Do you believe in love at first bite? I’m far from the hopeless romantic type, giddy over every vague glimmer of attraction, but I sure do. Far from a mere plausibility, I can assure you that it’s a proven fact; I’ve experienced it on more than one occasion. Locking lips with one powerful bite that sweeps you off your feet in a moment of passion, you lose yourself in the moment. The setting, the people, the noise all melt away, leaving only the lingering taste sensation, and lust for more.
Blue Sake Sushi Grill is the most recent backdrop of one such fiery affair. From the onset, I knew this one would be a compelling catch, boasting a lengthy menu of entirely vegan maki and nigiri that go well beyond the standard vegetable garden. We’re talking about tomato ahi tuna, eggplant barbecued eel, ikura CaviArt– And those are only mere components that make up the larger rolls.
Don’t be shy; a little flirtation is a good way to get acquainted. Ease into the conversation with any of the clearly labeled plant-based appetizers, such as the Crispy Brussels Sprouts that could convert a hater. It’s not hard to find incredible fried Brussels in this city, with immaculately crisp, almost translucent leaves and tender, buttery interiors, but these take it to the next level. Slathered in zesty, savory, and subtly sweet yuzu-miso sauce, that plate alone would score serious points for a first date.
Recommending maki rolls from this fetching lineup is a daunting task, but the good news is that there are no losers here. The Cowgirl roll, which includes pickle tempura, sriracha-fried onion rings, BBQ-flavored soy paper instead of nori, vegan mayo, and tonkatsu sauce, is the overwhelming fan favorite. My personal favorite, however, was the Eden roll, comprised of grilled asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet potato tempura, and topped with creamy edamame hummus. It truly does taste like a little bite of heaven, swaddled in white sesame soy paper.
Best of all, you can indulge on a budget during their daily happy hour, which naturally includes a wide selection of carefully crafted mixed drinks. If you need an extra push to give it a try, join the Bite Club to get a sweet discount of $10 off your first $20 purchase.
Laying claim to 15 locations nationwide as of this writing, with plans to continue that rapid expansion, it’s clear I’m not the only one swooning. If you’re still waiting for a branch to open up near you, don’t worry, there’s more than just eye candy on offer here! Blue Sake Sushi Grill was kind enough to offer the secret formula for their incomparable Brussels sprouts. If you’re the jealous type, though, be careful who you share them with; anyone could easily fall head over heels for this hot dish.
Miso-Yuzu Brussels Sprouts
Immaculately crisp, almost translucent leaves and tender, buttery interiors define the best fried Brussels sprouts, but these take it to the next level. Slathered in zesty, savory, and subtly sweet yuzu-miso sauce, they're impossible to resist.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts
- 2 Cups Brussels Sprouts, Halved
- Oil for Deep-Frying
- 1/4 Cup Miso-Yuzu Sauce (See Following Recipe
- 1/4 Cup Cashews, Toasted and Chopped
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Mirin
- 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon White Miso Paste
- 3/4 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Yuzu or Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- Bring large pot of water to a boil. While water is coming to a boil, prepare Brussels sprouts by washing, trimming the bottom and cutting in half. Once water is boiling, place Brussels sprouts in water for approximately 90 seconds, until bright green. Remove and place in an ice bath to immediately stop the cooking process. Once cool, strain water and dry thoroughly with paper towel.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the sauce, add mirin, sugar, miso and rice wine vinegar to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and place sauce in heat-proof container. Once cool, add yuzu and lemon zest, mixing well to incorporate.
- Place in home deep fryer or deep pot of oil at 350 degrees and cook for two minutes, until light brown and crisp. Pull from fryer and place on paper towel to drain oil. Toss sprouts in bowl with salt and sauce; transfer to a plate and top with cashews.
Recipe reprinted with permission by Blue Sake Sushi Grill.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 766mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.
12 thoughts on “All’s Fair in Love and Sushi”
you’ve written this like a wonderful romance novel, and it fits so well, now I’m starving for beautiful sushi
I agree with Beth, you are a fabulous writer. You had us glued to the screen at the first paragraph. These little bites look super delicious.
Those crispy Brussel sprouts look so delicious, I have to try them when I find some Brussel sprouts. The sushi too looks so good:) And I must agree with the above about your writing, always such a pleasure to read your posts:)
I’ve been to this restaurant many times (there’s one less than 10 min. from my house!) and love the vegan sushi options. The food is fabulous. Though for vegans who care about such things – they use shared fryers, even for the vegan rolls. Once I found that out, I opted to only eat the vegan rolls without fried components. Still plenty to eat! I know not all vegans do the same – veganism isn’t about being perfect, just doing the best we can. Just wanted to point it out.
Good to know! It doesn’t bother me since I don’t have an allergy, but I do hope they realize the potential issues and consider adding a dedicated frier to be more inclusive for sensitive eaters.
When I was back in Naperville a few months ago, my friend and I met at the Blue Sake Sushi Grill there and were very impressed! I’d love to go again, but unfortunately there are no locations in Arizona and the closest ones are in Texas, which is quite a drive. Your photos made me so hungry!
I agree with your Crispy Brussels Sprouts, I had a similar experience before not with brussel sprouts but with cabbage, I am not a big fan but when I was served with this roasted cabbage one time, I was shoked, it was out of this world. It was the best cabbage I ever tried in my life, even the tables neighbouring us who ordered this swear by it. It was so good, I am confused whether I would choose this over a nice cut of steak.
This is such a great post and I hope to get to a location soon. Thanks!
Does it make a different to add the sauce before you deep fried them? I had this at a restaurant once and it looked as they just tossed it in the brussel sprouts.
Just realized I read this wrong, sorry!!
Ah, no worries! I’m glad it makes sense! :)
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