Tag Archives: Sushi

History Of The California Roll

Last week Meinhardt’s opened a second location and as I was roaming the aisles, I spied those darn Avocados From Mexico! This time they were making their way into sushi rolls! This got me thinking about all the rolls I’ve had topped with or filled with this wonderful fruit and wondering how avocado got to be a big part of the North American sushi menus.

California Roll Avocados From Mexico

I remember being told that Tojo had invented the California Roll in Vancouver when he moved from Japan and was trying to get Vancouverites more excited about sushi. He realized the seaweed and raw fish was a bit iffy for these newcomers to sushi, so he turned the rolls inside out to hide it the seaweed and began playing with ingredients such as cooked crab and avocado. A lot of people from California made there way to Vancouver for Tojo’s offerings and the roll was a favourite with them, hence the name.

Another explanation stems from California where Chef Ichiro Mashita was welding his sushi knife. In the 1970’s tuna was only available part of the year and as Americans liked the fatty texture of the fish he looked for something to replace it with when it wasn’t around and found avocado in the produce isle. He also turned the roll inside out as American diners found seaweed unappealing.   Of course these were Mexican avocados that had then been planted in California, so hence not really Avocados from Mexico, but due to drought California has been importing Mexican Avocados and Vancouver sushi is practically 100% Avocados From Mexico right now.


I prefer to side with our local sushi chef, but it’s just as possible that both chefs came to the tasty conclusion around the same time. These crazy rolls are now a fav across North America and have led to all sorts of non-traditional sushi rolls. Of course the best are made WITH Avocados from Mexico.


Now I’m no expert in making sushi at home (as you can see from the pictures above), so I went to the experts on youtube. I’m going to watch these a few times and try again!

This will also require sushi rice.

What else do you like to roll into your sushi rolls and where do you eat sushi in Vancouver?


Miku Announces New Menu, A Sustainable Option

mikuWith several Ocean Wise supported dishes, Miku Restaurant becomes the first Japanese restaurant partner with a downtown location
Following the launch of their new season menu, Miku Restaurant is proud to announce its certification to the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Program. This significant conservation program serves to educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood, helping them make ocean wise seafood choices by identifying dishes on partnering restaurant menus.

Since opening last November, Miku has already made its mark on the city’s culinary landscape with the introduction of its signature Aburi Sushi to North America, lightly flame-seared to release incredible smells and flavors, (a style hailing from the city of Miyazaki on the southwest tip of Japan), Miku has earned recognition as one of the city’s top three Japanese restaurants at the annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. “We are keen to excel in all areas of the dining experience” says General Manager Tai Hasumi “partnering with Ocean Wise underscores our values, we are delighted to have been accepted in to the program.”

Miku’s new menu reflects Head Chef Keiichiro Nireda’s traditional Japanese training while showcasing pristine ingredients and cutting-edge techniques. An enticing assortment of aburi-style sushi with signature house made sauces including the Pacific Roll (albacore tuna, yellowtail, shiso leaf, egg and cucumber) and the celebrated Miku Roll (sockeye salmon, cucumber, sea urchin, crab mayonnaise and golden caviar) are featured alongside entrees such as Aburi Washu Beef, (American Kobe beef with wasabi soy sauce). For the ultimate experience, the “Omakase” feast leaves decisions in the experienced hands of Chef Kei and his team who will conjure a seasonal and spontaneous seven-course menu.

Miku’s newly opened chic urban patio complete with huge umbrellas, fragrant flowers and a view through to the mountains, provides the ideal setting inviting guests to feast their eyes on the scenery and their appetites on the magnificent menu at Miku.

Miku Restaurant
Fresh ingredients, global inspiration and artful presentation are the benchmarks of Miku Restaurant’s outstanding, innovative cuisine. From its signature Aburi-style sushi, lightly seared and infused with savory sauces to its tantalizing meats, tenderized by Sumiyaki grilling, and desserts created by its Kyoto-trained pastry chef, Miku introduces cutting-edge culinary techniques to Vancouver. Miku restaurant is located at 1055 West Hastings Street at the corner of Thurlow and is open from 11.30am to 10.00pm throughout the summer season. For more information please visit www.mikurestaurant.com or phone 604-568-3900.

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BC Sustainable Sushi Guide


Canada’s first sustainable sushi guide helps consumers protect threatened marine species while satisfying their cravings for delicious sushi.

Developed by SeaChoice, a national seafood markets program run by several leading environmental groups, the wallet-sized guide features sustainability information for seafood commonly found on sushi menus by ranking items as green (Best Choice), yellow (Some Concerns) or red (Avoid) options.

“This guide empowers consumers to make decisions that are better for our oceans, without sacrificing their taste for healthy, delicious seafood,” said Shauna MacKinnon, Markets Campaigner with the Living Oceans Society. “What we’re telling Canadians is that by making wiser seafood choices, they can enjoy their sushi and help our oceans too.”

A growing facet of the seafood market in Canada, sushi restaurants often offer species – including bluefin tuna and farmed salmon – that are harvested unsustainably. But there are many “Best Choice” alternatives. Canada’s Sustainable Sushi Guide provides a detailed list of seafood items that have healthy populations and come from well-managed fisheries that don’t cause significant harm to ocean environments and other sea life. The guide offers sushi chefs and diners alike great alternatives for their favourite menu items, including local albacore tuna and Dungeness crab, as well as several new ones like Arctic char or sablefish.

“When people choose to eat sustainable sushi, they also send a clear message to industry and the government that they care about ocean conservation,” said Susanna Fuller, Director of Marine Conservation at the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax.

SeaChoice will distribute its sustainable sushi guide on April 23 at restaurants in Vancouver and Halifax. The wallet-sized card is also available online where sushi lovers can print or order their own copies for free.

“SeaChoice’s sustainable sushi guide provides the public with science-based information in a user-friendly format, so they can play an active role in supporting healthy oceans,” said Bill Wareham, Senior Conservation Specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation in Vancouver.

Formed in 2006, SeaChoice is a national program that provides science-based sustainability assessments of seafood to Canadian consumers, fishermen, chefs and businesses. More than 250,000 printed copies of the program’s guide to sustainable seafood, Canada’s Seafood Guide, are in circulation across the country.

SeaChoice is led by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Centre, Living Oceans Society and Sierra Club BC, and works in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.