The New York Sushi Roll Is Only Slightly Different From A California Roll

What was once an exclusive and somewhat hoity-toity food in America is now available in every metropolis in the country, not to mention in gas stations and grocery store ready-to-go meal sections. We're talking about sushi, of course. Even though it has existed and been enjoyed in Japan for hundreds of years, it began making its way to American appetites in the middle of the 20th century. It was around this time that the California Roll was invented, a roll that has remained hugely popular even decades later and often acts as the first sushi people try.

New York is also represented in the sushi world and its namesake roll happens to look just about identical to its West Coast counterpart. The New York roll contains almost all of the elements of the California roll: sushi rice, seaweed, cucumber, and avocado. But, instead of using imitation or fresh crab as the protein, it substitutes shrimp. One seafood swap and you've got a whole different sushi roll. As simple and uncomplicated as the New York roll is, it really is a great example of a classic, unadorned sushi roll, one with great texture and clean, delicious flavor.

Just replace the crab with shrimp

A New York Roll is made by pressing a layer of seasoned sushi rice onto a half sheet of nori. On the nori side, you arrange a roll of cooked shrimp, sliced ripe avocado, and paper-thin slices of cucumber. Once it's tightly rolled up, you have a long sushi log with the rice facing outward. It is cut into circles and served, usually with some soy sauce. Color and appearance-wise, it mimics a California roll but takes on a milder flavor from the shrimp.

As sushi has morphed into dozens of different types of rolls, many would agree that it's lost some of its effortless beauty. There are now rolls that are deep-fried, stuffed with cream cheese, and so large it's difficult to eat the rolls in one bite (which is how you're supposed to eat it). These rolls certainly are not Japanese, and neither are California and New York rolls, for that matter. 

Japanese sushi is about using just a few of the most pristine ingredients and letting simplicity be the star. So, while some may argue that rolls like California and New York rolls are for sushi novices, they may instead be the best types of rolls to appreciate excellent ingredients and are certainly closer to the Japanese approach than the over-the-top rolls.