Why You Shouldn’t Order Sushi Rolls
A master sushi-chef will tell you that the perfect bite of sushi is the one that best fits a customer’s taste, and although they mean this with the utmost sincerity, it is not true. The best bite of sushi is not a roll with four kinds of fish, avocado, cream cheese, and a quart of spicy mayo.
Those Frankenrolls are admittedly delicious, but if that’s all you’re ordering, you’re doing it wrong. After reading the following reasons, we think you’ll agree.
The cuts of fish in rolls are worse
No respectable sushi chef is skimping on the quality of their product, but the reality is that not all cuts of a fish are created equal. Just like a butcher isn’t likely to grind up beef tenderloin for a burger, a sushi chef isn’t using the prime cuts of tuna belly for a roll.
What’s used for individual pieces of sushi — be they slices of sashimi (just plain fish) or nigiri (a slice of fish on top of rice) — will be a better cut of fish than what’s ground up and mixed with Sriracha in a spicy roll. Pro tip: chefs save the very best fish for customers who sit at the bar.
You can’t taste the fish
To continue the steakhouse analogy, you wouldn’t want to take a prime piece of beef and coat it in a mixture of A.1., cream cheese, and caviar. The kitchen sink of ingredients in an Americanized roll run together such that the competing fatty flavors will overshadow the integrity of the fish.
The texture is lost
Great sushi is all about the balance between the fish and the rice. Much of that is temperature, but the contrasting textures of smooth flesh and expertly prepared rice are also crucial. This simple balance that makes a nigiri bite of uni or saba so special goes out the window when a roll is stuffed with fake crab, topped with an aquarium’s worth of different fish, and soaked in a heavy sauce.
Rolls don’t take as much skill to make
Anyone working at a respectable sushi restaurant has a serious approach to the craft, but the chef making the rolls is typically the low man on the sushi-bar totem poll. It doesn’t take as much finesse, and most diners would probably be upset to know that their dinner is likely being made by the least-experienced cook on the line.
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