Japanese try western style sushi

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/21/japanese-try-western-style-sus.html


Well I wouldn’t call any of the preparations they showed Sushi either.

Not everything sold in a “Sushi” restaurant is Sushi any more that everything sold in a hamburger joint is a hamburger. Sushi being fairly precisely defined as small balls or rolls of vinegar-flavoured cold rice served with a garnish of vegetables, egg, or raw seafood, that rules out California Rolls explicitly.




There is “Western Style” and there is sushi that happens to be made in the West. Here in the USA, (at least in states with ocean shores) good sushi can be had if you look hard enough; So Cal has excellent sushi restaurants. There’s even one supermarket chain (Whole Foods… forget the others!) that make their own sushi (actually decent, certainly not great) right in their stores.

Recommended doco re sushi. Fun to watch when eating anything, and makes you want to visit Japan.


To be fair, what they’re calling “American style” is really “Korean style”. Pretty much all of the deep-fried, meat-draped, hot-pepper-spiked sushi that Americans have gotten to like comes from Korean or Mexican sushi chefs that don’t have the religious regard for sushi that Japanese sushi chefs do, and go for crazy wacky intense flavors more than ones that are focused on the quality of the seafood and rice.


can we show the Japanese a video of Italians reacting to Japanese-style “pizza” next?


I like the variation we have here that has strawberries and kiwi wrapped in sweet rice, with chocolate dipping sauce on the side. Traditional? No. But a great way to finish off a plate of real sushi.

Well how would you like your Big Mac with natto on it?


Whole Foods sushi is okay. They’re less common, but Asian supermarkets often have decent sushi. This one is a personal favorite of mine…


The first time I was exposed to “sushi” drenched in mayo was … in Tokyo, in a kaitenzushi place in the '90s.

So let he who is without mayo throw the first stone.


So Cal has a lot more Japanese consumers relative to the rest of the country, though. (Also: Hawaii has way more, but I haven’t visited long enough to get a sense for what their sushi restos are like)

Out here in Chicagoland, most Japanese restaurants are owned and operated by Koreans, for reasons I don’t understand. Census indicates there’s about double the amount of Koreans here than Japanese.

ETA: I see someone has covered this kinda:

But, whatevs. I’m not a purist–as long as it’s short grain rice made with salt, sugar and vinegar/sake it scratches the itch.


Reminds me of when I was a young, homesick English teacher in Czechoslovakia, and being tempted by a sign for “American Style Pizza”. When it came, it was fried dough with ketchup, canned vegetables, and a fried egg on it.


If you are referring to something like Korean Kimbap, no one considers this to be sushi, or maki, but a unique dish which has existed for hundreds of years. Once you have a cooking culture that uses seaweed and rice I guess it’s not that far a step to wrap one up in the other.


I’m not, no. I’m referring to the maki rolls and nigiri sushi served at Japanese / sushi restaurants that are often owned by Koreans in America, which usually have raw fish as the main ingredient but then do things you’d never see at a sushi counter in Japan: deep fry it, add fruit on top, chop it all up and serve it in a cone, or arrange it in a wheel to be a “sushi pizza”, etc. And the sort of things you see in the video above being called “western style sushi”.


Gelson’s also does decent store made sushi.

(I used to work at a Gelson’s.)

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The mayo that’s used in sushi bars in the US (and presumably the rest of the world) is Kewpie brand, and it’s a Japanese import. You’ve probably seen your sushi chefs holding the distinctive bottle.

That doesn’t in itself mean that the Japanese use it as liberally as we do on sushi, but since at least some Japanese use mayo at least sometimes as you witnessed, and Kewpie says they’ve made mayo since 1925 (well before sushi was a thing outside of Japan), I wonder who started the trend.
(I just learned from the website that Kewpie looks different because it uses only yolks instead of whole eggs.)


You just fairly precisely defined Nigirizushi and Hosomaki.

But what about:

  • Chirashizushi
  • Inarizushi
  • Futomaki
  • Ehomaki
  • Temaki
  • Narezushi
  • Oshizushi

I assume there’s a video somewhere, but I suspect my filter that blocks any youtube video with the string “react” in the title has blocked it. Is this anything different than the same old story that gets trotted out every so often?

I can relate to this. Just like how, in the States, nobody considers soccer to be a sport.