Gunkan Maki Sushi Recipe (5 Types of Colorful Battleship Sushi)

We are making 5 kinds of colorful Gunkanmaki, a type of hand-formed sushi that has a strip of nori seaweed wrapped around the side. With this recipe, you can always enjoy delicious sushi.

Gunkan Maki Sushi (5 Types of Colorful Battleship Sushi)

Course Main Dish, Seafood
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2 people (18 pieces for 2 people)
Cook Time 30 minutes Time for cooking sushi rice is not included in cook time.
Translator Get Francis Mug
Sushi Rice (18 pieces)
  • Ikura Shoyuzuke salmon roe marinated with soy sauce based seasoning
  • Squids sliced into thin noodle-like strips
  • Cucumbers sliced
  • Boiled Corn Kernels
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh Salmon
  • Avocados
  • Fresh Tuna
  • Spring Onion Leaves
  • Toasted Nori Seaweed
  • Wasabi
  • 3 Shiso Leaves
* 1 tablespoon (tbsp) = 15 ml, 1 teaspoon (tsp) = 5 ml
* The ingredients contain Amazon affiliate links.


  1. First, let’s make the sushi vinegar. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and the salt. Stir to dissolve well.
  2. Next, to the corn, add mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Mix it with a spoon.
  3. Now, place the fresh steamed rice into a bowl. Gradually pour the sushi vinegar over the rice paddle to distribute it evenly.
  4. Toss to coat using a slashing motion to avoid crushing the grains.
  5. Use a fan to slightly cool the rice. This will help give it a glossy texture and remove the excess moisture.
  6. Next, we will show you how to cut the nori seaweed. Most rectangular sheets of nori have lines every 3.3cm (1.3") and this will be the height of the gunkanmaki.
  7. First, cut off one edge of the nori perpendicular to the lines.
  8. Then, cut the rest of the nori into strips along the lines.
  9. Finally, trim off the first longer strip and you have 6 strips of nori.
  10. Now, clean off the cutting board with a slightly dampened towel to help avoid sticking.
  11. Add a sprinkle of rice vinegar to the water.
  12. Wet your hands with the water and take about 20g of sushi rice. Shape the rice into an oval.
  13. Spread the wasabi on top and place the rice onto the board.
  14. Wrap the side of the rice with the strip of nori with the glossy side facing outward. Using a rice grain, close the end of the nori.
  15. This is the basic shape of the gunkanmaki. The nori seaweed will keep the loose topping from falling off.
  16. Now, we will show you how to use the sushi rice mold. Wet the sushi rice mold beforehand. Wet your hands again and measure out 100g (3.5 oz) of sushi rice.
  17. Fill the mold with the rice. Cover with the lid and lightly press the rice.
  18. And flip it over.
  19. Then, remove the 5 pieces of sushi rice.
  20. Make the base of the gunkanmaki and top with the ikura shoyuzuke, marinated salmon roe.
  21. Likewise, top with the cucumber slices and the ika somen, squid sliced into thin noodle-like strips.
  22. Next, top with the avocado and the fresh salmon.
  23. And here is the fresh chopped tuna. Place the spring onion leaves on top.
  24. Finally, let’s review the wrapping process one more time. With a grain of rice, wrap the sushi rice with the nori.
  25. You can leave out the wasabi for this corn mayo topping.
  26. Place the 5 kinds of gunkanmaki onto a plate.
  27. Enjoy the gunkanmaki before the nori gets soggy and the toppings fall off.

Recipe Notes

Gunkanmaki was invented at the sushi restaurant Ginza Kyubey in 1941. This invention enabled the use of soft loose ingredients as a sushi topping.
Gunkan means warship and the name of the dish is derived from the shape.

This post was last modified on 11/29/2019

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