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Shoyu ramen with narutomaki
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Narutomaki Japanese Fish Cake Recipe

Narutomaki is a Japanese fish cake shaped like a small log with a rubbery and chewy texture. The cake has a pink swirl in the middle, which is its defining characteristic. It tastes like fish and it's made of minced fish (surimi). This easy recipe only takes about 30 minutes to make.
Course Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 log
Author Joost Nusselder


Ingredients for one log

  • 7 ounces fresh white fish Alaska pollock or blue whiting
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pink food coloring


  • Grab a large pot and fill it about halfway with water.
  • Bring it to a simmer, then place a steamer basket over it.
  • To prepare the fish, remove, skin and debone the fish.
  • Wash the fish in a colander and also remove any fat and remaining bones.
  • Squeeze out excess water by using your hands.
  • Now chop the fish into smaller pieces, then place them in a food processor.
  • Add egg white, sugar, salt, and mirin, and blend until you get a smooth fish paste.
  • Place half of the paste into a smaller bowl. Add several drops of pink food coloring and mix until the paste is pink or light red. Set aside.
  • Line your counter with plastic wrap and spread out the remaining white paste in a rectangle shape.
  • Now measure half an inch from the border of the white rectangle and then place the pink paste on top of the white one.
  • Using the plastic wrap, start rolling the fish cake into a log shape, making sure to roll tightly. The roll should be pretty thin.
  • Now put the fish cake roll into the steamer and let it steam for 15 minutes.
  • Once ready, let it cool. Then, remove the plastic wrap.
  • Use a knife with a serrated edge to cut the fish cake and give it those zig-zag edges.


For the best results, use a non-oily white fish, preferably Alaska pollock.
Also, make sure to remove the fatty bits of the fish, or else your paste will be greasy.
If you have a bamboo mat with triangular pieces, roll the plastic-covered cake on the mat and you'll achieve the zig-zag edge.