Gunkan, or gunkanmaki, Japanese for “battleship” because of their appearance, are a unique type of sushi. Gunkan are hand-formed oval clumps of sushi rice with a strip of pressed seaweed around the outside to contain the ingredients — traditionally salmon eggs, sea urchin (a delight if you’re never tried it) or broiled eel, sometimes with a quail egg yolk on top. Famed NYC sushi haven SUSHISAMBA took this traditional Japanese concept and came up with a way to have your raw steak and eat it, too.
If you’ve always wanted to try steak tartare, but were hesitant about a forkful of red beef, now’s the time. Use the highest quality meat you can find to put any lingering health queries to rest — live a little. Tempered by warm, tangy sushi rice and smooth, creamy quail egg yolk, this battleship of tender, finely chopped wagyu will have you have you ordering your steak “saignant” before you know it.
- 2 ounces sushi rice, (about 1 cup)
- 4 strips nori (pressed seaweed sheets), about 1 1/4 inches wide by 4 inches long
- 4 quail eggs, separated
- 4 ounces wagyu (ribeye preferred), minced
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- a dash of extra virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
- chopped chives, to garnish
- potato sticks, to garnish
- Divide rice (try our easy sushi rice recipe) into 4 portions and, using your hands, form small mounds 1" tall by 2" wide.
- Wrap a strip of nori around the circumference of each mound, leaving plenty of room on top for the nori to contain the filling.
- In a medium bowl, mix the wagyu, chives, soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil and salt.
- Place 1/4 of the wagyu mixture on each piece of sushi.
- Top each with a quail egg yolk, potato sticks, chopped chives and sprinkle of sea salt.