Posted on April 10, 2008 in avocado, inside-out, salmon by adminNo Comments »

salmon_skin_roll.jpgIngredients: Seaweed, rice, grilled salmon skin, avocado

Preparation: Inside-out

Popularity: Niche

Generally we’re told in North America to throw away the skin of any meat or seafood we might cook.

"Don’t eat chicken skin, it’s full of fat!"
"Peel the fish skin back so you can get at the meat!"
"Pork rinds? Ugh!"

But anyone who has tried a Salmon Skin Roll can tell you that not all skin is bad. In fact, a nice baked or grilled salmon skin inside an avocado filled inside-out sushi roll is quite the taste sensation.

Not only that – fish skin isn’t bad for you. It’s got loads of oils, such as Omega-3, and nutrients that often find their way into over-the-counter health products.

Just make sure it’s scaled first…

Posted on April 10, 2008 in avocado, eel, inside-out by adminNo Comments »

unagi_roll.jpgIngredients: Seaweed, rice, barbecued eel, avocado

Preparation: Inside-out

Popularity: Growing

Eel lovers totally dig this dish, but there’s not nearly as many eel lovers as there should be out there – especially in North America. 

The Unagi Roll is barbecued eel with a little avocado thrown in to cut the taste and texture with something smooth and sweet, and it’s a heck of a good combo.

Some sushi houses in your local area may vary a touch from this basic core of the dish (like adding cucumber or roe, or even other seafoods), but that tangy eel flavor and the sweet buttery goodness of the avocado are a potent combo.

Posted on April 10, 2008 in cucumber, eel, inside-out by adminNo Comments »

anakyo_roll.jpgIngredients: Seaweed, rice, barbecued eel, cucumber

Preparation: Inside-out 

Popularity: Growing

Like the Anago Roll, the Anakyu Roll has many variations, and is growing in popularity as more and more people grow the cajones needed to stray from the usual US California Roll/Dynamite Roll diet.

Anakyu Roll is basically a Usagi Roll with cucumber added, though from sushi restaurant to sushi restaurant that’s likely to vary a touch.

Basically, for an Anakyu Roll to be good, the barbecued eel has to be primo. An Anakyu Roll with sub-standard eel is like steak tartare with a nasty piece of steak.

Posted on April 10, 2008 in Japanese parsley, cucumber, eel, egg, inside-out by adminNo Comments »

anago_roll.jpgIngredients: Seaweed, rice, barbecued eel (Anago), Japanese parsley (Mitsuba), cucumber

Preparation: Inside-out

Popularity: Growing

Though a lot of people still won’t try eel, just because it’s not as common to westerners as chicken, there are a growing number of sushi fiends who, while looking to try something different, stumble upon the flavor and texture of one of Japan’s most popular seafoods.

The Anago Roll is basically an eel roll, and as such it can be made many different ways. Some have mayonnaise, some use egg as the outer skin of the roll (as seen in the photo above), which gives it an interesting yellow appearance (especially when topped with gold fish eggs), but really the only thing that you need to make an Anago Roll and Anago Roll is, well, Anago.

Seriously, give it a try. Eel won’t bite… well, as long as it’s barbecued first, anyway.

Posted on March 6, 2008 in asparagus, avocado, cone, cucumber, daikon, rolls, scallops, spicy sauce by adminNo Comments »

spicy_scallop_roll_1.jpgIngredients: Rice, seaweed, spicy sauce, scallops, cucumber, avocado, asparagus, daikon

Preparation: Hand roll, occasionally inside-out or ship roll.

Popularity: Moderate

A Spicy Scallop Roll is basically a California Roll with scallops in place of the crab, which makes it a nice compliment to the Cali if you’re a fan of seafood in sushi… or a nice alternative if you’re kind of over the basic roll, but not looking to get too adventurous. 

The strength of the Spicy Scallop Roll comes almost entirely from the quality of the scallops. Here’s a hint: frozen does not equal ’sushi quality’.

But that same ingredient also causes the greatest amount of pain for sushi chefs, as the squishy nature of the scallop means it often falls out of regular inside-out rolls. This means a Spicy Scallop Roll will usually be made in a cone, or ‘hand roll’ style. You might also find it prepared in a ’ship style’ roll, in which the bottom of the roll is pulled tighter than the top, thereby giving it a ship shape, and making it easier to hold when eaten.

Posted on March 5, 2008 in avocado, crabmeat, cucumber, inside-out, mayonnaise, rolls, salmon by adminNo Comments »

tiger_roll.jpgIngredients: Rice, seaweed, salmon, crab, avocado, cucumber, mayonnaise

Preparation: Inside-out

Popularity: Low

So you’ve tried the California Roll, and you’re like, okay, not bad. A little bland, but good lunchtime filler.

So what’s the next step up? Try the Tiger Roll.

The Tigey is a California Roll with baked salmon draped over the top, which while it might sound like only a slight variation on the usual theme, if the fish is fresh, it’s really frickin’ good.

Of course, the majority of Americans will order this because it has a funky name and the white and orange of the salmon gives it a somewhat tiger-like appearance, but there’s more to this dish than meets the eye (alone).

Think of it this way – if you usually order salmon sashimi and a california roll… doesn’t it make sense to save time and combine the two?

Posted on March 5, 2008 in inside-out, rolls, spicy tuna, yellowfin by adminNo Comments »

red_dragon_roll.jpgIngredients: Rice, seaweed, spicy tuna, fresh tuna, cucumber

Preparation: Inside-out

Popularity: Low to moderate

It looks nice on a plate, that’s for darn sure, but in reality, this is tuna on tuna with some rice thrown in. And maybe that filler of all fillers, cucumber. But mostly tuna.

Those who enjoy a spicy tuna roll will like the added touch of fresh tuna draped over the top, in what gives this dish its two-tone appearance, but more seasoned tuna diners will forego the sushi roll altogether in getting their fishy-fix, and just dig in on some tuna sashimi.

But hey, not everyone is down with the act of slurping down mouthfuls of straight fish, so if you need the comfort of a little rice and seaweed (and sesame seeds and rice and…), then by all means, ‘enter the dragon’.

Posted on March 5, 2008 in inside-out, rolls, tempura batter by adminNo Comments »

crunchy_roll.jpgIngredients: Rice, seaweed, crushed tempura batter

Preparation: Inside-out

Popularity: Mid-range 

This is one kind of sushi roll that you don’t want to order if you’re on a diet. It’s literally nothing more than rice, seaweed and crushed tempura batter sprinkled on top – the sushi equivalent of a bread sandwich. 

But as with any sushi dish, this one can be elevated several levels if the person preparing it adds a little flair.

Tobiko roe, sesame seeds, cucumber, avocado, wasabi… these are just some of the items that can be included in the dish, and it’s not uncommon to find crab or vegetable tempura substituting for the more fattening tempura batter, or even to have the entire roll dipped into, and fried in, tempura batter.

However, if you’re looking for something ‘vanilla’ on the sushi menu, this is one to consider.

Posted on March 5, 2008 in avocado, cucumber, daikon, rolls, yellowfin by adminNo Comments »

ahi_roll_1.jpgIngredients: Rice, seaweed, yellowfin tuna (Ahi), cucumber, daikon, avocado

Preparation: Standard roll

Popularity: Moderate

A relatively simple sushi roll recipe, this is one of those menu items that confuses North Americans because many sushi restaurants prefer to call it by the Japanese name for Yellowfin – Ahi – which requires a little translation to non-Japanese speakers.

In essence, this is just a tuna roll with a little veg thrown in, but if the yellowfin is of high quality, that can be more than enough to make it a great dish for sushi fans.  With some roe (tobiko) on top and wasabi on the side, it beats a freakin’ cheeseburger, that’s for darn sure.

There is some variation on this recipe from chef to chef, with some preferring to use Bigeye Tuna (Thunnus Obesus) instead of Yellowfin (Thunnus Albacares). You can usually spot the difference because Bigeye has a much richer pink/red color than Yellowfin, though if the fish is large and old enough, a Yellowfin will eventually find its meat of a similar deep red color.


You may also find crab used in some ahi rolls, or even tempura, but put those down to the usual variations from sushi restaurant to sushi restaurant and assume you’re dealing with tuna and veges, and you can’t go wrong. 

Posted on February 25, 2008 in inside-out, lobster, mayonnaise, onion, rolls by adminNo Comments »

lobster_roll.jpgIngredients: Rice, seaweed, lobster tempura, onion, orange tobiko (fish eggs), mayonnaise

Preparation: Cooked, inside-out

Popularity: Feh.

Not an item found in many sushi bars, the lobster roll tends to be made using lobster tempura rather than raw lobster, simply because raw shellfish is often a bad idea.

The roll is made inside-out style, and though our default lobster roll recipe uses onions and mayo on the inside and orange flying fish roe on the outside (to give that orange cooked lobster look), there’s no hard and fast rules about what might make a good lobster roll.

Cucumber? Avocado? Nothing but meat?

Really, it’s going to come down to the ingenuity of the sushi chef at hand, but don’t be fooled by the presence of lobster into paying a ridiculous amount for the dish – you’re really only going to get a thin strip of lobby meat worth maybe $4 beyond the standard sushi roll price.

Posted on February 25, 2008 in inside-out, rolls, salmon, scallions, tuna by adminNo Comments »

golden_roll.jpgIngredients: Rice, seaweed, spicy tuna, salmon, white tuna, scallions, gold tobiko (flying fish caviar)

Preparation: Inside-out

Popularity: Small, but growing


This is one tasty piece of sushi roll, especially if you like yourself a little seafood in your diet.

The inner portion varies from restaurant to restaurant, but our default dish has two types of tuna (white and spicy, but you could use yellowtail or, really, any kind of flavorful fish), with salmon alongside for a flavor contrast, and the bite of the scallions giving it a little tang to finish.


The gold tobiko is more for looks than taste, but it does the job and completes a really memorable sushi roll menu item. We likey! 


Posted on February 25, 2008 in crabmeat, egg, rolls by adminNo Comments »

spring_roll.jpgIngredients: Rice, seaweed, spring roll paper, crab, egg yolk

Preparation: Prepared like a spring roll, only with rice and seaweed paper along the inside

Popularity: Minor

Another novelty sushi roll built for not-so-honed tastebuds, the Sushi Spring Roll is essentially a Crab Roll made with spring roll paper on the outside, dabbled with egg yolk to seal the roll, and then deep-fried.

What will you get out of it that you wouldn’t get from a stand-alone spring roll? Not much. But if you’re eating Japanese and the spring roll urge hits, and you spot this on the menu… why not?

Filler ingredients may vary, but we most often find the Spring Roll Sushi Roll containing crab. You may find it done with vegetables, fish, pork – whatever – but if you have a taste for the crab, you’ll generally find (a version of) it here.

Posted on February 25, 2008 in bacon, inside-out, lettuce, rolls, tomato by adminNo Comments »

blt_roll.jpgIngredients: Rice, seaweed, bacon, lettuce, tomato

Preparation: Inside-out

Popularity: Not very

You know the feeling when you go to a Chinese restaurant and there’s cheeseburgers and steak on the menu, and you realize that more non-Chinese people than Chinese people come to this place and they’re covering every base as a result?

More a novelty dish than a legit sushi menu item (like much Americanized sushi), the BLT Roll is a good indicator of that kind of malaise. Frankly, this is one of those US sushi restaurant offerings that just smacks of, "Here, first-timer, this one’s for you. Look, no eel!"

Thankfully, the addition of rice and seaweed to a BLT isn’t something that particularly hurts it. Of course, it doesn’t help much either, but sometimes ‘not offensive’ is the high bar to shoot for, and the BLT Roll clears that bar easily.


A good sushi restaurant (if it even serves this dish) might throw a little mayo in there, or even a wedge of avocado, but let’s face it – if you order the BLT Roll, you’re looking for the contents of a sandwich that you can eat in a way that makes you appear cool. Extras not required.

Posted on February 22, 2008 in avocado, cream cheese, cucumber, inside-out, rolls, smoked salmon by adminNo Comments »

new_york_roll.jpgIngredients: Rice, seaweed, smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber

Preparation: Inside-out

Popularity: Moderate, mostly because there’s no centralized recipe

As with many Americanized versions of sushi, it’s tough to nail down the New York Roll to one specific recipe. In fact, it’s tough to nail down one specific ingredient.

Some versions are made with smoked salmon, some are made with apple, some go with the contents of a bagel, some are close to a California Roll, only made in reverse. In fact, even finding a picture of a New York Roll is a hard thing to do.

For our money, the version of New York Roll that makes the most sense is a ‘bagelized’ recipe. We go with smoked salmon (add the skin if you like barbecue as a flavor), cream cheese, cucumber, and perhaps a little avocado thrown in so it’s not too cheesy.

Around the outside, sure, go with a smattering of sesame seeds, and maybe garnish with a thin slice of apple… since… you know… New York… ‘Big Apple’…

Sometimes schmaltz is a good thing.


Of course, you could always add steroids, in honor of New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens… 

Posted on February 22, 2008 in collard greens, lamb, rolls by adminNo Comments »

lubbock_roll.jpgIngredients: Lamb loin and tenderloin, collard greens

Preparation: Standard (as far as such things go)

Popularity: Miniscule (so far)

The Lubbock Roll is something we came across searching on the net for weird and wonderful new sushi dishes.

I don’t know if anyone actually serves it yet, but here’s the basic idea – you take a lamb tenderloin, then you wrap it in collard greens. You then wrap that with another kind of meat – either another cut of lamb, or another meat altogether. 

Then you slice and serve. 

Couldn’t tell you if it should be cooked or served raw – all we’ve found on the Lubbock Roll is a patent application (seriously). But we’d be happy to try it…. next time we’re in Lubbock, Texas. 

Sidenote: There’s also a veal version… if you prefer your meat to be force-fed with grain through a tube for the entirety of its sad, sadistic life. 

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