Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Monday, June 11, 2012


Sushi rolls. 巻きずし、

Sushi rolls made with the help of a makisu, a thin bamboo mat. Also called norimaki when nori (seaweed) is used for the wrapper, as is most common except in uramaki and some cases where very thin omelet is used.

There are four types:
  • Hosomaki or thin rolls - only one ingredient.
  • Chumaki or medium rolls - a few ingredients
  • Futomaki or thick rolls - several ingredients
  • Uramaki or inside-out rolls - the nori is on the inside and the outside is coated with white or black sesame seed. 

The most popular hosomaki are:
  • Kappamaki - rolls with cucumber, named after a water sprite that likes cucumber. Also called Kyurimaki (kyuri is the normal word for cucumber).
  • Tekkamaki - rolls with shavings of tuna meat. In the past popular in gambling dens (tekkaba), as one could eat with one hand and continue playing with the other, This may be the rigin of sushi rolls.
  • Negitoromaki - rolls with shavings of tuna meat mixed with finely chopped spring onions (negi)
  • Kanpyomaki - rolls with marinated dried gourd strips (kanpyo)
  • Shinkomaki or Takuan Hosomaki - rolls with takuan, pickled daikon.
  • Nattomaki, rolls with a filling of natto (fermented beans).
Futomaki are about 5 cm thick and usually four or five different ingredients are used, such as shiitake, koyadofu, kanpyo, strips of Japanese omelette. etc. In the case of chumaki or futomaki, also more "exotic" ingredients are popular, such as lettuce, crab stick and omelet in saradamaki (salad rolls). Interesting are also Ehomaki eaten at the Setsubun Festival.

Makizushi are popular for eating at home - they can be bought in supermarkets and convenience stores, as well as specialized take-out sushi chain shops. In real sushi bars you will only find some of the more traditional hosomaki, for here nigirizushi reign supreme. Outside Japan, it is different; as sushi rolls are relatively easy to make and do not require difficult-to-get ingredients, even in sushi restaurants you find more rolls than sushi fingers.

How to make makizushi:
Place a sheet of nori on the special makisu bamboo mat and spread sushi-rice (sushimeshi) over it to the edges, but keep one-fourth at the top of the of the sheet empty. Put the filling ingredients together across the rice at a point one-third of the length of the nori sheet. Bring the edge of the nori closest to the ingredients up and then roll firmly with the mat, pressing it together. Finally, cut the roll into pieces of the required thickness (1.5 cm for a thck roll, 2 cm for a thin one).