rolled by hand into a cylinder around vinegared rice and some sort of filling. The biggest requirement, he says, is that it’s served by the chef and eaten immediately.

Morimoto said temaki is easier to make than other types of sushi because it doesn’t require any extra tools like a bamboo mat for rolling. It’s great for any time of day, the chef said, with the key to success being creativity and “having fun with the combinations you create.”

While the chef shared his recipe for a veggies-only version of this dish below, which he says only takes 10 minutes to put together, the book also includes his recipe for a spicy tuna version, which swaps out the veggie strips for sliced tuna. 

He emphasized the point that eating temaki instantly is important, ensuring the nori stays “super-crispy and crackles under your teeth as you bite in.”

Chef Morimoto temaki

A step-by-step illustration of Morimoto making vegetable temaki.

Courtesy of “Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking”

“The serve-it-right-away commandment makes temaki perfect for a DIY sushi party and allows anyone to play sushi chef,” he said.

See Morimoto’s recipe for vegetable temaki below. 

Serving size: 8 hand rolls


4 nori seaweed sheets (about 8½ by 7½ inches), halved lengthwise

About 2 cups cooked, vinegared short-grain white rice, at room temperature

About 1½ teaspoons wasabi paste

About 1½ tablespoons furikake, store-bought or homemade

8 fresh shiso leaves (also called Japanese mint and perilla)

¼ pound crunchy cucumber (preferably Japanese, English, or Persian), seeded and cut into 4 by ¼-inch matchsticks

2 ounces carrot (about ½ of a medium carrot), peeled and cut into 4 by ¼-inch matchsticks

1 loosely packed cup kaiware daikon or another microgreen (optional)


To make each hand roll, hold a piece of nori shiny side down in an open palm.

Lightly moisten your other hand with water and grab about a ¼-cup clump of rice, compress it slightly to form a rough oval, and add it to one of the short sides of the nori, about 1 inch from the edge.

Firmly press the rice with your pointer finger to make a lengthwise divot in the center.

Spread on a little wasabi and add a generous sprinkle of furikake, 1 shiso leaf, 1 piece of cucumber, 1 piece of carrot, and a generous pinch of kaiware daikon.

Roll the nori around the filling to form a cone or cylinder.

Eat right away.

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