Why does sushi only come from Asia? Cultures all across the globe each developed their own varieties of noodles, sandwiches, sausages and stews. But only people in one corner of the world ever thought to roll all of their ingredients into one beautiful bite-sized piece. Until now. At Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut, chef Bun Lai explores what the world might taste like if everyone made sushi.
Bun took over the kitchen at Miya’s a few years ago from his mother, who had already built a loyal local following for her traditional Japanese sushi rolls. But instead of sticking with the formula, he transformed Miya’s into what is almost certainly America’s most inventive sushi restaurant. He eschews traditional, overfished sushi ingredients like bluefin tuna, red snapper and unagi, instead focusing on sustainable species like bonito tuna and catfish, and incorporates them into a wide variety of inventive rolls listed on a magazine-sized menu that comes complete with historical footnotes and detailed eating instructions.
In the roll pictured above, Bun explores what it might have been like if sushi came from, say, north Africa. The roll encompasses ingredients found in Ethiopia: a tempura of rare tuna, goat cheese, flying fish caviar, apricots, avocado, pickled radish and a Berbere spice mix, all wrapped in a thin, housemade teff grain flatbread. Biting into it is like playing mindgames with your tongue — it has the texture and proportions of sushi exactly right, but with ingredients that just aren’t supposed to be there. If you can get past that, it also happens to be delicious.
And what would sushi taste like if it came from Guadalajara or Georgia? Keep reading…Read More›