Unagi (Eel) and Crispy Prawn Maki Roll

Unagi crispy prawn maki roll

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Just a woman who loves cooking and collecting books. Oh, I also really like chinchillas. :)


This roll is inspired by the Grilled Eel and Crispy Prawn maki rolls at Roka Akor SF, rated the best Japanese restaurant in SF by Zagat's in 2014!


Sushi Rice:
1 cup sushi rice, washed & drained 10x
1 cup water
1 5-inch piece of dried kombu
a pinch of potato starch (katakuri ko)

Sushi Rice Seasoning:
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/5 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Filling (amount as needed/desired):
unagi (grilled eel)
unagi sauce
tempura battered prawn
sansyo pepper
thinly sliced scallions


Making sushi rice is an art in itself. If you're short on time, you can use an electric rice cooker, but I've found the following method works well:

  1. Rinse & drain the rice 10 times. This is a bit time-consuming, but you want to rinse the rice until you can see individual grains through the water. I've found that 10 times is a reliable number.
  2. In a large pot, place the drained rice and 1 cup of filtered water, kombu, and potato starch. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower the temperature to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat and let the rice continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
  5. While the rice is cooking, prepare the rice seasoning. Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt thoroughly.
  6. Once the rice is fully cooked, transfer it to a hangiri, a Japanese wooden bowl, or any container that has a decent amount of flat surface area to lay out the rice.
  7. Sprinkle the rice seasoning on the rice while cutting and folding the rice with a rice paddle. Work the rice quickly to cool and coat the rice with even seasoning.
  8. When you are done, the rice should have a glossy appearance.
  9. Cover the rice with a towel or transfer to an insulating container to keep it warm and moist.

To assemble the rolls with the sushi rice on the outside of the nori sheets:

  1. Place the nori in landscape mode.
  2. Apply a layer of sushi rice approximately 2-3 rice kernels thick. Leaving about a 1/2 inch gap at the bottom. The gap is where the nori will adhere to itself (with a few of rice kernels) without doubling up on rice layers.
  3. Wipe the cutting board to keep it damp and flip the nori, like you would a book, such that the rice is now on the cutting board.
  4. Fill the sushi with the prawn, avocado, and cucumber.
  5. Roll the sushi and adhere the nori to itself with a few rice kernels. At first, the rolls will not be pretty. Don't worry; the sushi mat will fix that.
  6. Cover the unagi with unagi sauce and blow torch both sides of the unagi on a metal pan.
  7. Line the unagi on top of the sushi roll.
  8. With a sushi rolling mat, wrapped in plastic wrap, place the flat side (not the bumpy, round side) down on the sushi. Form the sushi into a square roll.
  9. Cut the roll into 8 equal sized pieces.
  10. Place the cut sushi on a serving platter. Drizzle unagi sauce on top of the sushi and sprinkle some sansyo pepper and scallions on top.
  11. Enjoy immediately! :)


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