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Gunkan: The Warship Sushi, One of a Kind Japanese Delicacy

It may surprise some to learn that this delicacy of Japanese cuisine’s name literally translates to “warshipt”. That’s right! Gunkan, a special form of nigiri sushi that are shaped by hand, are named after their boat-shaped figures that come from being wrapped in seaweed.

Cylinders of hand-molded sushi rice are wrapped in a strip of nori (or seaweed) around four centimetres high. It needs to be around two centimetres taller than the rice itself. The nori creates a sort of a barrier- a container if you will, which then you may spoon in the chosen topping. Gunkan is utterly perfect for those toppings that just won't stick to rice on their own- such as salmon eggs (known as ikura nigiri in Japan), or even eggs and lobsters!

Outside of the more traditional sushi toppings that oftentime come to mind, more adventurous and contemporary toppings are also tremendously popular, as the rice with the nori ‘container’ proves to be both a useful and highly delicious vessel for all kinds of mouth watering food- lobsters, jellyfish, scallop, even smoked duck! It may seem unusual, as the only non-seafood item listed, but trust when we say that it is no less tasty than the other toppings we just listed!

But where can you order Gunkan, especially with a wide array of toppings as presented earlier? Luckily for you, we at Sakae Sushi offer not one, not two, but fourteen different variants of Gunkan toppings, ranging from Egg Mayo Gunkan, Tobikko Gunkan, Chuka Wakame Gunkan, Smoked Duck Gunkan and many, many more- almost every possibility and combination you can think of, even Tobikko Gunkan with cheese! They are all available to order directly on our many outlets here in Singapore or on our website at

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