Heads or Tails? Whole-Fish Sushi Offers Both

A popular sushi chain in Japan has introduced a sushi roll that is definitely not for the fishphobic: It’s made with a whole sardine – head, tail, eyes and all.
Sardines

two fresh sardines isolated on white

Photo by: filipe b varela

filipe b varela

You can teach a man to fish, but can you teach him to eat a whole-fish sushi roll? A popular sushi chain in Japan, Kurazushi, has introduced a roll that is definitely not for the fishphobic: It’s made with a whole sardine – head, tail, eyes and all.

The roll has been created in honor of a Japanese spring festival called Setsubun, which kicks off in early February and, according to Japan Today, nods at two festival traditions: eating thick sushi rolls called “ehomaki” while facing the direction deemed most auspicious for the coming year; and adorning one’s front door with “hiiragi iwashi,” a cooked sardine head poised upon a sprig of holly, which is believed to ward off bad luck and evil spirits.

Measuring about four inches long and offered for only around $3 (Kurazushi restaurants are for the budget-minded), the whole-fish roll features one Hokkaido-caught sardine (backbone removed, for those concerned about crunch, though smaller bones have been left in), one oba (Japanese basil) leaf and grated plum, Japan Today reports.

And you thought you were adventurous when you ordered the dragon roll …

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