These crunchy tuna uramaki rolls have marinated sashimi grade tuna with cucumber and fried onion, wrapped with nori sheet and sushi rice. Wrapped inside out with the rice on the outside, these rolls are unique and super fun to make! Follow the easy step-by-step to create your own sushi in the comfort of your home.
What is uramaki?
You may not have heard of the term uramaki often, but I am sure you have seen it at sushi restaurants. In Japanese, ‘Ura’ means back side and ‘Maki’ means rolls, hence they are known as inside out or reversed sushi rolls.
Just like making regular sushi rolls, the process starts with spreading a thin layer of sushi rice on a sheet of nori. But then the set of rice and nori gets flipped so the rice layer comes on the outer side.
After that, any seafood or vegetable filling of your choice is placed in the middle. Using a bamboo mat called ‘Maki-su’, they are wrapped tightly into rolls and sliced into individual pieces.
Fun fact about uramaki
Did you know that uramaki was developed to cater to Western culture? It was thought of as a way to hide foreign ingredients such as nori and raw seafood, making sushi easier to be perceived by a wider range of customers.
And that is also why we do not see them as often in Japan locally.
Which rice should I use?
Make sure to use short or medium grain rice as they are the sticker types. Japanese sushi rice works perfectly. Longer grains such as jasmine or basmati would not work for this recipe because they have lower starch content and would not stick together.
Ingredients for this recipe
- Cooked Japanese rice - see above section for details
- Sushi vinegar - This is rice vinegar seasoned with sugar and salt. You can use either bottled one, or homemade (see the notes at the bottom of recipe card)
- Sashimi grade tuna - see the section 'Variations' for substitute options
- Avocado oil mayonnaise - or regular mayonnaise
- Tamari soy sauce
- Toasted sesame oil
- Ground pepper
- Cucumber - other crunchy vegetables such as bell peppers or carrots work as well
- Fried onion - make sure to pick a gluten-free type
- Nori seaweed
How to make crunchy tuna uramaki
1. Make sushi rice. Pour the sushi vinegar on the rice and mix well.
2. Season the tuna. Season with the mayonnaise, tamari soy sauce and sesame oil. Sprinkle pepper if desired. Mix well.
3. Prepare the the bamboo mat. Place a bamboo mat on a working surface and cover with a piece of cling wrap that is longer than the mat.
4. Spread rice. Place a sheet of half size nori seaweed on the cling wrap. Spread ¼ of the sushi rice on the nori, making sure the rice comes to all edges.
5. Flip. Flip the nori and rice, so the seaweed comes on top.
6. Add fillings. Spread ¼ of the tuna in the middle of the nori, horizontally. Then top with a few sticks of cucumber and fried onion.
7. Roll. Lift up the bottom edge (closer to you) of the bamboo mat all the way to the top side to roll up. Give a squeeze with your hands to make sure everything is packed in tightly. Take the roll out of the bamboo mat and cut into individual pieces. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.
8. Serve. Top with more fried onion and sesame. Serve with tamari soy sauce, wasabi and ginger pickles if desired.
*See the recipe card below for detailed instructions.
Crush the fried onion if the flakes are large.
Make sure the rice has cooled down to room temperature when spreading over the nori seaweed. Hot rice will release steam which can make the nori wet and soggy.
The ideas are limitless when it comes to fillings and toppings but here are some options to tweak this recipe. However, for all of the ingredients, I recommend sticking to the amount shown in the recipe so they will all fit in the rolls nicely.
Switch tuna to another protein. To any other sashimi grade fish, or any cooked protein such as cooked shrimp and smoked salmon.
Switch the vegetables. Crunchy vegetables such as thinly sliced bell peppers or julienned carrots work well to replace the cucumber.
Dress with more sauce. Drizzle sauce of your choice such as Sriracha mayo, or gluten-free teriyaki sauce.
How to cut sushi rolls
Use a sharp knife. Rice stuck on the blade will prevent you from making a clean slice, so wipe the knife with a wet kitchen towel after every slice. Pull the knife towards you and slice in one motion.
Crunchy tuna rolls are the best when eaten fresh because the rice gets dried out in the fridge. That said, if you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container for up to a day. The rice hardens as it cools, so microwave for 10 seconds or so to soften up upon eating.
Crunchy Tuna Uramaki (Inside-out Sushi)
- 3 cups cooked Japanese rice
- 6 tablespoons sushi vinegar bottled, or homemade (see notes)
- 5 ounces sashimi grade tuna chopped
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- ground pepper to taste (optional)
- 2 ounces cucumber cut into very thin sticks
- 4 tablespoons fried onion plus more for topping
- 2 sheets nori seaweed each cut in half
- To make sushi rice, pour the sushi vinegar on the rice and mix well.
- Place the tuna in a bowl and season with the mayonnaise, tamari soy sauce and sesame oil. Sprinkle pepper if desired. Mix well.
- Place a bamboo mat on a working surface and cover with a piece of cling wrap that is longer than the mat. Fold the overhang of the cling wrap over the edges of the mat.
- Place a sheet of half size nori with the shiny side down on the cling wrap. Spread ¼ of the sushi rice on the nori, making sure the rice comes to all edges.
- Flip the nori and rice, so the nori comes on top.
- Spread ¼ of the tuna in the middle of the nori horizontally. Then top with a few sticks of cucumber and 1 tablespoon of fried onion.
- Lift up the bottom edge (closer to you) of the bamboo mat all the way to the top side to roll up. Give a squeeze with your hands to make sure everything is packed in tightly. Take the roll out of the bamboo mat and cut into individual pieces. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.
- Top with more fried onion and sesame. Serve with tamari soy sauce, wasabi and ginger pickles if desired.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.