Maki and Uramaki Sushi


In order to make sushi you need time, patience, a flair for subterfuge and ideally an accomplice. Since the introduction of EU Regulation (EC) No 853/2004.  you are not allowed to buy raw fish in order to make sushi, but rather have to use fish which has been frozen no less than 24 hours in order to kill off any potential parasites. I can see the logic in this, but having spent most of my life co-existing with mice, the idea of food parasites strikes less fear into my heart than it probably should.  I lead a relatively quiet life, flirting with food safety rules is the closest I come to an extreme sport.

We arrived at our local harbour-side fishmonger at an ungodly hour on a Saturday morning (i.e. before noon) and queued patiently with the throng of shoppers. No sooner had the syllable ‘su’ left our mouths then we were  ushered away from the enticing slabs of fresh fish to a freezer filled with clingfilm wrapped chunks of miscellaneous pink fish. We managed to purchase a fillet of fresh mackerel to go alongside our frozen pieces of tuna and salmon, but not without some raised eyebrows first.  I never thought Denmark was one to play by the EU’s rules, if their tumultuous relationship with the smoking ban is anything to go by, but there you are. When I return for scallops to make sashimi with, I will simply smile angelically at the fishmonger and not say a word.
As you can guess from the above, we made maki and uramaki with salmon, tuna and mackerel, but really you can go with whatever fish you like. We followed the incomparable sushi rice instructions from Fiona’s Japanese Cooking which are summarised below. This amount should make four maki/uramaki rolls, or 32 pieces of sushi depending on how thickly you cut them.
Sesame Seeds



  • 320g sushi rice
  • 100ml rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 200g raw fish , cut into thin finger length strips with about half the width of your finger
  • 3 tablespoons each black sesame seeds and toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 nori sheets
  • 1/2 cucumber, julienned
  • 2 avocados, thinly sliced
  • 4 spring onions, julienned
  • Japanese soy sauce
  • Pickled ginger
  • Wasabi
  • Sushi mat (optional, you could just use clingfilm instead)


  • First wash the rice by placing in a large bowl of water and gently rubbing it together.
  • You will need a few changes of water until it runs clear and is ready to go.
  • Add the sushi rice with an equal volume of water to a large saucepan.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  • Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile make the sushi vinegar by heating the vinegar, sugar and salt until all melted together.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Spread the rice out on a ceramic baking tray, drizzle with the vinegar and then gently mix it in using a spatula while fanning the rice with some cardboard so that it cools to room temperature.
  • Maki (the roll with the seaweed on the outside) is the easier sushi roll to make.
  • Put the nori down on the rolling mat with the rough side facing up
  • Spread the nori with a 1/2cm smoothed out layer of sushi rice
  • In the middle of the sheet, put three or six pieces of fish in a line.
  • Add some cucumber, spring onion and avocado
  • Sprinkle some sesame seeds, and add a little wasabi
  • Using the mat, roll it up tightly and then roll it back and forth like a rolling pin to round it out.
  • For the uramaki, spread the rice on the nori sheet as above.
  • Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds and press in to coat.
  • Cover the sesame seed side with a layer of cling film.
  • Flip it over so the nori is now facing up.
  • Put your filling in the middle of the nori and roll up as before.
  • Thinly slice the rolls using the thinnest, lightest, sharpest knife you have (a filleting knife is good) into either 6 or 8 pieces depending on your preference.
  • Serve at room temperature.



8 thoughts on “Maki and Uramaki Sushi

  1. Wow, how interesting about the regulations on only frozen fish. Here in the US you can buy it fresh, but (if you’re smart), you have to buy “sushi-grade” fish, which ends up costing as much as a fancy night out in your favorite sushi spot.

  2. Hat’s off to you for making your own maki! It’s a bridge too far for my 2 left hands. Yours certainly do not look homemade and I love that serving dish.

  3. Thanks. It does really need two pairs of hands, and ours were still ever so slightly asymmetrical. I got both dishes at the Chinese department store on Broadway in New York, love the stuff there!

  4. Pingback: Scallop Tataki | Canal Cook

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