Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Inside-out rolls, a type of makizushi. 裏巻き。

The nori is on the inside of the sushi. The filling is in the center surrounded by nori, around which a layer of rice has been applied. The outside is coated with toasted white or black sesame seeds. It can be made with a variety of fillings (besides the avocado mentioned below, also salmon, lettuce, cucumber, crab or crab stick, tuna and other types of fish, etc.).

Also called California Roll, as this type of sushi was invented in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles in the late 1960s. The restaurant was Tokyo Kaikan and the chef was named Mashita Ichiro. At first, it was not invented for Americans, as most of the clientele consisted of Japanese. But the restaurant had problems obtaining good fatty tuna belly (toro) and therefore started to use avocado instead. Avocado melts in the mouth like fatty tuna and is easily available in California. The idea to turn the roll inside out came afterwards, when American customers increased. They disliked the texture of the dry seaweed, which was therefore hidden on the inside. In Japan, uramaki are very rare, as Japanese prefer the texture of the seaweed; moreover, uramaki fall easily apart and cannot be eaten with the fingers as normal makizushi, but one has to use chopsticks.

Uramaki are, however, legitimate international sushi, just as legitimate as the Japanese variations on Western dishes, such as Tarako Spaghetti (spaghetti flavored with Alaskan pollock roe), toasted baguettes with mentaiko (marinated pollock roe) or buns filled with yakisoba (fried noodles)!

Uramaki (salmon)
[Photo Ad Blankestijn]