Why Ordering Uramaki Rolls At Sushi Restaurants Is A Waste Of Money

It's no secret that sushi can be very expensive, and that high price tag is mainly due to its main ingredient of high-quality raw fish or seafood. Since sushi is so pricey, placing your order with some idea about what each type of roll is, ensures you're getting the most bang for your buck. While most rolls are pretty straightforward, there is one type that might not be worth the price. 

Uramaki, or "inside-out rolls," have the rice packed on the outside of the nori (seaweed) rather than the inside. Things like California rolls and spicy tuna rolls — which are some of the best types of sushi — are typical examples of uramaki rolls. This construction makes the rolls unique, but it also creates the potential for restaurants to skimp on fish when making them. In an interview with First We Feast, sushi chef John Daley says that "when rice is put on the outside, you can use more rice. Rice is cheaper than fish, so they put rice on the outside to fill you up."

Uramaki rolls may have more rice than fish

An untrustworthy restaurant may charge the same price for uramaki rolls as they would for other kinds of rolls, even if the uramaki rolls have proportionally less fish. Along with unscrupulous business practices, another factor that may lessen the worth of uramaki rolls is inexperienced sushi chefs. It can take at least 10 years to be considered a master sushi chef, so novice chefs may lack the requisite skill to create the thin layer of rice necessary for quality uramaki. If too much rice is added, it can cover the nori completely, creating something more like a rice ball than a piece of sushi. It doesn't help that uramaki rolls often have toppings like sesame seeds, roe, or scallions that may further hide the definition of the roll. 

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with uramaki rolls, there's just a lot that can go wrong with them. Generally, uramaki are thought of as beginner rolls for people who are just starting their sushi journey and prefer the familiarity of rice over seaweed and raw fish, which their palates may not be used to. If you've never had sushi before, uramaki might be a good roll to start out with if you're going to a reputable sushi spot. Or, if you're concerned about wasting money, you can always try making it at home. Either way, it'll at least be tasty!