8 Non-sushi Dishes to Try at a Sushi Train Restaurant

Posted on: 28 April 2015

Not everything on a sushi train is strictly sushi or a type of sushi dish. Visiting your local sushi train can be a great introduction to traditional Japanese cuisine and since sushi is defined as a rolls or small slices of slow cooked rice, seaweed (nori) seafood, egg and vegetables, people are often surprised to find there's a range of other traditional Japanese delights on offer. Here are eight other dishes that are likely to be up for grabs and worth trying when they next rotate past your table. 

1. Edamame

Edamame beans or soybeans served in their pods and are eaten without the outer shell. They are a healthy snack boiled in water and served hot. They are eaten lightly salted and occasionally with garlic. At Japanese Al a Carte restaurants edamame beans are often served as a side dish to main meals.

2. Karaage

Similar to tempura dishes, small bite sized pieces of chicken, pork and sometimes octopus are marinated in garlic, ginger and soy sauce and then topped with wheat flour and deep fried.

3. Korokke (Croquette)

Derived from the French dish, the croquette mixture is made with a mix of meat, seafood, vegetables or sometimes purely potato mash and coated in wheat flour, breadcrumbs and egg white. It's then deep fried to give it a crispy coating.

4. Gyoza

Japanese dumplings made from minced pork, beef or chicken, garlic, sesame oil and steamed cabbage mixture. They are then wrapped in thin dough and pan fried, however they can also be steamed. They are often served with soy sauce and rice vinegar.

5. Miso Soup

A mostly clear but sometimes milky soup made from a soya bean paste (miso) stock. Often served with herbs and tofu there are a number of different variations, however a distinctly salty flavour is consistent across all miso soups. Other ingredients used may include dried seaweed (kelp) tuna shavings and potato.

6. Kushikatsu

Japanese seasoned and marinated meats that are served on bamboo sticks or skewers. Meat cutlets are usually chicken and deep fried after being dipped in egg, flour and Japanese style flaky breadcrumbs (panko). They may be served straight or with a tonkatsu sauce, which is similar to Worcestershire sauce.

7. Kanten (Agar)

A Japanese dessert jelly made from agar, which is derived from seaweed—so think of it as a vegetarian alternative to gelatine. There may be many different colours and flavours and served with fruit.

8. Kakigōri

A cold desert made from shaved ice (similar to a snow cone but with smoother ice consistency) that is flavoured with a syrup including strawberry, melon, grape and green tea. It's sometimes served with sago beads (tapioca) and ice cream.