A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Setsubun Ehoumaki with Pantry Ingredients:Rolling Luck!

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Setsubun Ehoumaki with Pantry Ingredients:Rolling Luck!

What is Ehoumaki? (恵方巻き)

Ehoumaki, meaning “lucky direction roll,” is a sushi roll eaten at the Setsubun Festival.

Setsubun is a traditional Japanese festival that marks the transition from winter to spring. The term “Setsubun” translates to “seasonal division,” the festival typically takes place around February 3rd or 4th, depending on the Japanese lunar calendar. It is celebrated as a time to drive away evil spirits and invite good fortune for the coming year.

There are no rules about which filling should be used, so this year, I made a simple sushi roll with pantry ingredients that is called a country roll (田舎巻き).

What sets Ehoumaki apart is its preparation and consumption ritual. During Setsubun, it is customary to face a specific lucky direction, east-northeast, for this year (2024).

Sushi with Pantry Ingredients

You can create this dish using pantry staples such as dried food like Nori sheet, dried shiitake mushrooms, Kanpyo, along with eggs, and cucumbers that you regularly keep on hand.

Dried Shiitake Mushroom

To begin, rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms.

Soak them in water for a couple of hours or overnight in the fridge until fully rehydrated.

Preserve the water used for rehydration as it carries a rich flavor of dried shiitake mushrooms.

In a pot, combine the rehydrated shiitake mushrooms with sugar and the reserved water, cooking on low heat for ten minutes until softened.

Add mirin and soy sauce to enhance the flavor while maintaining their soft texture. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates.


Moving on to Kanpyo, a traditional Japanese ingredient made from dried gourd strips, commonly used in sushi rolls.

Cut it into manageable lengths, wash, and rub with a pinch of salt to soften the fiber.

Rehydrate by soaking in water for 10 to 15 minutes, then boil until soft.

Season with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce, cooking until well seasoned.

Alternatively, Aburaage can be used if Kanpyo is unavailable, providing a similar texture and taste.


Now, for Tamagoyaki, a versatile sushi filling. Crack five eggs into a bowl, add 2 1/2 tablespoons of Mentsuyu, an equal amount of water, and a pinch of sugar.

Beat the eggs until whites are mixed, then cook in 1 to 2 scoop portions, rolling while still wet. Prepare a larger Tamagoyaki than usual, and set aside.

Sushi Rice

Drizzle sushi vinegar over hot rice, using a paddle to gently incorporate without smashing the grains. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature.


Before rolling, slice the dried shiitake mushrooms thinly, cut Tamagoyaki in half, and halve the cucumber.

Assemble the Ehoumaki on a bamboo sushi mat with nori, vinegary water on hands to prevent rice sticking, and spread sushi rice evenly, leaving 1 inch of nori at the top.

Place Tamagoyaki, cucumber, sliced dried shiitake, and Kanpyo in the center. Roll using the bamboo mat, shaping tightly and pushing rice from the edges.

Simper Version

For a simpler version, microwave minced carrot and lotus root, mix with sushi vinegar, and roll with Tamagoyaki and cucumber for a colorful variation.


Your Ehoumaki is complete! It can be bitten into or sliced into bite-sized portions.

Remember to consume Ehoumaki in one sitting, facing the Ehou (Lucky) direction for good luck. The Ehou direction changes yearly, so verify the current direction for the specific year.

Ehoumaki Lucky Direction Sushi Roll (Inaka maki)

Easy sushi roll for Setsubun Festival
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Soaking Time for Dried Foods 2 hours
Course all
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2 rolls


  • 1 Sushi Mat
  • 1 18✖️18cm rectangle pan for tamagoyaki Regular Round pan can be used instead
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 pot


・Sushi Rice

  • 1 Rice Cup Rice
  • 3~4 TBS Sushi vinegar

・Dried Shiitake Mushroom

  • 3~4 Dried Shiitake Mushroom
  • 1 tbs Sugar
  • 1 tbs Mirin
  • 1 tbs Soy Sauce


  • 1 package Kanpyo (about 30g) Aburaage can be used instead
  • 1 cup Kombu dashi or water
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs mirin
  • ½ tbs soy sauce

・Tamagoyaki18×18cm rectangle pan5 large eggs2 1/2 tbs Mentsuyu2 1/2 tbs Watera pinch of sugar

  • 5 eggs large
  • Mentsuyu another ratio: 4 tbs Dashi/ 1 tbs soy sauce
  • water
  • a pinch of sugar

Ingredients for Easier Version

  • 30 g carrot
  • 30 g lotus root spinach or sesame can be used instead


・Nori Sheet


Dried Shiitake mushroom

  • Soak in water until fully rehydrated, about a couple of hours, or overnight in the fridge.
    Put them in a pot with sugar and the water used to rehydrate the shiitake mushroom.
    Cook on low heat for ten minutes, to make it soft, and then mirin and soy sauce are added to give them a delicious flavor.
    Cook until almost all the liquid is gone.


  • Cut into the length you can easily handle, and then wash. Add a pinch of salt and rub to soften the fiber. Wash the salt and soak in water for 10 to 15 mins until fully rehydrate.
    Add water to cover and boil for 10 mins until soft.
    Drain, add a table spoon of sugar, pour water or kombu dashi to cover, and cook for 10 mins until soft.
    After 10 minutes, add mirin and soy sauce to the pot and cook 10 to 15 mins until seasoned.


  • Crack 5 eggs in a bowl, add 2 1/2 tablespoons of Mentsuyu and the same amount of water. And Add a pinch of sugar.
    I don't usually add sugar to Tamagoyaki, but for sushi filling, just a little bit of sweetness balances all the components.
    Beat the eggs well until the egg whites are mixed, then add seasonings.
    Start cooking 1 to 2 scoops of egg mixture, cook on medium heat, roll it up while the eggs are still wet.
    Slide the egg away from you, then grease the pan again, and add egg mixture, run the mixture under the cooked egg, then roll it up. Repeat the process until the mixture is gone.

Sushi rice

  • Drizzle the sushi vinegar over hot steaming rice, use your paddle like cutting the rice. Cover the each grain with the sushi vinegar with this motion. Do not smash the grain otherwise your sushi rice end up mushy.
    Allow the rice to cool to room temperature.


  • Place a bamboo sushi mat on the kitchen counter, place a sheet of nori on the the shiny side facing down.
    Wet your hands to prevent the rice from sticking with vinegary water.
    Take a handful of sushi rice, about 150g, a little less than usual because the filling is plenty today, and spread it evenly over the nori, leaving about 1 inch of nori at the top.
    Place Tamagoyaki, cucumber, sliced dried shiitake and Kanpyo in the center of the rice.
    Roll the Ehoumaki:Lift the edge of the bamboo mat with index finger and thumb, hold the fillling with the rest of the finger, and start rolling the nori over the filling.Continue rolling using the bamboo mat, applying gentle pressure and tightly to shape the roll.Push the rice of the edges with the moistened finger.

Easier Version

  • Mince your carrot and Lotus root.
    Spinach or sesame seeds can be used instead.
    Put them in the heat proof bowl, and cook in the microwave for 1 mins at 800w.
    Pour over the sushi vinegar and mix it into the steaming hot rice.
    Spread onto the Nori sheet, about 200g this time, then arrange Tamagoyaki and cucumber.
Keyword ehoumaki, inakamaki, Setsubun, sushi, 恵方巻き, 田舎巻き, 節分
Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating