White rice, salmon, and avocado wrapped in dry seaweed: the sushi roll. And who doesn’t love it? Of course, it’s a well-beloved delicacy in Japan as well, but in recent years, a unique take on the tasty classic has become popular particularly in Europe and the United States – the sushi roll made with fruits.
This symbolizes a creative trend to adapt and recreate dishes from traditional Japanese cuisine, one that is also conquering various social networking sites.
We have scanned the web and found the most intriguing international takes on Japanese food, from the aforementioned fruits sushi to the sweet and adorable taiyaki ice cream!
1. Surprising Even New Yorkers: the Raindrop Cake
Created by New York’s Smorgasburg Food Market, the Raindrop Cake is an amazing adaption of a traditional Japanese sweet called mizu shingen mochi. Made with agar-agar and mineral water, this amazing treat is enjoyed with black honey and soybean flour.
The most intriguing thing about the Raindrop Cake is its texture. When eating a spoonful, the unique cake will genuinely feel like water and a lot of people find its slippery texture rather irresistible. On top of the eating sensation, this dessert also enjoys enormous popularity among New Yorkers because it’s quite healthy and has almost no calories. By the way: the birthplace of Japan’s own Raindrop Cake, mizu shingen mochi, is Yamanashi Prefecture.
According to the mochi’s inventor, a shop called Kinseiken, it deflates in about thirty minutes when stored at room temperature – as sad as it may be, but that’s why the Raincrop Cake can’t be ordered for takeout. This evanescence, however, is also precisely what makes this mysterious dish so intriguing – why not try it for yourself?
2. A Major International Hit: Taiyaki Ice Cream Fuses East with West
The taiyaki ice cream was first sold in New York’s Chinatown and has gone on to conquer both South Korea and Taiwan with its adorable look and sweet taste. While the head of the pancake fish is the place of the ice cream, its tail is filled with delicious custard or red bean paste.
Sold in various flavors, with chocolate and vanilla being the most classic ones, original Japanese flavors can also be enjoyed. Why not try some green tea or even black sesame ice cream?
According to the management, the equipment to make the tasty taiyaki fishes are imported directly from Japan and Taiwan. While on a Japan trip, they saw the typical shape of the pancake fish and thought “Wow, Instagram will love this!” – Immediately making connections between food and social networking sure is the way a modern gourmet thinks!
3. Discovery in Thailand: Try the Kyoto-inspired Khanom Tokyo!
The literal translation of the name of this delicacy is “Tokyo confectionery” – but in fact, it does not come from Japan at all. Khanom Tokyo is a flat pancake made from sweet dough that is filled with things like custard or sausage. Its inspiration is the traditional Japanese sweets culture of Kyoto, which was adapted to fit an authentic Thai style – with very delicious results!
Why Khanom Tokyo, though? Well, originally it was called Khanom Kyoto but the pancake creation’s name was changed to Khanom Tokyo as Japan’s modern capital is way more famous than Japan’s old one, namely Kyoto.
Interestingly enough, Thailand has a lot of dishes with international names and references, such as fried banana called Kluay Kaek, with the word “kaek” referring to India or the Middle East, or fried rice with ketchup called Khao Pad American. Another curious one is the Lod Chong Singapore, as well as the rice flour noodle dish called Khanom chin, referencing China. They might all have international name references, but these dishes are all Thailand originals. Japan does have a couple of these too – just think of Pasta Napolitan or Turkish Rice!
4. The Sushi Roll: Celebrating its 50th Birthday – as a U.S Citizen?!
You read that right: the sushi roll might be all about Japanese cuisine but it was actually born in the United States! Its roots go back to the year of 1963, when the sushi chef of Little Tokyo’s “Tokyo Kaikan” sushi restaurant, Mashita Ichiro, created the first California Roll by fusing king crab, avocado, and mayonnaise into a sushi roll.
One of the most typical features of the California Roll is the fact that the seaweed is on the inside, not the outside. This is also a rolling technique that has been invented at the same restaurant in the States.
A lot of different sushi roll variations have been created from this original, leading to interesting fillings such as cream cheese, tuna, and even shrimp tempura – it’s one of our favorite fusions of East with West!
5. Sushi Going Dessert: Fall in Love with the Irresistible Fruits Roll!
One of the aforementioned sushi roll creations has become particularly popular in France and truly is a whole different kind of experience: meet the amazing Fruits Roll!
Strawberries, kiwi, mango – the Fruits Roll is exactly what the name suggests. Served with condensed soy milk, honey, and caramel sauce, it makes for an incredibly delicious and visually appealing dessert. It is so popular, it has become a staple food in French chain restaurants!
The combination of sushi and fruit might seem weird to a lot of Japanese people but some restaurants have started serving the overseas adaption of a national favorite in Japan as well. Only the future will tell if the Fruits Roll will be as popular among Japanese gourmets as it is with the French.
Food is a language that every single person on the planet understands. The many dessert creations who have their roots in Japan but were invented all over the world are wonderful examples for this! Some might be surprising, some might seem downright weird – but all of them are delicious!