One of our classic vegetarian favorites at our Lynnwood sushi restaurant is the cucumber roll, also known as kappa maki in Japan. Consisting of a simple piece of cucumber rolled up in sushi rice, this is an unobtrusive sushi option that goes well with many Japanese meals.
The name “kappa maki” comes from the legendary Japanese demon known as the kappa, which was said to have an affinity for cucumber. This creature is frequently depicted as an ape or turtle-like monster who walks around on two legs, often engaged in mischief that ranges from innocent pranks to more serious acts of malice, like eating children. A kappa’s weakness is a bowl-like depression in its head, which is filled with the water that gives it strength. As the legend goes, you can protect yourself from a kappa by tricking it to bow so that it spills this water and loses its power.