Sydney Fish Market is a land of magical things – well, if you’re into non-swimming seafood that is – and it’s also the home of the latest craze in sushi – the sushi donut. Now admittedly these have been knocking around for a few weeks so I’m a bit behind the times talking about them, but right now, my Saturday mornings are off limits for exciting activities as it’s long run day. This weekend though I was running in a race on Sunday and so I had a whole Saturday at my disposal – top of my list, go find the sushi donuts.
Legend has it, that the sushi donut was first invented by a Melbourne food blogger and they were first in vegan form (yes, vegan sushi is a thing and it’s actually pretty good) but the craze really took off at the beginning of this year when a few restaurants in the US started making them. I’d seen pictures but wasn’t really sure what to expect – even as I bought one I wasn’t sure. I knew they were rings of rice with fish on top, but that was about it. I was expecting it to be a bit like a normal sushi roll just round….. but oh, no. No. No. No. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.
The donut (or sushi doughnut depending on your sensibilities) was to be my breakfast. You see you have to get to Sydney Fish Market before 10am or it’s packed and as it’s not that big inside this generally causes me to lose patience and leave without buying anything. I was therefore onsite by 9,45am. I wasn’t exactly sure what stall sold the donuts, but it didn’t take me long to find them as they are at the Fishmarket Cafe close to the door. They’re calling them Doshi’s and have big signs up announcing their presence….the publicity was working as they were going fast. It wasn’t yet 10am and they’d already sold a row full. Each sushi doughnut is different but there’s no signs as to what’s topped with what so you either have to ask or do, as I did and pick the one that you like look of most. I was lured by the one right at the front that looked like it had flowers on it – turns out that was actually chopped red onion, parsley and a yellowy powder, but no matter, I was sold.
They pack it in a little ‘cake box’ for you to take away and off you go. Thankfully I’d registered that this might be the easiest thing in the world to eat and so I stopped off and picked up a knife from the cutlery section – don’t just do that though, get a spoon as well.
I sat outside the market by the water and tucked in. Woah, hold on – this isn’t just a big ball of rice like I thought it was. It has a creamy filling. That’s right THERE’S GOO IN THE MIDDLE, Goo made from what I think was pureed avocado and a very thin slice of salmon. For someone whose last meal would be chips and dip this was extremely exciting.
My suspicions on how easy it would be to eat were right – I cut mine into six pieces and used a mix of fingers and the edge of the knife. A spoon would have been much easier but as anyone who visits Sydney Fish Market knows (or soon learns to their cost) if you’re sitting outside you do not leave your food unattended for a second or the army of seagulls that patrol the place like big feathery hooligans will swoop on it so I had to make do.
The toppings on my doughnut included very thinly sliced raw tuna, thin sliced salmon, thin slices of cucumber and thin slices of avocado – and some mayonnaisey type sauce to stick them on the top. It was actually really good but for $8 each you’re definitely paying for it’s looks rather than for the amount of ingredients within it – the word thin was repeated over and over again in my description for a reason!. My calculation was that it’s slightly bigger than a normal sushi roll – but over twice the price.
Comparing it to a normal sushi roll also leads me to guesstimate it’s roughly 300-350 calories a serving. The other difference is that it doesn’t have a seaweed wrapping – which could be a plus or a minus depending on how much you like seaweed. I have however just realised that some places serve them on a sheet of seaweed so it’s possible that the ‘black mat’ that they served it on was actually seaweed and had I realised that at the time I could have eaten it burrito style and probably made less of a mess and got a shot of iodine! I’m not sure though, it might just have been some cardboard!!!.
Despite the price problem I really enjoyed my sushi donut and am really glad I made the trip to the market. They are cheaper per piece if you buy two so maybe take a buddy! Or buy a heap and take them to a friend’s – I’d much rather have a plate of these than cupcakes.
But sushi doughnuts weren’t the only odd thing I tried at the Fish Market that day – I also saw a particularly photogenic set of spiny sea urchin over at Peter’s Seafood that I decided I had to try. These were also $8 per piece and consisted of a ball of rice, slivers of sea urchin, some roe, a piece of cucumber, tomato and avocado with a slice of lemon, all served in the spiny urchin shell. It was okay, but not the favourite thing I’ve ever eaten. The taste is quite nice – it’s like buttery sea water – but it has a mushy texture that takes a bit of getting used to. It’s healthy stuff though – urchin contains omega 3 fats, is low in fat and is said to contain aphrodisiac qualities!!! That might be linked to the fact that technically, the part of the urchin that you’re eating it it’s gonads (as the edible bit is also the part that produces roe!) – I’ll just leave that fact there for you to ponder. In other odd bits of urchin related information I have learned it seems the meat also contains substances that work on the dopamine receptors of the brain giving you a sense of reward when you consume it. No wonder I had such a lovely day yesterday, I was off my tree on sea urchin parts!
By this point I’d eaten a fair bit of rice and was starting to feel a bit full so I bid farewell to the Fish Market and went off to Chinatown to try another exciting new blog related dish of excitement…. the sweet potato latte. this one I may develop a slight addiction to. So, would you eat a sushi donut – or do you want the real gooey sticky thing?
If you fancy making your own sushi doughnuts, Tastespotting have a step-by-step guide to it here you’re going to need a doughnut ring – like this one*.
*This is an affiliate link