How much sushi is in a roll? And how many can you eat?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  May 30, 2020

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

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

but these are interesting facts that those with a culinary interest will want to explore.

Read on to find out more about sushi and what goes into making it and serving it.

Sushi roll on a cutting board

How much Sushi is in a Roll?

There are many different types of sushi and most are made in one large roll that is then cut up into smaller pieces. Most rolls will make 6-8 pieces of sushi.

How much sushi can I eat?

The amount of sushi you eat will depend on your appetite and what else you are eating it with. For instance, if you are eating sushi at a buffet, you may grab a few pieces to supplement your meal. Bento Boxes may contain three or four pieces of sushi in addition to small servings of other entrees.

However, if you order sushi at most restaurants, you will be given a 5-8 piece serving, basically one roll.

How Often is Too Often to Eat Sushi?

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

For one, sushi and other types of raw fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. These are great for the brain and the heart.

They lower blood pressure, they reduce the likelihood of heart disease and they protect against neurodegenerative brain disease.

However, eating sushi also increases the risk that you may be exposed to bacteria and parasites.

You can reduce this risk by eating at restaurants that have good health ratings and have been recommended in customer reviews.

Eating raw fish can also pose a danger to certain individuals. Anyone with a weakened immune system should steer clear.

This includes young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and older adults.

Not only does eating raw fish increase the possibility of bacteria exposure, but it also contains mercury which can be toxic if consumed at high levels.

So, with that in mind, how much sushi should we be eating?

Well, there really is no set level but the American Heart Association recommends capping intake at 12 oz or two average meals a week.

How Much Sushi Do Most People Eat?

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

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

Those that order meals that include only five pieces of sushi will order several other items to go with their raw fish including soups, veggies, and more.

Sushi Eating World Record

Although the amount of sushi 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 of sushi in six minutes at a press event in San Francisco held to preview the upcoming WiiWare Title Major League Eating: The Game.

The event took place on April 11, 2008.

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

It took him 8 minutes to eat 4.76 kg of noodles back in October of 2007.

Here are some other interesting sushi world records facts:

The most expensive sushi was created in The Philippines on June 28, 2010 by chef Angelito Araneta.

It included 5 pieces of nigiri covered in edible pearls, gold, and diamonds, and it is valued at $1978.

The longest sushi roll made measured 2,485 meters. It contained daikon radish and sesame.

It took nearly 400 people to create the roll.

It was created by the Tamana Otawara Festival Executive Committee at the Tamana City Labor Athletic Center in Tamana, Kumamoto, Japan on Nov. 20, 2016.

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 rice.

Now that you have all the facts on sushi eating that you will ever want to know, tell us, how much sushi can you eat at one sitting?  

History of Sushi

Sushi originates in Southeast Asia. In early times, fish was stored with rice as a means of preserving it.

The rice was later discarded. The word sushi means sour and it was given to the dish due to the savory, umami taste it produced.

During the Muromachi period (1336-1573), vinegar was added to sushi. This helped better preserve the fish and it emphasized its sour taste.

The recipe was further developed in Osaka where people would use bamboo molds to press the sushi into shape.

However, it was not until the Edo period (1603-1898) that sushi started to resemble the morsels we know and love today.

It was during this time when fish began to be served over rice. Also called edomae sushi, it became available in shops and restaurants.

In 1893, the word sushi appeared in the Oxford English dictionary. It was defined as “a roll of cold rice with fish, seaweed or some other flavorings”.

Types of Sushi

There are several types of sushi available but maki or Makimono rolls are what usually comes to mind when people think of sushi rolls. They consist of sushi rice and other ingredients wrapped in nori, or 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.

There are four types of makimono rolls. These are as follows:

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

They are wrapped with nori and they contain a variety of sauces and ingredients allowing the chef to get creative.

However, they often feature high-end seafood like tempura shrimp, lobster or crab.

Hand Roll: The hand roll is cone-shaped and has ingredients that are on the outer layer of the nori.

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It is about 4” long and it is to be eaten right after it is made so the crispness is maintained. Often, hand roll sushi is 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.

They are then bound together with a small strip of nori. The fish on top is known as neta and it may be any type of fish including octopus, eel, shrimp, snapper, and more.

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

Sashimi: The terms sashimi and sushi are often used interchangeably but they are actually two different things.

Sashimi is a type of sushi that consists of very fresh, very thin slices of raw fish. It is a great way to experience seafood.

It differs from sushi in that sushi can have any ingredients that can include fish or not and the fish can be raw or cooked. Sashimi must have raw fish as its main ingredient.

Other types of sushi include the following:

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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?

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.