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..Inside Out Egg Sushi Rolls (AKA California Egg Rolls)..

Have you ever been to a sushi bar, seen inside out sushi rolls on the counter and wondered, "Who had the idea to turn a sushi roll inside out?" Or maybe,"How does the chef do that?' If you have, then read on.....

So, Inside Out Sushi Rolls are Japanese, right? Well, not fact, you don't often see uramaki (as they are called in Japanese) on the menu in a sushi bar in Japan. That's because, as the name California Roll might suggest, they were actually first made in California. Legend has it that back in the 1960's, a Japanese sushi chef in California was wrestling with a problem - the nori seaweed sheets available in California were second grade - overly dry and prone to splitting when the chef made a sushi roll. So, the story goes, he hit upon the idea of hiding the nori inside the roll and voila, the Inside Out Roll or California Roll was born. Now, whether the story or not, I don't know, but the technicque is certainly a clever commercial ploy - with the nori on the inside of the roll, you can prepare an Inside Out Roll in advance without worrying about the nori discolouring or splitting, because it is hidden inside the rice - this means a longer shelf life (next time you pass the sushi counter in a supermarket, take a look at what is on the shelf and my guess is, it will mostly be Inside Out Rolls, not only because they are popular with customers but also because the shop can have them made hours in advance of sale.

Although Inside Out Egg Sushi Rolls look a little daunting, there isn't too much to learn in terms of technique and not a lot of kit required either to make these yourself. Your Japanese rice can be cooked in a saucepan but if you have a rice cooker, so much the better. (If not, you can find my how to instructions by clicking How to Cook Japanese Rice in a Saucepan and the same content on a Youtube tutorial by clicking How to Cook Japanese Rice in a Saucepan.)

If you have watched videos of a chef preparing a Japanese sweet omelette for sushi, chances are you've noticed that they all use a rectangular shaped frying pan - in fact a lot of Japanese homes, mine included, have one too. But you don't need a rectangular shaped pan to make a perfectly good Japanese sweet omelette - just a regular circular 20cm / 8 inch frying pan will do. In my Youtube video tutorial (see the link below), I use a circular pan - once you have finished making your omelette, you can just clean up the ends with a kitchen knife and you'll have a Japanese sweet omelette that looks and tastes just the same as one made in a rectangular pan. So, other than the rectangular pan, what other kit will you need to turn out some inside out egg sushi rolls, that you might not already have?

Well, there is really only one thing you'll need and that is a sushi rolling mat. You can purchase these on line or at most Asian stores for not a lot of money for as little as £1.50 here in the UK (although they seem a little more expensive in the US.)

Turning your attention to cooking ingredients, what will you need to learn to turn out really good uramaki egg sushi rolls?

First, for your sushi rice: You will need some short grain Japanese rice. You'll also need some Japanese rice vinegar. (You can buy this in many supermarkets or online. Pricewise, here in the UK, it costs around £5 for 500ml from a relibale manufacturer such as Mizkan.) Also, if you wish to decorate the rice, you'll need some toasted white sesame seeds.

Second for your Japanese sweet omelette, along with eggs, you will need some mirin although this is optional and can be excluded for those who either cannot or prefer not to use alcohol in their cooking. Adding miring will give you a richer flavour and a little umami. (You can buy mirin from Asian stores and online. Here in the UK, a 300ml bottle costs £ 6-7.)

Third, for producing your inside out egg sushi rolls, you will need some Japanese nori seaweed sheets. I add some oba (AKA shiso) leaves to my rolls as they add a lovely sweet lemony flavour and make these rolls truly tasty but they are an option so don't worry if you can't get hold of any.

Next, some tips. You'll read more about technique in the "how to" section below but here are the key things to know:

  • First, your Japanese short grain rice. You are aiming for a sushi rice where the grains are glossy, slightly sticky and have a little transparency. This means washing the grains well to remove any starch from the polished grain.

  • Second, when you add Japanese rice vinegar to make sushi rice, be gentle. Mix using a slicing motion and don't rush.

  • Third, when you make your sweet egg roll, get the pan nice and hot before adding any oil. You will only need a thin covering of oil in the pan - if the pan dries out you can add a little more oil at a later stage - but the oil must be kept nice and hot.

  • Four, wrap your rolling mat in clingfilm. This will stop the rice - remember the rice is on the outside of your roll - sticking to the mat.

Okay, so enough writing! if you are ready to get started, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Inside Out Egg Sushi Rolls or by scrolling to the bottom of the page. (If you are a sushi roll first-timer, I would recommend that you take a look.). The written recipe is just below.

Happy rolling! Kurumi XXXX



(makes 4 Inside Out Egg Sushi Rolls)

for the sushi rice

(rice cooker method):

1 cup (160ml /5.5 fl oz ) Japanese rice

1.5 tbsp sushi vinegar

(saucepan method)

make sure you use a thick bottom saucepan

use 185ml / 6.25 fl oz water per 1 cup of rice

for the Japanese egg roll:

3 large eggs

1.5 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp mirin

a little salt

1 tbsp vegetable oil

20cm / 8 in frying pan

for the sushi rolls:

2 nori sheets

a sushi rolling mat

enough clingfilm to wrap your mat

6 oba / shiso leaves

toasted white sesame seeds


how to:

first, to cook your Japanese rice:

put the rice into your rice cooker or saucepan. cover the rice with cold water. stir using your fingers until the water becomes cloudy, then throw the water away. repeat this step 2 or 3 times until the water is nearly clear.

now pour in cold water up to the 1 cup line in your rice cooker. if you are using a saucepan, then pour in 185ml / 6.25 fl oz of water per 160ml / 5.5 fl oz of rice.

to make your sweet Japanese egg roll:

put the eggs, sugar, mirin, & a little of salt into a jug or a bowl. whisk everything together well.

next, get your frying pan nice and hot. add the vegetable oil and swirl it around in the pan to cover the whole surface. pour back any excess oil to a small bowl (yo will need it later.)

pour 1/4 of the egg mix into the frying pan. wait until the egg skin just forms on the bottom - you;ll know when this is happening as the egg will become opaque. now, carefully fold the egg over to the one side of the frying pan using chopsticks and/or a spatula.

now pour in another 1/4 of the egg mixture into the pan. use the chopsticks/spatula to gently raise the egg roll, so that some of the egg mixture slides underneath. wait once more for the egg skin to form, then roll the egg roll to the other side of the frying pan again using your chopsticks and/or a spatula.

if the pan now seems dry, add a little more oil. add the egg mix two more times following the steps above. you should now have a thick, sweet egg roll in your pan. turn off the heat and

flip the egg roll onto a plate.

next, take the two sheets of nori. one side of the nori is slightly longer than the other. fold down the long side of the nori and cut in half.

now, lay your sushi mat on a sheet of cling film. use sufficient cling film to so that you cn fold it over the mat and seal it. this will prevent the rice from sticking to the mat and spoiling your inside out rolls.

slice the egg roll into 4 strips lengthways, then slice each strip in half lengthways. last, cut each strip in half and trim off the ends so you have two pieces of egg roll that will be the same width as the nori sheet.

if you are using oba leaves, then cut them in half down the middle of the stem.

next make your sushi rice:

put the cooked rice in a large bowl, sprinkle over the sushi vinegar and mix gently

taking care not to mash or squash the rice grains.

to make your first inside out sushi roll:

place a sheet of nori onto your sushi mat, spread 1/4 of the rice over the nori sheet so that you get a thin, uniform layer of rice with no gaps.

next, sprinkle some sesame seeds over the rice. carefully turn the nori sheet over and lay it back on the mat so that the bottom edge of the nori is sitting on the bottom edge of the sushi mat.

place 3 1/2 shiso leaves in a line in the middle of the nori. then place four pieces of egg roll over the oba leaves in two lines.

now for the rolling. support the mat with your thumbs and then roll it over the rice. use gentle pressure with your fingers to begin to form the roll.

now, raise the sushi mat a little and roll again so that your first roll is now complete. use gentle pressure once more to form the roll shape. now simply unroll the mat and your first inside roll will be revealed!

wet a sharp knife and cut the roll in half. then put the 2 halves side by side and cut into 3 equal pieces per roll.

repeat for your next three rolls and your batch of Inside Out Egg Sushi Rolls will be complete. Serve with small dishes of soy sauce for a delicious lunch or dinner.


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