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On 11/10/2016 at 0:52 PM, DonRocks said:

This "spicy tuna roll," made uramaki style (an uramaki roll is one with the rice on the outside - they're often called "inside-out rolls") ...

It's very easy to get "uramaki" into your memory, and keep it there.

This post will be somewhat puerile, with shameless anthropomorphism, but its ultimate goal is for you to remember the word uramaki, so bear with me:

Most people (most people here, anyway) know that Sushi comes in several basic types. Three of these types are, by far, the most common, at least here in the states:

1) Sashimi - Sashimi is actually not sushi, since sushi by definition implies the existence of rice. Sashimi is just the fish, has no rice, and is therefore not sushi - if you know this distinction, you already know more than most Americans (seriously, you do).

2) Nigiri Sushi - Nigiri Sushi is what most people think of when they think of sushi - the hand-formed "pieces" that you always see, with the fish on top of the rice.

3) Maki Sushi - Maki Sushi are rolls, not individual pieces - the roll is formed, then cut into individual cylinders (usually six). 

Why did I present these three terms, in this order? 

Because if you're "going out for sushi," i.e., not getting food cooked in the kitchen, and want to do it in a typically Japanese fashion, you'll order your meal in this exact order: sashimi first, followed by nigirizushi (*), followed by makizushi. Course it out this way, in three separate courses. 

Obviously, there are no "rules," and you can do whatever you wish (even the most hardened sushi chefs will tell you to do whatever pleases you), but this is a very "Japanese" way of ordering sushi, and there is no need, or expectation, to place your entire order at once; enjoy your sashimi, then order whatever nigiri you like, then order your maki based on what you're still in the mood for. Ordering at three different points will often change what you order, as your hunger level and palate mood will change over the course of the meal.

You may have noticed that Uramaki contains the suffix, "maki," and that's because it is a variant of maki. However, although it's made in essentially the same fashion (rolled with bamboo, then sliced into cylinders), what makes it uramaki is one, simple thing: the rice is on the outside. Most people who have enjoyed sushi have encountered uramaki many times, without necessarily knowing what it's called. 

Here is a platter of all four types of sushi we've defined, and you should be able to easily tell which is which:


And here's another picture, this one an imaginary picture - imagine one day you're out for a walk, and you come across an "inside-out roll," lost, lonely, and scared, because it doesn't know what type of sushi it is.

With a reassuring confidence, you look right at it, and say in a calm, soothing voice, "You are a maki."

(*) For those wishing to dig a bit deeper. If I ask the sushi chef for "one little thing" after my maki course, I'm often given a Temaki - sort of like having an ice-cream cone for dessert ... happy hunting.

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