How many pieces of sushi are in a roll & how much can you eat?

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 8, 2021

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Ah, sushi! Those delicious bites of rice and seafood, eggs or veggies.

When we eat sushi, we probably don’t think too much about:

Read on to find out how many pieces of sushi are in various types of rolls.

Sushi roll on a cutting board

How Much Sushi is in a Roll?

Though there are many different types of sushi, most are wrapped up in one large roll before being cut up into smaller bite-sized pieces.

For a single meal, most rolls will make 6-8 pieces of sushi. This results in approximately 1-2 servings per person.

How Much Sushi Can I Eat?

The total amount of sushi you eat depends on your appetite and what else you’re eating with your rolls. For instance, if you eat sushi at a buffet, you may grab a few pieces to supplement your meal.

Classic Bento Boxes, however, contain three or four pieces of sushi alongside small servings of other entrees.

People also love to pair sushi rolls with soy sauce, wasabi, ginger, sriracha, and other condiments.

If you order a roll at most sushi restaurants, you will be given a 5-8 piece serving, typically considered one roll, as a meal.

How Much Sushi do you Typically Consume in One Meal?

If you’re eating just sushi and nothing else as a meal in a Japanese restaurant, you’ll probably eat about three rolls of sushi, or around 15 pieces. Men often eat 20 pieces and women around 12.

The smaller maki types of sushi usually come in 6 pieces and the larger in 3, both fill you up about the same, so you can order about 3 types of sushi per person.

Various Makimono Rolls and Sizes

While there are many different types of sushi, maki or Makimono rolls typically come to mind when people think of traditional rolls. They consist of sushi rice and other ingredients wrapped in nori, which are thin sheets of seaweed.

They can also be wrapped in a thin omelet, soy paper, or shiso leaves. The wrap is formed with the help of a bamboo mat or makisu.

Here are the four main types of Makimono sushi rolls:

Futomaki: At 2-2.5” in diameter, these rolls are pretty substantial. One roll can make up an entire meal.

They are wrapped with nori and contain various sauces and ingredients. They often feature high-end seafood like tempura shrimp, lobster, or crab.

Hand Roll: The hand roll is cone-shaped and has ingredients on the nori’s outer layer.

It is about 4” long and must be eaten right after it’s made to retain its delicious crispiness. Therefore, hand roll sushi is often made to order.

Nigirizushi: This type of sushi is made of two ingredients: rice and fish.

The rice is pressed into a small mound, and the fish is thinly sliced to go over the top. The fish itself is cut to be 1/4th” thick and 2-3″ long for each piece.

Then, the “neta,” or fish on top, and rice are bound together with a small strip of nori. The type of fish may include octopus, eel, salmon, shrimp, snapper, and more.

The fish is usually served raw, but it can also be grilled tempura style.

Sashimi: Though often said interchangeably, sashimi and sushi are two entirely different dishes.

Sashimi is a type of sushi that consists of very fresh, very thin slices of sushi-grade raw fish. These slices are only 2-3 mm thick, making each piece typically weigh less than an ounce.

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Sashimi differs from sushi in that sushi can have many different ingredients, including raw and cooked fish. On the other hand, sashimi must have raw fish as its main ingredient.

Other types of sushi include the following:

How Much Sushi Do Most People Eat?

Despite how much sushi might be recommended for eating, some people can’t seem to get enough.

Sushi lovers weighed in on the Seriouseats website as to how many pieces of sushi they could eat at one sitting, and the results were pretty impressive:

How Often is Too Often to Eat Sushi?

Many of us would eat sushi all day if we could. However, there are both good and bad things about eating lots of sushi rolls.

Some potential positives of eating sushi and other types of raw fish:

Some potential negatives:

However, you can reduce this risk by eating at high-quality sushi restaurants with good health ratings and excellent customer reviews.

With that in mind, how much sushi should you be eating?

While there is no exact recommended amount, the American Heart Association suggests capping your sushi roll intake at 12 oz or two meals a week, on average.

Sushi Eating World Record

Although the number of sushi rolls people can eat may seem impressive, no one compares to professional eater Tim “Eater X” Janus.

Janus holds the record for sushi-eating, ingesting 141 pieces in six minutes at a San Francisco event on April 11, 2008, to preview the upcoming WiiWare Title Major League Eating: The Game.

It may also be worth mentioning that Janus also holds the record for eating the most Ramen noodles with chopsticks.

It took him eight minutes to eat 4.76 kg of noodles back in October of 2007.

Here are some other exciting sushi world records facts:

The Tamana Otawara Festival Executive Committee made the longest sushi roll in Japan back in 2016 for the Tamana City Labor Athletic Center.

It measured 2,485 meters and contained daikon radish and sesame. It took nearly 400 people to create the roll.

The largest sushi mosaic was made in Norway in October of 2015. It measured 56.5 square meters and included 800 kg of salmon and 400 kg of sushi rice.

Now that you have all the facts on sushi-eating, how many sushi rolls do you think you can eat in one sitting?

Conclusion

Now that you know a bit more about sushi, what do you think?

Will you try to get creative with this cultural favorite in your kitchen?

Try out these homemade sushi sauce recipes as well

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.