Most people automatically associate sushi with “raw fish,” which is understandable, but not quite accurate. Sushi properly refers to the rice used in maki and nigiri.
So what, then, delineates some sushi rolls as “vegetarian” and others as not? We, at Matsushisa, would like to offer up our perspective on this particular situation.
By far, the most strict vegetarian diet is the vegan diet – no meat of any kind, no dairy products, nothing derived from animals. While this does eliminate a good portion of most menus, since those items do contain fish or crustaceans of some sort, there’s still quite a bit left that can be very tasty. The first obvious choice would naturally be a vegetable roll, but alternatives abound, such as avocado nigiri and inari made with tofu instead of dashi.
To most, a vegetarian diet is something that eschews meat in general, but does not exclude things like dairy products. This particular sort of diet offers a slightly broader array of dishes, such as tamago for example, since it does not preclude eggs. Matsuhisa’s own uzura (quail egg) nigiri would be another example. Naturally, they can also enjoy the same dishes as vegans can.
For some, a “pescatarian” diet is one that fulfills a very specific set of criteria. Vegetables may make up a large component of the diet, and dairy products are perfectly acceptable, but they prefer not to eat meat that is not fish. This particular diet seems almost tailor-made for sushi restaurants, for all but a few dishes (mainly sashimi) are completely acceptable. While they can enjoy the same dishes as vegans can, and probably do, they are also able to enjoy ahi, unagi and other types of fish without a problem.
The choice of undertaking a vegetarian diet, and to what degree one should do so, is entirely a personal matter that should be considered for the right reasons and not undertaken lightly. With that in mind, Matsuhisa is more than happy to serve vegan and vegetarian guests and will happily discuss which options on the menu would best suit them.
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