What is uramaki?
The Japanese dish uramaki is maki turned inside out. The ingredients are the same as for futomaki: sushi rice, two or three types of stuffing and a sheet of seaweed. With uramaki, however, the roll is rolled in such a way that the seaweed is on the inside and the rice on the outside.
Uramaki is an American invention, conceived in the late 1960s when nori (seaweed) was still an unknown and exotic ingredient. To avoid scaring customers, the nori was hidden on the inside of the roll. The California roll, filled with crab, avocado and cucumber, is a well-known example of uramaki. The Japanese are not really impressed with this American variant and prefer ordinary maki rolls.
The rice exterior of uramaki is sometimes decorated by covering the rolls in sesame seeds or fish eggs.
Did you know...
One of the best sushi chefs in the world, three-star chef Jiro Ono, massages the squid for his sushi a full fifty minutes before cutting it – an intensive job that his students often do for him.
How to make uramaki
For uramaki rolls, a sheet of nori is placed on a makisu (bamboo mat) covered with cling film. The fish or vegetables are cut into strips of about twenty centimetres. The sushi chef dips their fingers in a bowl containing water and a tablespoon of rice vinegar to prevent the rice from sticking to their hands. Clapping to get rid of the excess moisture, they take a handful of shari (sushi rice) and spread it over the sheet of nori, until the layer is about half an inch thick. The nori and rice are then flipped, the filling placed directly on the nori, then they roll the whole thing into a cylinder using the mat. The roll is cut into six with a knife that has been pulled over a damp cloth.
How to eat uramaki
You can eat sushi in the old Japanese style with your fingers or in a modern way with chopsticks. Use a slice of pickled ginger between the snacks to neutralise the taste in your mouth.
Difference between maki and uramaki
Maki is a traditional sushi roll, in which the nori (seaweed) is wrapped on the outside, and the rice and ingredients are placed on the inside. Uramaki reverses the order of things, placing the rice on the outside, and the nori on the inside. The rice is then often coated with sesame seeds or tobiko (fish roe) for added texture and visual appeal, and served with a variety of toppings and sauces.