Sushi – Uramaki and Gunkanmaki

Sushi is probably the most widely recognised national food of Japan and it was said to be one of the healthiest food in the world. Originated in Southeast Asia, sushi was spread to southern China before settled down in Japan. Until about 400 years ago, the sushi cuisine disappeared totally in Chinese cuisine and cooking books but remained active and popular in Japan. The are many varieties of sushi dishes but today I’ll be talking about the two I love the most, Uramaki and Gunkanmaki.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7676

Uramaki – Uramaki is the kind of sushi that has the rice on the outside or we can call it “inside-out role”. It normally has two fillings wrapped inside a nori/seaweed sheet with a layer of sushi rice on the outside. Some of them have toppings on the outside of the rice.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7685

Grilled eel uramaki

Gunkanmaki – Gunkimaki is the type of sushi we normally see in Japanese restaurants as “XX ship” or we can call it “warship roll”. This type of sushi consists of sushi rice, nori wrap and all sorts of toppings such as roe, oyster and seaweed.

nEO_IMG_IMGP1170

Seaweed gunkanmaki

 

What’s essential in making sushi is the sushi rice. I use Kokubo sushi rice as it has a mild taste and strong aroma. 

Ingredients for preparing sushi rice

2 cup rice

3 tbsp Japanese rice wine vinegar

3 tbsp sugar

Cooking Advice for sushi rice

After the rice is cooked, add the above amount of rice wine vinegar and sugar to the rice while it is hot. Make sure you keep stirring the rice until it cools to room temperature. A secret here is to add sugar with vinegar because this can create slight sweetness in the rice while maintaining the amount of sourness. I learnt this from a multi award winning sushi chef from Japan many years ago.

Once the rice is settled, you are pretty much ready to be on the road of making good sushi dishes.

Steps for making Uramaki

1. Cut the rectangular seaweed nori sheet into 2 halves. Each half will be adequate to make 1 sushi roll.

2. Warp your bamboo mat with cling wrap and hence you don’t have to clean the mat after making a mess. :P. Place the halved nori sheet on the end of the bamboo mat near you as shown below.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7640

3. Place a handful amount of rice on to the nori sheet.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7642

4. Spread the rice evenly with your hand. You can have a bowl of water on the side in case that the rice is very sticky.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7643

5. Flip the nori sheet so that the nori part is facing towards you.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7644

6. At the end near you, about 1/4 length of the nori sheet, squeeze in a line of Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7645

7. On top of the mayo, place and evenly spread several pieces of fresh salmon. In this post, I am using raw salmon as an example. You can use any filling you like, such as smoked salmon, avocado and so on.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7646

8. Roll the bamboo mat around to fully cover the first half of the nori sheet tightly and then roll again to make a tightly enclosed sushi role. If you are precise enough, your roll should appear somewhere near the center of the

nEO_IMG_IMGP7647

nEO_IMG_IMGP7648

9. Now you have finished making a basic uramaki roll. The next step is to add that extra outside layer. There are several options. You can just dip the outside with some sushi seasonings. This type is easy as after dipping, you can cut the sushi roll into sushi pieces and enjoy straight away.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7650

nEO_IMG_IMGP7649

nEO_IMG_IMGP7681

10. Or if you want the harder option, you can top the uramaki roll with sliced eel or avocado pieces.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7637

nEO_IMG_IMGP7638

11. Now, the key step is to cover the roll with cling wrap and slice through the cling wrap to cut the sushi into pieces. In this way, you are avoiding heaps of messing around and can get perfect shaped uramaki.

nEO_IMG_IMGP7639

12. Then, you can add herring roe to the avocado uramaki and top with Japanese mayo or add the takoyaki sauce to the grilled eel uramaki

nEO_IMG_IMGP7685

Grilled eel uramaki

nEO_IMG_IMGP7684

Avocado uramaki

 

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Now, once you know how to make uramaki, the gunkanmaki is easy to make.

 

Steps for making Gunkanmaki

1. Cut 1 nori sheet into 4 equal strips. Each strip is adequate to make 1 piece of gunkanmaki. Cut 1/4 off each strip so that the rest 3/4 of the strip can fit the rice in.

2. Wet your hand with water. Grab a half hand amount of sushi rice and reshape it to a cuboid shape.

 

nEO_IMG_IMGP7652

 

 

nEO_IMG_IMGP7651

 

 

3. Wrap the rice in step 2 with the nori strip make in step 1.

 

nEO_IMG_IMGP7653

 

 

4. To fully enclose the nori strip, add two pieces of sushi rice near the top and the bottom of the nori closure.

 

nEO_IMG_IMGP7654

 

 

5. Now, you can add your favourite topping to the “ship” and enjoy. The followings are some of the ones I added before.

 

nEO_IMG_IMGP7680

Herring roe gunkanmaki

 

 

nEO_IMG_IMGP1170

Seasoned seaweed gunkanmaki

 

 

nEO_IMG_IMGP6258

Kangaroo Island purple sea urchin roe gunkanmaki

 

Enjoy!

 

Next coming up in the Basic Japanese food guide is Japanese light cheesecake! Stay tuned!

Advertisements


Categories: Adelaide, Basic Japanese Cooking, Recipes, Seafood

Tags: , , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. I have been wanting to learn about making sushi for ages! Thanks. will go to the market today and try tonight! Cheers~

  2. Awesome post: I *love* sushi!!! 🙂

  3. I love Japanese food! It’s a shame I can’t make it because my hands are always too warm 😦

  4. what a fabulous write up 🙂

    I love spicy raw tuna, salmon as my main go-to’s
    my concern when buying it, is that the rice is very sweet. I think this can be easily make with better taste.

    if making with nori … do you have a particular brand?
    PS – Kewpie Mayo is so addictive!

  5. Looking at that grilled eel uramaki is making me hungry. Some great tips for the sushi novice! 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. How fresh can my seafood be? – My Specialty Sushi « Adelaidefoodies – Food blog Adelaide, SA, Australia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: