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Sushi Maki Rolls and Nigiri Varieties

Sushi Maki Rolls and Nigiri Varieties

What Is Sushi?

There are several different types of food that fall under the category of what we as Americans refer to as sushi. The most commonly known variety, that of maki sushi or makizushi is a long roll consisting of rice, nori and fillings that has been cut into 6-8 pieces. Nigiri sushi usually consists of just a piece of raw fish over a chunk of rice, while Sashimi is just a piece of raw fish.

Maki Sushi

Maki sushi is available in two varieties. Futomaki, or ‘fat sushi’ consists of a layer of nori on the outside, then sticky rice, then different fillings in the middle. Hosomaki sushi, or ‘thin maki sushi’ usually consists of just one ingredient in the middle, like a piece of raw fish, although vegetables and fruits may be used. If the nori is rolled up inside the roll instead of showing on the outside, it is called uramaki, or inside-out maki. This was first done because Americans did not like seeing the green nori on the outside of the roll.

Some of the most common varieties of maki sushi rolls have sprung up especially to appeal and satisfy Western palates and cuisine. These are not technically considered to be authentic Japanese sushi, but they are very popular and can be very tasty.

Maki Sushi Recipes

The most common and simple recipe for maki rolls is the California roll. The California roll is usually made inside out and of imitation crab, cucumber and avocado. The outside of the roll is sometimes made with tobiko, or flying fish roe. The California roll is popular because it is seen as a ‘no-risk’ sushi, because it doesn’t have any raw fish. It came about from a Japanese sushi chef in Los Angeles in the 1970s who realized that the oily texture of avocado was a perfect substitute for raw tuna, which the original recipe called for. The California Roll is credited with spreading sushi’s popularity throughout the United States.

A common variant of the California roll is the Boston roll. In the Boston roll, the imitation crab meat is replaced with poached shrimp. The cucumber, avocado, rice and nori remain the same. Often, spicy sauce is added to a Boston roll, either in the roll on on the top.

A spicy shrimp roll is another variation on traditional sushi designed to appeal more to Westernized palates. It uses poached shrimp, like the Boston roll, but the shrimp is sliced. The spicy sauce is required now, and the avocado is replaced with sliced shrimp. The spicy shrimp roll is usually made as an outside thick roll, but can also be rolled as a hand roll or a ship roll. It is also topped with thinly sliced myoga.

Tuna roll is one of the easiest of maki sushi to prepare. It is called tekkimaki in Japan. It only consists of sushi rice, nori, and sashimi-grade tuna (raw tuna). The tuna roll is traditionally rolled up outside thick or thin, depending on preference.

Dynamite rolls are a different take on a traditional tuna roll. In sushi fusion, dynamite refers to something spicy. Dynamite rolls are tuna rolls with spicy mayonnaise put over them. The mayonnaise is then flamed with a chef’s torch.

The spicy tuna roll is a little spicier than the regular tuna roll. It is made with tuna trimmings prepared into spicy tuna mix instead of slices of tuna. Spicy tuna is made with tuna trimmings, scallions, chili oil, and some japanese mayonnaise. The chopped tuna may also have cream added to it to make the consistency right. It is then sprinkled with cucumber bits to make a traditional spicy tuna roll. It is usually rolled as an outside thick roll.

The Tijuana roll is served as an outside thin roll. It is thinly sliced yellow tail tuna and some jalapeno peppers. It doesn’t need any wasabi because the jalapeno is already spicy.

The spider roll is an especially good looking sushi roll made with tempura-fried soft-shell crab rolled by itself. It is usually rolled as an outside thick roll with the legs sticking out.

The Michigan roll is a variation of the traditional spicy tuna roll that has smelt roe spicy sauce and avocado to counteract the spiciness of the tuna. It is usually rolled as an outside thick roll.

Aside from maki rolls, another common kind of sushi is nigiri sushi. Nigiri sushi doesn’t always have nori, like the maki rolls do, and usually just consists of a piece of raw fish over a ball of sushi rice. Different sauces or seasonings may be used, but it is essentially just some kind of raw fish and sushi rice.

Enjoy your sushi!

One Response to “Sushi Maki Rolls and Nigiri Varieties”

  1. You guys really seem to know your stuff this blog of information was very useful.:)

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