Narutomaki: How it differs from Kamaboko fish cake

Often seen in ramen, Narutomaki (鳴門巻き), simply Naruto (ナルト),  is a fish cake with a red & white spiral pattern, generally considered a kind of Kamaboko (蒲鉾). 

Ita Kamaboko

For the unfamiliar, Kamaboko is a traditional Japanese food made from Surimi ground white fish kneaded with sugar, mirin, salt, and egg white, molded, and then steamed or baked.

Typical fish used in Kamaboko includes cod and shark, and the resulting cake traditionally comes on a wooden plate.

Narutomaki (鳴門巻き)

Narutomaki is said to have been named after a whirling current in the Naruto Strait between Naruto City in Tokushima Prefecture and Awaji Island in Hyogo.

But how does the fish cake differ from regular Kamaboko?


Narutomaki vs Kamaboko

First, while the regular Kamaboko generally has an arch shape, Narutomaki is like a round stick, and its edge is typically jagged.

Production Area

Since Japanese people have long favored Kamaboko as an Otsumami or an accompaniment for alcoholic beverages, the food is available everywhere in Japan, and the top producer is Niigata.

Meanwhile, Yaizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, produces most of the Narutomaki consumed in Japan.


As Narutomaki contains more thickeners than ordinary Kamaboko, its fishy taste/flavor is weak, and the dough of Naruto is somewhat powdery.

Because of that, unlike regular Kamaboko, we rarely eat Naruto Maki fish cake alone.


Naruto Maki Uses

Specifically, as for usage, we often use Narutomaki as a topping for ramen and as an ingredient for Chahan fried rice. 

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 鳴門巻き, 蒲鉾 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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