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Is It Sushi? I Don't Know, But It IS Food

Is It Sushi? I Don't Know, But It IS Food

Old Jan 14, 14, 2:11 pm
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Is It Sushi? I Don't Know, But It IS Food

Fried plantains and yellowtail. Cream cheese and salmon. Natto and avocado, or my new favorite, spicy mentaiko and avocado.

Are those examples of sushi, or are they just the brainchildren of bored chefs testing the local palates?

I used to be more rigid about it, but then I discovered that even kaitenzushi places - not that they are paragons of raw fish peddling - in Japan went haywire and shoved avocados, mayonnaise and cheese on nigiri and in gunkan. So, I stopped caring and started eating.

What kind of sushi consumer are you? Do those newfangled concepts frighten you, or did you have a plate for dinner yesterday?

Last edited by BuildingMyBento; Jan 22, 14 at 5:58 pm
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Old Jan 14, 14, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
Fried plantains and yellowtail. Cream cheese and salmon. Natto and avocado, or my new favorite, spicy mentaiko and avocado.

Are those examples of sushi, or are they just the brainchildren of bored chefs testing the local palates?

I used to be more rigid about it, but then I discovered that even kaitenzushi places - not that they are paragons of raw fish peddling - in Japan went haywire and shoved avocados, mayonnaise and cheese on nigiri and in gunkan. So, I stopped caring and started eating.

What kind of sushi consumer are you? Do those newfangled concepts frighten you, or did you have a plate one for dinner yesterday?
As long as it's good. I do occasionally get a craving for traditional sushi, and there are not many places in the US that actually do it well. But I'm also happy eating modified versions as long as it tastes good.
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Old Jan 14, 14, 2:41 pm
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It's ALL good.
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Old Jan 14, 14, 4:23 pm
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I am vegetarian and was introduced to sushi (modified version with avocado, tempura vegetables etc) by my friends around three years back and it is still my favorite. Try to get it once a week even with the limited choices.
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Old Jan 14, 14, 4:37 pm
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If you can get over those newfangled concoctions being called sushi and just consider them food, some of them are actually pretty good. I prefer traditional sushi just because it tends to be healthier to eat, but I won't turn up my nose at an interesting frankensushi.
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Old Jan 14, 14, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by bajaj_ash View Post
I am vegetarian and was introduced to sushi (modified version with avocado, tempura vegetables etc) by my friends around three years back and it is still my favorite. Try to get it once a week even with the limited choices.
+1000. I didn't even know there were options for me at sushi places. Turns out that most have something, and some have amazing rolls.
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Old Jan 15, 14, 3:51 am
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These already have a name:

創作寿司

Sōsaku sushi

(Translated as "creative sushi")

So long as nobody is trying to foist any of these concoctions on me whilst declaring them to be authentic Edo style sushi, I'm fine with them as examples of sōsaku sushi or poor man's sushi.

There's a wonderful scene in Ruokala Lokki/かもめ食堂/Kamome shokudō/Seagull diner where some Japanese friends and a young Finnish man try out alternative, local, fillings for onigiri (reindeer, crayfish & herring). They don't proceed.

Here's an example of sōsaku sushi that was made in China, the Japanese diner who ate it doesn't exactly recommend it...

Last edited by LapLap; Jan 15, 14 at 3:58 am
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Old Jan 15, 14, 3:54 am
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Originally Posted by enki View Post
+1000. I didn't even know there were options for me at sushi places. Turns out that most have something, and some have amazing rolls.
Do you mean the standard vegetarian options, such as pickled eggplant, cucumber, radish, and natto, or "unusual" concoctions thought up by individual restaurants?
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Old Jan 15, 14, 8:47 am
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Sōsaku onigiri

I made takikomi gohan early this morning as part of my husband's lunch using reconstituted shiitake mushrooms and the soaking "broth", shredded carrots and shredded jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) as well as the rice and some seasonings.

This thread encouraged me to make an aberration of my own.

I took portions of the remaining hot rice and with wet hands sprinkled with sea salt and formed the takikomi gohan into triangular patties. These I placed in a hot pan inside a preheated Philips Airfryer at the highest setting to grill them. After 8 minutes once the sides looked golden I brushed some soy sauce on to the top, gave it another 30 seconds at full blast, reduced the temperature and added sliced cheddar as a topping and let the cheese melt.

Result was a glorious example of comfort food. If I had to give them a name it would be "takikomi cheese yaki onigiri", but does this classify as a kind of onigiri, or is it a sōsaku onigiri (or sōsaku yakionigiri) or something else entirely?
Usually I would have green tea with onigiri but this cheesy rice worked well with English style black tea clouded with milk.

Once onigiri (rice balls) finally catch on with folks outside of Japan in the way that the sushi word has it will be interesting to see what other atrocities come out of it.

Edit to add: Seems "cheese yaki onigiri" is a well known treat - lots of mouth watering examples when チーズ焼きおにぎり is run through google images as a search term.

Last edited by LapLap; Jan 15, 14 at 8:54 am
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Old Jan 15, 14, 8:49 am
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For starters, anything with cream cheese or faux-crab is automatically disqualified...

Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
I took portions of the remaining hot rice and with wet hands sprinkled with sea salt and formed the takikomi gohan into triangular patties. These I placed in a hot pan inside a preheated Philips Airfryer at the highest setting to grill them. After 8 minutes once the sides looked golden I brushed some soy sauce on to the top, gave it another 30 seconds at full blast, reduced the temperature and added sliced cheddar as a topping and let the cheese melt.
I don't know what the proper name would be for this, but it sounds amazing!

Last edited by cblaisd; Jan 16, 14 at 11:36 pm Reason: Merged poster's two consecutive posts
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Old Jan 15, 14, 9:24 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post

Once onigiri (rice balls) finally catch on with folks outside of Japan in the way that the sushi word has it will be interesting to see what other atrocities come out of it.

Edit to add: Seems "cheese yaki onigiri" is a well known treat - lots of mouth watering examples when チーズ焼きおにぎり is run through google images as a search term.
I've seen an onigiri place in Midtown Manhattan, and know that Hawai'i has plenty of fans, but have you noticed any onigiri establishments in the UK? Sure, Japanese supermarkets sell them, but as the primary focus of a business they are not yet ubiquitous.
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Old Jan 15, 14, 12:19 pm
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Love the Vegetarian rolls. I had a Sweet Potato wrapped in Asparagus brown rice sushi roll last month. the Cruch of the asparagus went so well with the sweet potato!

Originally Posted by bajaj_ash View Post
I am vegetarian and was introduced to sushi (modified version with avocado, tempura vegetables etc) by my friends around three years back and it is still my favorite. Try to get it once a week even with the limited choices.
Originally Posted by enki View Post
+1000. I didn't even know there were options for me at sushi places. Turns out that most have something, and some have amazing rolls.
Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
Do you mean the standard vegetarian options, such as pickled eggplant, cucumber, radish, and natto, or "unusual" concoctions thought up by individual restaurants?
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Old Jan 16, 14, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
I've seen an onigiri place in Midtown Manhattan, and know that Hawai'i has plenty of fans, but have you noticed any onigiri establishments in the UK? Sure, Japanese supermarkets sell them, but as the primary focus of a business they are not yet ubiquitous.
Looks like there's a new place (Onigilly) in SF selling onigiri that's popular. And I've seen a food truck selling them as well as part of the Off the Grid events. I haven't saw something similar in the UK yet, but there's always hope.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Spectre17 View Post
Looks like there's a new place (Onigilly) in SF selling onigiri that's popular. And I've seen a food truck selling them as well as part of the Off the Grid events. I haven't saw something similar in the UK yet, but there's always hope.
Two points about that Onigilly place:

Three for US$8.28? Pretty good profit margins, I reckon.

Also, the article mentions that onigiri are a popular street-food in Japan. Generally, you don't eat while you walk over there, and although there are plenty of festivals scattered around - in parks, at temples - that's where the eating would occur. Moreover, there aren't any street vendors in Japan in the strict sense of the term, but you can find random trucks selling sweet potatoes and fish, at least in Tokyo.
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Old Jan 16, 14, 4:19 pm
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
Two points about that Onigilly place:

Three for US$8.28? Pretty good profit margins, I reckon.

Also, the article mentions that onigiri are a popular street-food in Japan. Generally, you don't eat while you walk over there, and although there are plenty of festivals scattered around - in parks, at temples - that's where the eating would occur. Moreover, there aren't any street vendors in Japan in the strict sense of the term, but you can find random trucks selling sweet potatoes and fish, at least in Tokyo.
Did they do away with the chestnut vendors?
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