Evansville may reside smack in the middle of the country, but the city is packed with international dining options, including one Japanese delicacy — sushi. The rich, refreshing rolls shaped with a bamboo mat Evansvillians know and love are a specific type of sushi called maki — meaning roll — in Japanese. In an effort to curb our cravings and hopefully inspire your own, we journeyed from the North Side to Newburgh, Indiana, to try a bite of five distinct sushi rolls.
1) The Ohio River Roll
Available at Sakura Japanese Restaurant — 4833 Old Indiana 261 in Newburgh, Indiana — the Ohio River Roll is a hefty portion of spicy tuna-topped sushi. Inside the large roll, tempura salmon, asparagus, and cream cheese blend together for smooth flavors with a light bite of spice on the back end.
2) The Butterfly Roll
Pleasing to the eyes as well as the taste buds, the butterfly roll from Fuji Yama (915 North Park Drive) is packed with shrimp tempura, avocado, and eel. A colorful pile of shredded spicy crab garnishes the top of this light, but spicy roll that manages to combine and highlight the best tastes of each unique ingredient.
3) Jaya’s Signature Roll
Jaya’s signature roll is perfect for sushi enthusiasts and beginners alike. Served at Jaya’s Authentic Foods at 119 S.E. Fourth St., the California roll (crab, avocado, and cucumber) is topped with a generous helping of sweet shredded crab and cubed spicy tuna. Newbies can choose to take off the extra toppings or join their veteran friends in enjoying this elevated sushi classic.
4) The Zig-Zag Roll
From the kitchen at Kanpai (4593 Washington Ave.), the zig-zag roll breaks stereotypes with its best ingredients resting on top of the roll instead of inside. Cucumber and avocado are rolled tightly underneath layers of tempura crab, crunchy scallions, and a drizzle of spicy mayo. Spicy from the start, this “inside-out” roll delivers in-your-face flavors with every bite.
5) The Dancing Girl Roll
With a standout name and extra spicy flavor, the dancing girl roll from Wasabi Evansville at 1122 Hirschland Road keeps us coming back for more. Spicy tuna and crunch mix inside, while fresh tuna, avocado, and eel sauce blend a combination of flavors and textures on the outside.