It’s always fun to see what sushi trends are emerging around the U.S., whether they spring from food trucks or a novelty-themed restaurant. Here’s a roundup of some of the most creative happenings — for better or worse — taken with the basic sushi tradition headed your way in 2017.
These creations are among the most whimsical of the novelty sushi trends, with traditional Japanese ingredients being transformed to look like the components of an American burger.
For burgers, white rice with black sesame seeds are pressed into bun shapes, with foods like fresh tuna, seaweed and pickled veggies visually imitating beef patties and the traditional burger toppings.
The verdict? The culinary fusion invention is a fun nod to both American and Japanese cultures, and if made with good-quality ingredients they can be delicious. But bring a fork — these sushi trends are too loose to hold with your hands and too awkward to wrangle with chopsticks.
Much like sushi burgers, sushi sandwiches are hand-formed to create the illusion of being a lunchtime American favorite. Whether they’re pressed with brown rice and sized to look like regular sandwiches, or cut into small squares and left white like tea sandwiches, sushi sandwiches are all about the art of fooling the eye.
Sushi sandwiches are constructed in layers like sushi burgers, although they’re obviously flatter and more squared off. The tea-sized version can be eaten by hand, but often lack the flavor punch of traditional Japanese rolls.
The burrito form, which relies on a wrap formed around fillings, is closer in concept to Japanese rolls than burgers are. Fans of the Mexican twist on the traditional Japanese hand roll note that this larger version allows for a greater variety of fillings. To compensate for the larger number of fillings packed into the outer layer of rice, sushi burritos usually come encased in a paper or foil wrapping.
Perhaps more fun than flavorful, sushi cakes certainly creates a festive feeling. Approximating the size of a round birthday cake, sushi cakes feature layers of traditional sushi ingredients like white rice, fish, and vegetables. They make a nice break from the usual dessert platter, but can be difficult to cut, and won’t have the nuanced combinations of more tightly-blended sushi rolls.
Shinto Sushi Roll of the Month
What can beat the creativity of Shinto’s regular specialty rolls, like “The Monster,” with shrimp tempura and mashed avocado, or “The Spider,” with fried soft shell crab and eel sauce? Well, our regulars look forward to seeing Shinto trying to top itself each month. Our current roll of the month is the Red Reindeer Roll. It consists of Spicy crab salad, jalapeno, and avocado inside. Topped with raw red tuna, spicy mayo, tobiko, and scallions! Check out our regular and monthly dining and bar menus for more new sushi trends!