OK, so let’s get the obvious out of the way. For unknown reasons, the instructions and recipe book included with this “Leifheit 23064 Perfect Roll Set” are in German. Only German. So unless you speak German, you are at a disadvantage as to how to use this and the recipe book will be useless.
But even if you happen to be fluent in German, this isn’t really a good product. Contrary to popular belief making roll sushi isn’t really all that hard. It requires little skill and no more equipment than a Bamboo Mat. There is a reason why any sushi chef you see at a restaurant uses a bamboo mat and not a little rolling machine when making sushi–it is faster and easier.
But even though I am a proficient sushi-roller (as anyone can be in a few minutes after being shown how to do it), I am always curious about kitchen gadgets and wanted to give this a try. It is easy. It actually reminds me of cigarette rolling machines which work on the same principal, and is probably how this was invented. Someone saw someone rolling cigarettes and said “Hey! I bet you could make a bigger version of that and roll sushi!” You place down your nori (rolling papers), set in the fillings (loose tobacco), then you cinch it tight and walla! A sushi roll (cigarette)!
So what are the problems with this? First off, it isn’t any faster or easier than the traditional bamboo mat method.
1. The machine is small, and can only take nori of a certain size. So before rolling, you have to take the little nori-template and carefully cut your nori to the correct size. This wastes a lot of nori, since standard nori size and the nori-template do not agree.
2. Obviously, all your filling ingredients will need to be trimmed to this exact size as well.
3. After you put all the ingredients in and roll, you get very short sushi rolls, maybe two or three bites.
So if you are making sushi rolls in any quantity, like for a party or even for two people to share, you are going to have to spend a lot more time cutting and trimming ingredients, rolling and cutting them.
Aside from being more time consuming, it is also messier than a traditional bamboo mat, and takes up more space in the kitchen. And it is less flexible. You can only make the exact size and width of sushi rolls that the machine rolls up. No futa-maki here.
If you want to make rolled sushi, pick your self up a bamboo sushi mat and spend a few minutes browsing the internet and learn how to use it. You will be amazed at how easy it is, and happy that you didn’t waste money on a fancied up cigarette roller.