Spicy Salmon Roll

NOTE: The photo for this post is not of the actual sushi I ate; those pictures were somehow deleted, and this one is the closest I could find to what I ate.

When I ordered salmon rolls, I was expecting a piece of salmon wrapped in rice and nori. Instead, I got what looked like spicy tuna rolls. Turns out I was given spicy salmon rolls instead of regular salmon rolls!

Spicy salmon rolls are basically the exact same thing as spicy tuna rolls (tuna mixed with chili oil and Tobiko, wrapped in rice and nori along with avocado and cucumber) just with salmon used instead of tuna.

Because the ingredients are so similar, the two rolls taste almost the same. The flavor of the salmon is milder than the tuna, however, which actually makes a much bigger difference than I expected.

In this case, since the meat is less noticeable, the other ingredients did seem to overpower it a little. Mostly all I could taste from the meat was the spiciness, though I could detect a salmon taste occasionally. There was also the crunchiness of the cucumber and the taste of the avocado helping to mask the salmon.

The wasn’t really anything wrong with the sushi – in fact it was really good – but when compared to its tuna counterpart, the spicy salmon roll just isn’t as good. The flavors of the two rolls are really almost identical, except for a lack of a meaty flavor in the salmon ones.

Spicy salmon rolls are very good, but tuna just works as a better meat for the roll than salmon does. Because of this, I probably won’t order spicy salmon rolls again and will just stick to tuna ones instead.


Vegetable Roll

I typically am not a fan of sushi rolls without a lot of meat in them. Because of this, I really didn’t want to order vegetable rolls at all.

Vegetable rolls are made simply of cucumber and avocado wrapped in rice and nori. Mine were also drizzled with a sweet sauce.

I was expecting vegetable rolls to be very boring and not very tasty, which turned out to be at least partially true. Vegetable rolls don’t have much flavor at all, and quickly got boring.

I believe the reason vegetable rolls seem boring to me is simply the lack of meat in the sushi. The ingredients are the exact same as Boston rolls and California rolls just without the meat (shrimp/crab), and Boston rolls are one of my favorite types of sushi.

While the lack of ingredients makes them taste pretty boring, vegetable rolls aren’t all bad. They taste more fresh than the other kinds of sushi I’ve tried so far. This can make a nice refreshment from other heavier foods.

While the vegetable rolls work well as a kind of side salad, I certainly wouldn’t eat them as my main meal. I understand that the point of the sushi is to not have meat, but I just really prefer to have meat in my sushi. The vegetable rolls do taste good, but to me they just get very boring very quickly.

I most likely won’t order vegetable rolls again, but they still do have a good taste!

Shrimp Tempura Roll

The only type of sushi I had had with anything fried in it was the fried roll, and it really wasn’t great. Because of this I was reluctant to order shrimp tempura rolls, but now I’m glad I did.

Shrimp tempura rolls are made from shrimp tempura (fried shrimp) and cucumber wrapped in rice and nori. Sometimes avocado is also included in the ingredients. On top was some kind of sauce which I believe was unagi sauce like what was used on eel rolls.

I was worried that the fried aspect the shrimp bring to the sushi would have a negative influence on the flavor, but fortunately it didn’t. The flavor of the shrimp didn’t mess up the sushi at all, and the fired texture actually gave the roll something different from the other sushi I’ve tried to make it a little more unique.

The (supposed) unagi sauce went well with the shrimp tempura, and the sweetness of it didn’t overpower any of the other flavors in the sushi. The cucumber seemed a little out of place, but that wasn’t really a bad thing. While it may not seem to go very well with the other ingredients, the cucumber did add a welcome fresh aspect to the sushi.

The overall flavor of the rolls was quite good. However, it seemed to get a little boring and maybe could use just one more ingredient to add a bit more variety (as I mentioned earlier, sometimes avocado is used in shrimp tempura rolls, but in my case it wasn’t. Maybe that’s what was missing.).

Shrimp tempura rolls are much better than I was expecting, and actually are really good! While they might be slightly boring on their own, I’ll certainly be ordering them again soon to go with other types of sushi.

Eel Roll

Eel roll… That sounded pretty disgusting to me. I was actually a little scared to order it! However, since I’m attempting to try more types of sushi, I decided to go for it.

Eel rolls are made from unagi (the Japanese word for freshwater eel) and cucumber wrapped in rice and nori. The rolls are then drizzled with unagi sauce. Unagi sauce is made out of soy sauce, sake (a type of Japanese rice wine), mirin (another wine similar to sake), and sugar.

I had no idea what to expect from the eel rolls. When I tasted the first one, I was very surprised by the flavor.

It had a slight sweet flavor, which I assume came from the unagi sauce. The sauce tasted almost like a kind of barbeque sauce, but not as strong.

I couldn’t really taste the eel meat very well (and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing). The one piece of meat inside each roll was rather small and not very noticeable. I could feel the texture of it and could tell there was some meat, but I couldn’t get much of the flavor of it.

On the other hand, there was quite a bit of cucumber in the roll, and it could easily be tasted. The cucumber also gave the roll a crunchiness, which I usually like, but this time there was almost too much crunchiness.

The overall flavor of the sushi was good, I just think maybe the ingredients were slightly off balance. I think that a little less cucumber, a little more eel, and maybe slightly less unagi sauce would fix this problem.

Despite the slight imbalance in the flavors, I really enjoyed my eel rolls. The flavors were all good, and I especially liked the unagi sauce drizzled on top.

Eels rolls are now certainly ranked high on my list of favorite sushi rolls, though I wouldn’t say they’re one of my favorites. However, I imagine I’ll probably wind up ordering them again sometime in the near future.