In the past we’ve shown you how to make sushi
rolls. Now it’s time to introduce you to one of our
favorite types of sushi rolls — Uramaki-zushi, or “inside-out
sushi roll.” This type of sushi was originally developed by an
enterprising Japanese chef living in California in the 1970s.
The notion of eating seaweed wasn’t very popular in Western
countries back then, so the idea was born to put the nori
seaweed on the inside of the roll, while the rice (often
coated in sesame seeds) sat on the outside.
According to some sources, the avocado was used in this new
type of sushi roll to approximate the creaminess of toro (raw
tuna belly). Crab and strips of cucumber were the finishing
touches to this very tasty new sushi roll, which came to be
known as the ‘California Roll.’ There are now many different
types of inside-out rolls, and they’ve become popular all
around the world — including Japan.
Inside-out sushi rolls take a bit of practice to make, but
once you get the hang of the basic technique, it’s not too
tricky (especially with our handy step-by-step photos to guide
When it comes to different filling options for inside-out
rolls, the possibilities are endless — smoked salmon, cooked
shrimp, very fresh raw tuna and salmon, tofu (firm or silken),
eggs (made into an omelet and cut into strips), scallions,
mushrooms, snow pea sprouts, asparagus (lightly steamed), and
grated carrot. But keep it simple and only include two or
three fillings in each roll. You can also use a combo of black
and white sesame seeds on the outside for an eye-catching
California sushi rolls
Uramaki-zushi, or 'inside-out
sushi rolls' coated with toasted sesame seeds and filled with
crab, creamy avocado, and strips of cucumber.
1 quantity sushi rice (for
recipe click here)
¼ cup lightly toasted sesame seeds
8 crab sticks — each cut in half lengthwise (or use fresh
½ cucumber-peeled, seeds removed and flesh cut into thin
2 avocados — peeled, and flesh cut into strips
4 sheets nori (seaweed) — each cut in half crosswise
Japanese soy sauce
Pickled ginger (gari)
1. Prepare the sushi rice and
the filling ingredients, then place half a sheet of nori
on a chopping board and spread ¾ cup of cooked and
cooled sushi rice evenly over the top by pressing with
wet fingertips (to prevent the rice sticking to your
2. SPRINKLE a heaped teaspoon
of toasted sesame seeds evenly over the rice.
3. WRAP a sushi rolling mat
completely with plastic wrap (which prevents the rice
from sticking to the mat), then place the rice-topped
nori sheet on top of the mat so that the nori is facing
up. Next, arrange two halves of crab stick down the
center of the nori.
4. ARRANGE some strips of
cucumber and avocado down the center of the nori also.
5. ROLL up the sushi tightly
with the sushi mat to form a neatly packed cylinder.
(You can use some of your fingers to push the filling in
tight as you roll.)
6. SQUEEZE firmly to make sure
the sushi roll is tightly packed.
7. CUT each sushi roll in half
using a sharp, damp knife, then place those two halves
together and cut both in half, then cut each of those
halves in half to make 8 pieces of sushi. Repeat the
rolling process with the rest of the ingredients.
8. SERVE the sushi with a small
bowl of shoyu (soy sauce) for dipping, wasabi paste
(Japanese green horseradish), and slices of gari
(Japanese pickled ginger) for cleansing the palate
between sushi pieces.
Variations: The filling options for inside-out rolls
are almost endless — smoked salmon, cooked shrimp, very fresh
raw tuna and salmon, tofu (firm or silken), eggs (made into an
omelet and cut into strips), scallions, mushrooms, snow pea
sprouts, asparagus (lightly steamed), and grated carrot. But
keep it simple and only include two or three fillings in each
roll. You can also use a combo of black and white sesame seeds
on the outside for an eye-catching effect. Or replace the
sesame seeds with fish eggs (roe).