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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Beefshi Coming To America

Of course any campaign whereby meat, rather than fish is being used would have the blessing of the
North American Meat Institute. D’uh.

Beefshi is being promoted as the next great thing that American diners can expect to see, as a means to promote beef meat over fish-laden sushi dishes.

Beefshi was developed by a chef trained at the Culinary Institute of America, and turns beef products such as corned beef, pastrami, beef hot dogs, beef bologna and, Buddha help us, beef jerky into something that is supposed to resemble traditional Japanese sushi rolls.

Hey… don’t shoot the messenger.

Now… while some of you may be thinking "ick", keep in mind that up until 30+ years ago, the concept of salmon sushi was NOT a Japanese thing…. <

That’s right… the Japanese did not use salmon as an ingredient for sushi.

You can read about that story HERE.

So… why not beefshi?

Why do there have to be rules about what can and can not be used as ingredients on sushi?

I love unagi (eel) sushi. Vegetarians can munch down on California sushi. That cheap sushi we get a grocery stores uses Krab with a “K” that is actually finely pulverized white fish flesh (surimi), and is shaped and cured to resemble the leg meat of snow crab or the Japanese spider crab.

Fake crab (kani)… and we still think it’s acceptable…

I think that uni (sea urchin) and namako )sea cucumber) are awful… and yet they are considered traditional sushi ingredients. And this is a coming from a guy who has no problem eating natto (fermented soy beans) or inago (grasshopper) or hachi-no-ko (bee larvae). I could take or leave whale and bear and snake, and didn’t much care for horse (basashi), raw cow liver (Gyu riba). I tried them all, and made up my mind as I went.

So… until we try the beefshi, let’s hold off on the judgement. And be open-minded.

Should you wish, check out, which has demonstration videos on how to  make certain beefshi dishes:, such as:   
  • Texas Asade Sushi: Roast beef rubbed with lime zest, ground cumin and garlic and rolls with Cilantro, slivered jalapeños and onions, crumbled cotija cheese. Served with salsa
  •  Inside Out Wisconsin Maki (see image at very top): Sushi rice on the outside wrapped around a stick of summer sausage, a sliver of Colby cheese and shaved dill pickles. Served with brown, spicy mustard;
  • New York Deli Roll: Corned beef takes the place of nori on the outside of the roll. Slivers of fresh horseradish and Swiss cheese are rolled into the middle. Roll the exterior in a few caraway seeds
  • The Reuben Roll: Warm pastrami, sauerkraut and thinly sliced Swiss cheese rolled into sushi rice and served with Russian dressing
  • The Hiker’s Roll:  A traditionally styled roll with nori wrapping around sushi rice, filled with slivers of beef jerky, slices of egg omelet and pea shoots or watercress with the leaves poking out the top of the roll. Dip into sriracha
  • Carolina Sushi: Shredded fried beef bologna and carrot slivers rolled in rice with a vinegared cabbage leaf in place of Nori

  • Sleeping Dog Sushi: A piece of warm, grilled hot dog atop sushi rice and served with a sauce of ketchup pepped up with vinegar and mustard powder.
  • Sunday Supper Sushi: Thinly sliced roast beef wrapped around sushi rice with slivered carrots and pea shoots in the center. The top of the sushi is garnished with grated radish. Dipped in savory au jus. 

In a poll, The Meat Institute says more than half of U.S. consumers polled found the Beefshi concept appealing, about equal to the 58 percent that find traditional sushi appealing.

That's the problem right there... too many people don't care enough for traditional Japanese sushi as it stands.

One issue, I could see, is the mistaken belief by many that sushi is raw fish. While many types of sushi will involve thinly sliced bits of raw seafood, the average North American mistakenly believes it to be be hunks and chinks of the type of fish they see swimming about their own rivers.

The poll shows that millennials (66 percent) and those between the ages of 35-44 showed a particularly strong interest in trying Beefshi.

To be honest, check out the website... the beefshi looks pretty damn appetizing!

Andrew Joseph

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