Narutomaki: How it differs from Kamaboko fish cake

Often seen in ramen, “Narutomaki (鳴門巻き)”, also simply called just “Naruto (ナルト)”,  is a fish cake with a red and white spiral pattern, which is actually considered a kind of “Kamaboko (蒲鉾)”. 

Ita Kamaboko

For the unfamiliar, Kamaboko is a traditional Japanese food made out of white fish that’s been ground, kneaded with sugar, mirin, salt, and egg white, molded, and then steamed or baked.

Typical fish used for making Kamaboko includes cods and sharks, and the resultant fish cake mostly has a white color and typically 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 located between Naruto City in Tokushima Prefecture and Awaji Island in Hyogo, but how does the fish cake differ from regular Kamaboko?



First of all, while the regular Kamaboko typically has an arch shape, Narutomaki is shaped like a round stick and the edge is often jagged.

Production Area

In Japan, Kamaboko has long been favored as an Otsumami or snack for alcoholic beverages and is produced around the country. And of all the prefectures, Niigata, where I live, is the largest producer of Kamaboko.

Meanwhile, the majority of the Narutomaki consumed in Japan are produced in Yaizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture.


Narutomaki uses more thickener than ordinary Kamaboko, so the fish flavor of Narutomaki is weak and the dough is somewhat powdery. Because of that, unlike regular Kamaboko, Narutomaki is seldom eaten on its own.


Ramen with a slice of Naruto

Specifically, Narutomaki is often used as a topping in 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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