What is Ehomaki 恵方巻? It is a type of “futomaki” which is a fat sushi roll that is filled with a variety of ingredients. This hearty roll assures people of good luck and are usually eaten as a whole roll without cutting. They are usually eaten while facing a lucky direction, holding the whole roll with your hands and no chopsticks.
As some Japanese believe that Setsubun tradition which is observed on Feb 3 and marks the change between winter and spring seasons is a precarious time when evil spirits run about uncontrollably, so many customs during this time drive out misfortune and usher in health and prosperity.
Due to this custom of bringing in good fortune, Ehomaki 恵方巻 usually have 7 ingredients which is a lucky number. And to consume the fortune, participants have to devour the whole roll in complete silence at one go while facing the lucky direction “eho” 恵方. The lucky direction is predetermined by Japan’s traditional esoteric cosmology as seen on the chart below.
|Last numeral of the year||Lucky Direction|
|1, 3, 6, or 8||South-southeast|
|2 or 7||North-northeast|
|4 or 9||East-northeast|
|5 or 0||West-southwest|
Based on the chart, since it is 3 Feb 2019, it is necessary to face the “East-Northeast” direction to chow down on your lucky Ehomaki 恵方巻.
While the exact origin of Ehomaki 恵方巻 is unclear, it is gaining popularity in Japan and many people are observing this tasty and fun tradition on Feb 3 every year.
Let’s enjoy making delicious Ehomaki 恵方巻 at home! It is simple and quick!
Japanese Seaweed Nori Sheets
Cooked Japanese Rice ( – you can use a microwave rice cooker for a fast and simple way to cook rice!)
7 Different Fillings (you can also mix what you like but make sure you use the lucky number 7): cut into strips
Egg Omelet (- you can make Japanese egg omelet rolls for this if you like!)
Japanese Radish Yellow Pickles
- Mix the cooked rice while still hot with the sushi vinegar. You can use about 2 tablespoons of sushi vinegar to 1.5 cups of rice. It is the best to use a Japanese Cedarwood sushi tub to mix the rice while hot, so that the natural fragrance of the cedar wood would permeate the rice and make it more delicious.
- Lay out the seaweed Nori sheet onto the sushi mat or a sheet of cling wrap with the shiny side down. Spread a layer of rice on the seaweed leaving 3cm of space on the top.
- Place the fillings horizontally onto the rice closer to the bottom of the seaweed (facing you). Slowly lift up the bottom of the sushi mat or cling wrap over the ingredients, press and shape into a roll. Firmly squeeze it to seal.
- If you like, you can wet a knife and cut the roll with a slicing motion into bite sized pieces for easier eating.
We wish you good fortune and health as we welcome the early spring time together with tasty sushi rolls!