Narutomaki (鳴門巻き)

The Narutomaki (written in Japanese character as: 鳴門巻き) is a type of kamaboko, steamed fish paste, made from minced fish and with a spiral pattern in cross section. It is also written as 'なると巻き' by using hiragana. Its abbreviation is Naruto.

It is said that the Narutomaki was named after a whirling current in the Naruto Strait.


A boiled fish-paste product in the shape of a long and narrow cylinder made from two colored minced fish; white one and red one colored with food dye. Used in various food mainly as a relish. Especially indispensable to the Tokyo-style ramen as a topping. 90% of the total consumption is currently produced in Yaizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Precisely its red part is often pink. Its periphery is serratted as if pressed with a makisu (a 'sushi mat', a bamboo mat used in food preparation) and a spiral pattern is seen in cross section. The Narutomaki is often used in slices and the right side of a slice is thought to be the side where the spiral pattern is recognized as 'の' (a hiragana character which sounds 'no').
(However, the actual whirling current in the Naruto Strait is spinning counterclockwise, in a direction opposite to the Japanese hiragana character of 'の')

Although the one having a white periphery is mainstream nationwide, a red-periphery one is seen in some areas such as Kyusyu region. Considering the Narutomaki was originally made by rolling two paste sheets of different colors as a double layer, the red-periphery one could be rather closer to the original and thus the akamaki kamaboko, a local special product of Toyama Prefecture, and the like are regarded as original. In Hokkaido and Tohoku region, a three-colored one with a red periphery and a green spiral pattern is seen as well. The Narutomaki sold abroad in Hawaii, etc. also has a red periphery dyed bright red. It is assumed that the red-periphery Narutomaki has been inherited from its original brought by immigrants during the Meiji and Taisho eras.

Although it remains uncertain where that came from, there is a hypothesis that "among the 'Goshokumaki' (five colored kamaboko) in the late Edo era, only the akamaki (red roll) kamaboko remains.'

An entertainer Yoshizumi ISHIHARA is the ambassador of Naruto.

[Original Japanese]