Not all California rolls are created equal
California roll, a kind of makizushi sushi roll, is one of the most popular and classic styles of sushi. The roll usually contains cucumber,crab meat or imitation crab, and avocado. The outer layer of rice is sprinkled with fish roe.
California roll has been influential in sushi’s global popularity and inspiring sushi chefs around the world in creating their fusion cuisine. This time, Sophie Wang and Joan Zheng chose some California rolls from four Japanese chain restaurants with good reputations in the city.
They pulled them apart and taste-tested them so we can tell you which one is the best.
Tools: A chopping board, an electronic scale and a knife
Criteria: Net weight, weight of fillings and proportion of fillings
First, weigh the sushi to get its net weight.
Second, cut it to get the filling.
Third, weigh the filling.
Last, eat it and judge the taste!
It is a chain of conveyor belt sushi restaurants established in 1990 in Japan. The chain expanded overseas.
The California roll here contains avocado, crab sticks and salmon. For those salmon-lovers, this roll may be their first choice, as the salmon inside is rich and tender. However, it smells a little fishy, while the overall taste is not salty enough. With sauce and wasabi, it tastes better.
The fish roe on the outer layer are rich, but the rice is too hard and less than satisfactory.
Price: 9 yuan (US$1.3)/piece (18 yuan/box of two pieces)
You may ignore this small restaurant at first sight, but it really makes good sushi. The name “Unohana”comes from a beautiful white flower.
The California roll here contains cucumber, pickles, lettuce, eggs and small amounts of crab sticks. But too much vinegar in the rice gives the taste a sour note, and the rice is hard. The ingredients are not rich, so the whole taste is below expectations.
Price: 9.5 yuan/piece (38 yuan/a box of four pieces)
The restaurant opened its first restaurant in Shanghai iapm mall on Huaihai Road in 2013, providing a new venue for locals to indulge in its exquisite and varied menu.
It uses traditional outstanding handmade sushi techniques to serve its guests using what is says is one of the finest and freshest traditional sushi.
The California roll here contains avocado, lettuce,cucumber and large amounts of crab sticks. With good rice and rich ingredients, it is quite tasty. Or preserved ginger and sauce can be used to add flavor.
But the roe is not as rich as the others, and the crab sticks are a little dry.
Price: 13 yuan/piece (26 yuan/a box of two pieces)
This restaurant offers great sushi on a budget. All the sushi is neatly ranged in a big freezer, while chefs work in an open kitchen behind it. You can see all the dishes clearly, and it is friendly for takeaway.
The California roll here contains cucumber, pickles,eggs, corn and small amounts of tuna. The fillings are lighter than the competition, giving it a rich taste.
The roe on the outer layer is fresh, flexible and juicy — easily the best of our tastings. The mayonnaise on the surface also adds a rich flavor. Although the rice is too soft,the overall taste is good.
Price: 6.4 yuan/piece (32 yuan/a box of five pieces)