One of the features that make sushi so appealing is the variety of sushi rolls and ingredients that are used in each one. Apart from the traditional makizushi, which consists of cooked rice, vinegar and some wasabi wrapped in roasted seaweed, many other sushi rolls are now popular. Since the California roll was created over 40 years ago in Los Angeles, several other sushi rolls have been invented to cater to the needs of both Western and traditional sushi lovers. Here is a brief description of some the most popular rolls you can find in sushi restaurants and bars in Japan and other Western countries.
Dragon roll is very popular in U.S. and other parts of the West. This sushi roll has rice on the outside while the inner part has either shrimp tempura or unagi and some cucumber. Outside, the rice is topped with tobiko and avocado. Some chefs and sushi lovers call it the caterpillar roll because the avocado can decorate and the rolls can be arranged like a caterpillar.
California roll was the first successful westernised sushi that made it possible for many Americans to embrace sushi. Cooked rice marinated in vinegar is sprinkled with flying fish roe (tobiko) or capelin roe (masago). Within the roll, you can find a variety of ingredients such as cucumber, avocado, cooked crab meat, and mayonnaise. Some sushi bars replace the avocado with mango or banana. Although the California roll was originally created and sold in the U.S. it now has its own fan base in Japan and other parts of the world.
The rainbow roll is usually prepared with typical sushi fish like yellowtail, tuna, salmon, or sea bass with the addition of fruits like mango or avocado. The inner part of the roll contains various ingredients like shrimp tempura, asparagus, cucumber, and other fillings that are found in the California roll, like crab meat and mayonnaise.
The Spider roll has soft shell crabs as the main ingredient. To make this sushi roll, the crabs are covered with tempura batter before deep frying them. Chefs fill the inside of the roll with mayonnaise before adding the crabs with legs sticking out, to create the impression of a giant spider. Some sushi bars have created their variation of this sushi roll by adding sesame seeds, tobiko, cucumber, avocado and radish.
Tekkamaki is usually on the omakase menu of most edomae-style traditional sushi restaurants. The key ingredient in the tekkamaki is the lean tuna meat, which is known as maguro in Japanese. With a little wasabi seasoning placed on the raw fish, this roll is a simple example of what many Japanese sushi lovers want.
This is another classic sushi dish made in many traditional Japanese restaurants. Its ingredients include finely minced bluefin tuna and leeks or spring onions. This roll gives you a good combination of spice and fish and some chefs add sesame seeds. It is a favourite of many lovers of traditionally prepared sushi because of the unique flavour.
Philadelphia roll is a westernised sushi roll that includes cream cheese as one of its main ingredients. Traditionally, sushi does not include any kind of dairy products. The roll may be filled with avocado, onions and sesame seeds while smoked salmon and cucumber serve as the fish and vegetable elements.
Futomaki literally means thick fat rolls. For the traditionally prepared futomaki, chefs add a variety of ingredients including shiitake mushrooms, cucumber, fried egg (tamago), dried gourd (kanpyo). Some chefs also add items like seasoned codfish, bean curd, bamboo shoots and avocado.
In this highly priced traditional sushi dish, strips of toro (the fatty flesh from the belly of the bluefin tuna fish) are placed on rolls of rice. Due to the rich, unique buttery flavour of the fish, many lovers of sushi treasure this dish and they are ready to pay a premium for it.
For first-time sushi eaters, unagi maki is good dish to learn how to eat sushi. It is prepared with fresh water eel that is grilled in a sweet sauce. The teriyaki taste makes it a great choice for both traditional and Western sushi lovers.
Those are just a few of the sushi rolls you can enjoy at a sushi restaurant in Western countries and Japan. If you are new to the world of sushi, you may need to try out a couple of rolls made by different chefs before you can select your favourite sushi roll.