Where’s the fish?
Most Americans hear sushi and think raw fish, but largely Buddhist Japan has always had a rich tradition of plant-based sushi. Some U.S. cities with big Japanese ex-pat communities, like San Francisco, even have stand-alone vegetarian sushi restaurants. Minnesota doesn’t have such an eatery, but if you dine where many native Japanese do, at Sakura in St. Paul, you’ll find a wealth of fascinating, artfully prepared vegetarian options.
Soybean Paper Roll
Top right: The pretty, pliant pink wrapper is made of soybeans. Vegetarian sushi uses rare seaweeds, unusual tofu preparations, and other exotic ingredients to provide depths of flavor.
From the top. left: marinated daikon sprouts; pickled burdock root; avocado; seasoned, preserved gourd; salted cucumber; and pickled daikon.
That’s not all
Lower right: Sakura offers a world of vegetarian options to pair with your plant-based sushi, like vegetarian tempura, gyoza, hot noodle soups, salads, and even vegetarian sukiyaki. Oh, and the fish-based sushi is great, too. Sakura Restaurant, 350 St. Peter St., St. Paul 651-224-0185, sakurastpaul.com