This post is geared towards those sushi fanatics who want to explore beyond the boundaries of the regular sushi experience. Looking for exotic sushi, don’t care if it’s dead or alive? I want to share some really interesting sushi that can’t be found at every restaurant, but look in the right corners of your town and you might find a sushi gem that you’re looking for! This list contains sushi/sashimi that you are likely to find in America. No need to make a pilgrimage to Japan!
Uni (Sea Urchin)
Surprisingly this is the least exotic on this list, yet it seems to be a very common piece that many sushi fanatics haven’t tried yet! Sea urchin is the golden gooey, delicious mush that can be found inside a sea urchin. This stuff is pure deliciousness in every drop. Usually about $8 for nigiri and $13 – $20 for sashimi. (Advice: try the nigiri, many sushi shops barley add any extra uni relative to the extra cost you pay for sashimi.)
Best eaten with a hint of soy sauce, this is sure to melt in your mouth with yummy, salty flavors! Not everyone is a fan of uni and if you really don’t like it, then I don’t think you deserve to call yourself a “Sushi Master!” LIKE IT!
Sweet shrimp, usually found at most sushi shops, though it’s usually an occasional item; about the same price range as uni. This is raw shrimp, sometimes they even present the live head on a plate. It’s really amazing, awesome, and interesting to see the head squirming around on your plate.
Those who have a weak, skewed sense of morality may find the live head, “cruel” or “wrong,” but you must step back out of this mindless, mainstream morality that the world has put on the treatment of animals and realize this is a shrimp, one in a trillion mindless shrimps. Eat it, and enjoy it, don’t let its death be in vain! Eat it! Enjoy it! Usually the head and left over tail are deep fried for a round 2 of shrimp!
Personally I’m not a huge fan of the sweet shrimp taste, I usually order for the live experience. The shrimp tastes very gooey, the texture is firm, mixed with some juicy, soft spots. (Imagine biting into a soft rubber eraser, except it crumbles in your mouth and tastes much better.) I prefer the larger shrimps, as they have the maximum flavor as opposed to the tiny ones which seem virtually flavorless!
Squid (Ika) Sashimi
Unlike most sashimi, the texture of squid is the opposite of what one would expect in the ideal sashimi! It’s rough and it’s chewy, hence the very thinly cut slices in the picture. This kind of sashimi is work! It’s very chewy, but don’t rush so quickly to swallow it as the act of chewing the squid is what releases the most of the flavors! Personally, I’m not a huge fan of it, but it’s always nice to have an exotic, delicious piece to eat every once in a while!
Live octopus is flavorless, difficult to get off the plate, and overprices for the quantity you usually get! You will not get full from it, but its tentacles will reach into your wallet an pull every last cent you have out of it if you try! What is fun about live octopus is the experience. Now in most restaurants in America where you can actually get this stuff, they usually chop it up into tiny slices. So all that worry about choking on it, or getting a suction cup stuck in your throat, is significantly less probable.
Again, live octopus is virtually flavorless, but it is a fun experience.
Very similar in flavor and texture to tuna, however swordfish is usually thicker, stronger, and more flavorful. If you like tuna, then you should definitely try swordfish. It looks amazing and it’s usually more commonly found at high end Japanese restaurants. It’s very hard to go wrong with this unless it isn’t fresh.
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Japanese Scallop Sashimi/Sushi
Very smooth, creamy, and delicious. Especially, Japanese scallop, it’s a very delicious flavor, though adding a dash soy sauce will enhance the flavors a bit! Scallop doesn’t seem so exotic, but many restaurants in America do not have Japanese scallop, so it is exotic to an extent.
Now there’s nothing necessarily rare or “exotic” about Toto, however it is a very poplar, high end cut of tuna that many do not have the luxury of eating frequently. It is a delixiouc, creamy, fatty cut of blue fin tuna that will melt in your mouth. Be wise about the restaurant you order this at however, I’ve paid upwards of $36 for 3 pieces of not so great Toro. So be wary of the quality of the restaurant you order this from, but Toro is amazing when it’s right and delicious! If you haven’t had any of the fish on this list, you should at least try Toro!
There are over 100 different types of sushi out there, but I wanted to talk about some of the more readily available sushi that you can actually try! Sure it’s fun to talk about really exotic sushi, but I wanted to share an article so you could go out and try some of this fish for yourself! It’s still pretty rare, you probably won’t find this at an average, lower priced sushi joint, but take a look at some good sushi locations and try it out!
Enjoy, be safe with your raw fish eating habits and your spending habits, and keep on loving sushi! 🙂