Love it or hate it, sushi has become a cultural mainstay. This traditional Japanese delicacy has been adapted and hybridized the world over to produce one of the most popular and recognizable cuisines there is.
Whether you're a fan of a decadent tempura dynamite roll, or a more traditional and subdued yellowtail nigiri, sushi available everywhere, all the time. What a blessing for the sushi lovers.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for fish.
Turns out, the popularity of sushi (and seafood in general) has a major downside. Our oceans are being overfished. Seafood of all sorts has been under fire for pretty much every issue you can imagine, from sustainability concerns to health problems arising from the polluted waters our fish comes from.
Naturally the solution is tomato sushi, right?
Yes, you read that correctly. Lucky for all of us sushi lovers, master chef James Corwell has come up with a solution to our sushi situation. He's developed a revolutionary technique to cook tomatoes (yes, tomatoes!) so that they take on the texture of the sushi-grade tuna we all no and love. I'm not joking.
Recently, I had the opportunity to try tomato sushi (or, actually, poké because it's all the rage) at the health-focused, fast-casual chain Fresh & Co. in New York City. Their head chef, Michael Roberts, has created an entire menu around this sustainable, vegan sushi including salads, hot grain bowls, wraps, and more.
After marinating the "tuna" in traditional flavors like sesame oil and soy sauce, the flavors and textures combine so well that they could fool almost anyone into thinking they were eating the real thing.
Could this sustainable substitute fool the most discriminating of sushi connoisseurs? Probably not. It does, however, give those of us with normal palates something new, adventurous, and (honestly) delicious to try.