Japanese lucky rolls “Eho-maki”

Japanese lucky rolls “Eho-maki”

Eho maki with 7 ingridients

Eho maki with 7 ingridients

In Japan, a festival known as “Setsubun” is celebrated on 3 February every year.This date is considered as the day before Risshun (the first day of spring).A special ritual known as “mamemaki” is practised in shrines and households to drive away all the bad luck in the former and upcoming year.


Roasted soybeans (also known as “fortune beans or fuku mame) are thrown while the words “Oni wa soto! Fuku was uchi!” are shouted.Then, soybeans are eaten and the number of soybeans eaten must be equivalent to one’s age.A decoration known as hiragi iwashi, made of sardine heads and holly leaves, is put up to ward off bad luck too.


In Kansai, there is an age-old tradition to eat eho maki (futomaki) on Setsubun day.On the night of Setsubun, people will face the lucky direction for the year (eho) and eat a Futomaki roll in silence, while contemplating about their wishes for the year.It is not an easy task as the futomaki sushi must be eaten as a whole roll itself and must not be cut into pieces.


The lucky direction of the year 2015 is the southwest-west.7-11 convenience stores in Japan have been selling eho maki (also known as maru kaburi sushi) since 1998.Since eho maki can be easily bought, eating futomaki during Setsubun has become a nation-wide practice.


A futomaki maki sushi contains 250 gm of rice. A smaller size of the futomkai is called the chumaki. The thinnest roll is known as hosomaki.The amount of rice and seaweed to be used for each type of sushi rolls is listed below as a reference:

Hosomaki: 80 gm sushi rice & half-sized seaweed
Chumaki: 150gm sushi rice & 1 full-sized seaweed
Futomaki: 250gm sushi rice & 1 full-sized seaweed
(1 nigiri sushi is made up of 20 gm of sushi rice.)


Eho maki usually contains 7 types of ingredients.This is due to the influence of the Seven Gods of Fortune in Japanese culture.

The seven ingredients are:

  • kampyo (melon gourd strips)
  • cucumber (can be substituted with daikon radish sprouts kaiware or lettuce)
  • shitake mushrooms
  • datemaki egg omelette( can be substituted with dashimaki or yakitamago)
  • eel ( or conger-eel)
  • sakura denbu (can be substituted with minced meat or fish)

Pickled food and seafood are also used but the ingredients changes with time.


Recently, other than Futomaki, roll cakes and Mexican tortillas are also sold in convenience stores and restaurants as auspicious food items during Setsubun.Expensive high quality eho maki are also sold in high class sushi restaurants.


If you want to learn how to make sushi, please check Tokyo Sushi Academy Singapore Course.

Japanese lucky roll  for Setsubun

Japanese lucky roll for Setsubun


2月3日は節分 という日本の行事があります。

立春 (春の始まりの日)  の前日、一年の災いを払うための厄落としとして「豆撒き」が行われます。(神社 お寺 各家庭で行います。)



節分の夜にその年の恵方(毎年よい方角がある 今年の恵方は西南西)に向かって無言で、願い事を思い浮かべながら太巻きを丸かじり(切らないで、1本を丸かぶり)して食べる。
1998年(平成10年) セブン-イレブンが「丸かぶり寿司 恵方巻」を全国販売して、日本全国に広まりました。現在は国民的イベントになっています。
ごはん約250グラム(お寿司12カン以上の量)ですから、ハーフサイズや 中巻きサイズなどに形が変化してきました。


恵方巻の具は、7種類の具材  商売繁盛や無病息災を願って七福神に因んでいる。




最近では、寿司を ”巻く” にちなんで、ロールケーキやメキシコ料理のトルティーヤなども開運ロールとして、コンビニエンスストアや飲食店で販売されています。

幸運の巻ずし丸かぶり 2015年 今年の恵方は西南西です。