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Gunkan Sushi recipe fused by fiona uyema

How to Make Gunkan Sushi

Learn how to make Gunkan Sushi with this easy to follow guide. Gunkan are boat-shaped cubes of sushi rice wrapped in a tall strip of seaweed. Gunkan literally translates as ‘Japanese warship sushi’!
Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: gunkan sushi, how to, sushi
Author: Fiona Uyema


  • A water bowl
  • A damp clean cloth


  • Use leftover sushi rice or the recipe here to see how to make sushi rice
  • Nori strips 3cm tall
  • Wasabi optional

To serve

Topping options

  • Goatsbridge trout caviar or any type of fish egg locally available
  • Mango peeled and chopped into tiny cubes
  • Avocado peeled and chopped into tiny cubes


  • Moisten your hands in the water bowl, shaking off any excess water. Take a small ball of sushi rice (25g) and place on the palm of your hand. Using a firm but gentle squeeze, mould into an oval-shaped rice ball.
  • Wrap the nori around the rice with the shiny side of the nori facing out. Use a spare rice grain to seal the end of the nori. The nori should be higher than the rice to allow room for the topping.
  • Using your finger, smear a thin line of wasabi on the top of the rice (this is optional).
  • Place your preferred topping on top of the rice so that it sits slightly above the level of the nori.
  • Serve on a plate with Fused Soy Sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.


Gunkan translates as ‘Japanese warship sushi’ because the shape and appearance of this particular type of sushi resemble a Japanese warship. It is most often decorated with different types of fish eggs. I think this is the most visually impressive sushi roll with the least rolling effort and skill required. I usually make this type of sushi roll to use up rice and seaweed leftover from making the other sushi rolls.
Use the damp cloth to remove excess water or loose rice grains from your hands.
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