Halal Munchies (S3 EP30) – Wasabi Sushi & Bento – New Street, Birmingham

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish made of vinegared rice served with various toppings, such as raw fish, vegetables, and eggs. Sushi in Birmingham has a long history dating back to the 8th century when it was originally a method of preserving fish by packing it in fermented rice. Today, sushi is enjoyed around the world and has evolved to include a wide range of ingredients and styles.

In Birmingham, Alabama, sushi has gained popularity in recent years as a delicious and unique dining option. The city is home to several sushi restaurants that offer a variety of dishes, from traditional nigiri sushi to creative maki rolls. Whether you are a sushi connoisseur or trying it for the first time, Birmingham has something to offer everyone.

Definition of Sushi

Sushi is a type of Japanese dish that typically consists of small, bite-sized pieces of vinegared rice served with a variety of ingredients, such as raw or cooked seafood, vegetables, and sometimes egg. Sushi is often served with soy sauce and wasabi for dipping and can be eaten with chopsticks or by hand. The word “sushi” actually refers specifically to the vinegared rice, while the toppings or fillings are known as “neta”.

History of Sushi in Birmingham

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of vinegared rice combined with various ingredients such as raw fish, vegetables, and eggs. It has a long history dating back to the 8th century in Japan, where it was originally a way to preserve fish by fermenting it with rice. The rice was later discarded and only the fish was consumed. But eventually, the practice evolved to include the consumption of both rice and fish.

Sushi in Birmingham

Japanese Cuisine and Culture

Sushi began to gain popularity in Birmingham, Alabama in the late 20th century as Japanese cuisine and culture became more widely known and appreciated in the United States. It is likely that sushi first arrived in the city around this time. Today, many restaurants throughout Birmingham offer sushi. And the city has a diverse and thriving food scene that includes a variety of different cuisines from around the world.

Overall, sushi has become an integral part of the culinary landscape in Birmingham. People of all ages and backgrounds enjoy it. The city is home to a variety of sushi restaurants that offer a range of traditional and modern dishes, making it easy for everyone to find something to suit their tastes. Whether you are a seasoned sushi connoisseur who loves trying new and unusual ingredients or a beginner who is just starting to explore the world of sushi. There are many opportunities to indulge in delicious and innovative sushi in Birmingham.

From classic nigiri sushi and maki rolls to more experimental creations, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Many of the sushi restaurants in Birmingham offer a wide selection of dishes, including non-sushi options like teriyaki chicken and tempura vegetables. They also often have a selection of Japanese beers and sake to pair with your meal. So if you’re in the mood for something fresh and flavorful, head to one of Birmingham’s sushi restaurants. You can enjoy this beloved Japanese dish in many different ways.

Popular Sushi Restaurants in Birmingham

Popular sushi restaurants in Birmingham include Sushi Passion, Topokki, Gaijin Sushi, Kyoto Sushi & Grill, and Rozu, each of which offers a wide range of traditional and modern sushi rolls, as well as a selection of Japanese and Korean dishes.

Sushi Passion

Sushi Passion is a popular sushi restaurant in Birmingham that offers a wide range of traditional and modern sushi dishes. Some of their signature rolls include the “Crazy Roll”, which you can make with spicy tuna, avocado, and tempura flakes, and the “Volcano Roll”. In addition to sushi, Sushi Passion also offers a selection of Japanese entrees, such as teriyaki and tempura. As well as Korean dishes like bibimbap and bulgogi.

Sushi Passion in Birmingham


Another popular sushi spot in Birmingham known for its creative and flavorful rolls is Topokki. They offer signature rolls such as the “Korean BBQ Roll”, made with grilled ribeye and spicy mayo, and the “Hot Mess Roll”, which features tempura shrimp, cream cheese, and spicy tuna. In addition to sushi, Topokki also offers a selection of Korean streets food items like tteokbokki and mandu.

Topokki Restaurant in Birmingham

Gaijin Sushi

Gaijin Sushi is a trendy sushi restaurant in Birmingham that prides itself on using high-quality ingredients and creative flavour combinations. Some of their signature rolls include the “Firecracker Roll”, which you can make with spicy tuna, avocado, and tempura flakes, and the “Caterpillar Roll”. In addition to sushi, Gaijin also offers a selection of Japanese entrees and small plates, such as gyoza and edamame.

Gaijin Sushi in Birmingham

Kyoto Sushi & Grill

Kyoto Sushi & Grill is a beloved sushi spot in Birmingham that is known for its wide selection of fresh and flavorful sushi rolls. Some of their signature rolls include the “Rainbow Roll”, which you can make with a variety of colourful fish, and the “Dragon Roll”. In addition to sushi, Kyoto also offers a variety of Japanese entrees, such as teriyaki and tempura, as well as Korean dishes like bibimbap and bulgogi.

Kyoto Sushi & Grill in Birmingham


Rozu, a popular sushi restaurant in Birmingham, has a stylish atmosphere and serves delicious sushi. They offer signature rolls such as the “Red Dragon Roll”, made with spicy tuna, avocado, and tempura flakes, and the “Green Dragon Roll”, which features tempura shrimp and asparagus. Rozu serves Japanese entrees like teriyaki and tempura, and Korean dishes such as bibimbap and bulgogi, in addition to sushi.

Rozu in Birmingham

Sushi Ingredients in Birmingham

Most major grocery stores in Birmingham generally carry sushi ingredients. As well as at speciality markets and Asian grocery stores. Some of the most common ingredients used in sushi include:

Rice: Sushi rice is a type of short-grain, glutinous rice that is seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Typically, people cook it in a rice cooker or on the stovetop.

Fish: Sushi can be made with a variety of raw fish, including tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and eel. It is important to ensure that the fish is fresh and of high quality to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Vegetables: Sushi often includes a variety of vegetables, such as cucumber, avocado, carrot, and radish. You can slice or julienne these and use them as fillings or garnishes.

Seaweed: Sushi rolls are often wrapped in sheets of nori, a type of dried seaweed. Most Asian grocery stores sell Nori in sheets or as a snack food.

Soy sauce: Soy sauce is a common condiment for dipping sushi and can be found in most grocery stores.

Wasabi: Wasabi is a spicy green condiment that is often served with sushi. You can find it in the condiment aisle of most grocery stores or at speciality Asian markets.

Pickled Ginger: Thinly sliced pickled ginger, also known as gari, is often served as a palate cleanser between bites of sushi. Most grocery stores or speciality Asian markets carry it in the pickle aisle.

Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are often used as a garnish for sushi rolls and can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.

Sushi includes other ingredients such as tempura flakes, tobiko, and different types of fish eggs. Speciality Asian markets may be the best place to purchase these ingredients as they can be harder to find in mainstream grocery stores.

Types of Sushi Commonly Found in Birmingham

In Birmingham, you can find a variety of different types of sushi. Nigiri sushi is sushi with vinegared rice topped with raw or cooked seafood. Maki rolls are popular sushi made by rolling vinegared rice and fillings like seafood, veggies, and egg in seaweed. Temaki hand rolls are sushi cones made by rolling ingredients in seaweed sheets and eaten with hands. Sashimi is a type of sushi that consists of thinly sliced raw seafood, typically served with soy sauce and wasabi for dipping. Birmingham offers a variety of sushi types that you can find.

Nigiri Sushi

Nigiri sushi is a type of sushi that consists of a small oblong mound of vinegared rice (shari) topped with a slice of raw fish (neta) or other ingredients. Traditionally, people press the ingredients together with their fingers to make it. Although some sushi chefs use a small wooden tool called a hangiri to shape the rice. Typically, people enjoy Nigiri sushi with soy sauce and wasabi, and they often serve it in pairs.

Each topping used in nigiri sushi has a corresponding name for the variety. Some popular examples include tuna (maguro), salmon (sake), yellowtail (hamachi), and eel (unagi). Other ingredients that may be used as toppings for nigiri sushi include tamagoyaki (sweet omelette), ikura (salmon roe), and uni (sea urchin).

The origin of nigiri sushi dates back to the early 19th century in Edo, now known as Tokyo, making it the most traditional form of sushi. Sushi restaurants typically serve nigiri sushi, and it is also available at some Japanese grocery stores and supermarkets. In some regions, it is also common to find variations of nigiri sushi that use cooked ingredients, such as tamagoyaki, as toppings.

Sushi lovers prefer nigiri sushi because it enables them to savour the topping flavour without the rice flavour being overpowering. Moreover, eating nigiri sushi is easy as you can pick it up with chopsticks or eat it with your fingers. Overall, nigiri sushi is a delicious and satisfying way to enjoy sushi. And it is widely available in many cities around the world, including Birmingham.

Nigiri Sushi

Maki Rolls

Maki rolls, also known as sushi rolls, are a type of sushi that is made by rolling up vinegared rice and various fillings, such as seafood, vegetables, and omelette, in a sheet of seaweed called nori. Typically, people cut sushi rolls into bite-sized pieces and serve them as appetisers or main dishes.

There are several different types of maki rolls, including hosomaki, futomaki, and uramaki. Thin rolls, also known as Hosomaki, contain a small amount of filling and one ingredient, like tuna or cucumber. Thick rolls, or Futomaki, have a larger amount of filling and can include a variety of ingredients such as seafood, pickled vegetables, and omelette. Inside-out rolls, or Uramaki, involve rolling the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside. This type of maki roll often has sesame seeds or fish roe as toppings.

You can serve maki rolls with a variety of dips and condiments, such as soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Maki rolls make a popular and convenient way to enjoy sushi. As they are easy to eat and you can make them with a variety of fillings to suit different tastes. Many sushi restaurants feature maki rolls, and Japanese and Asian fusion restaurants worldwide serve them.

Maki Rolls


Temaki, also known as hand rolls, is a type of sushi that consists of a cone-shaped piece of seaweed (nori) filled with various ingredients, such as fish, vegetables, and rice. To eat a temaki, you simply hold the cone in your hand and take bites from the open end. Temaki is a fun and casual way to enjoy sushi. Sushi parties or individuals on the go often serve temaki as a quick snack.

Temaki can use many different fillings, and the possibilities are almost endless. Some popular options include tuna and avocado, salmon and cucumber, and shrimp tempura. You can also find temaki filled with vegetarian ingredients, such as pickled vegetables or grilled eggplant.

You can customize your hand roll with your favourite ingredients as Temaki. This makes them an excellent option for sushi beginners or those who are hesitant to try raw fish.

In addition to being delicious, temaki is also convenient and easy to eat. They are portable, making them a great choice for a quick lunch or snack on the go. They can also be a fun and interactive way to enjoy sushi with friends, as everyone can create their hand rolls with their preferred fillings.

Overall, temaki is a tasty and convenient option for enjoying sushi in Birmingham or any other city. Whether you are a sushi connoisseur or a newcomer to the world of sushi. Temaki are sure to satisfy your cravings for something delicious and satisfying.



Sashimi is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of thinly sliced raw fish or other seafood. People typically serve it with soy sauce and wasabi for dipping. As well as a garnish of green onions and daikon radish. Sashimi is a popular appetizer or main course at sushi restaurants. People often enjoy it with sake or other types of alcohol.

One of the key features of sashimi is the freshness of the ingredients. Typically, sushi chefs freeze the fish or seafood used for sashimi to kill any parasites and then thaw it just before slicing. This process helps to ensure the safety and quality of the sashimi. The chef arranges the slices of fish or seafood artfully on a plate, often with a small bed of shredded daikon radish or other garnishes.

There are many different types of sashimi, with some of the most common being tuna, salmon, and yellowtail. You can make it with shellfish such as scallops or lobster, or with other types of seafood such as octopus or squid. Although it is less common, people thinly slice beef or other meats to make some sashimi.

At a sushi restaurant, people often enjoy sashimi as part of a larger meal, where the restaurant serves it alongside other dishes such as sushi rolls, tempura, and miso soup. Part of a traditional Japanese breakfast sometimes includes serving it along with rice, pickled vegetables, and other items. Sashimi’s delicate flavours and texture are highly prized regardless of how it is served. In Japanese cuisine, they consider it a delicacy.


Tips to Properly Enjoy Sushi in Birmingham Restaurant

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish that has gained widespread popularity around the world, including in Birmingham, Alabama. If you’re planning to enjoy sushi in a Birmingham restaurant, there are a few tips you can follow to properly enjoy this delicate and flavorful cuisine.

First, understanding the basic types of sushi and how people typically serve them is essential. A slice of raw fish or another topping tops a small pillow of vinegared rice in Nigiri sushi. Maki rolls are cylindrical and typically filled with raw fish, vegetables, and sometimes cooked ingredients like crab or cooked eel. Temaki hand rolls typically have the seaweed wrapper on the outside and the components inside. Restaurants serve sashimi as thinly sliced raw fish or shellfish without rice.

Sushi Etiquette

When dining at a sushi restaurant, people consider following certain etiquette guidelines as polite. For example, it’s customary to use chopsticks to eat sushi. However, it’s also acceptable to ask for a fork if you prefer. It’s also polite to take small bites and savour each piece, rather than wolfing down large amounts at once.

Another critical aspect of sushi etiquette is how to properly dip your sushi in soy sauce. It’s generally considered improper to soak the rice in the sauce. As this can cause the rice to fall apart and mask the flavour of the topping. Instead, it’s best to lightly dip the topping into the soy sauce or to use a small dish of soy sauce as a dipping sauce.

Finally, it’s important to be mindful of food safety when eating sushi, particularly when it comes to raw fish. Make sure to choose a reputable sushi restaurant that sources its ingredients from trusted sources and follows proper food handling practices. If you have any concerns about the freshness or quality of the fish. It’s best to err on the side of caution and choose a different dish. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy sushi in a Birmingham restaurant while also being respectful of the culture and traditions surrounding this delicious and popular cuisine.

Traditional and Modern Ways of Eating Sushi

Centuries ago, people have been enjoying sushi, which is a traditional Japanese dish. But it has also evolved and adapted to various cultures around the world. As such, there are both traditional and modern ways of eating sushi.

Traditionally, sushi is served on a small wooden tray called a “sushi-dai,” which is accompanied by small dishes of soy sauce and wasabi. Typically, people eat sushi with their hands, but they can also use chopsticks. And it is customary to turn the sushi upside down and dip the topping into the soy sauce, rather than the rice. In modern times, individuals often serve sushi on a plate with dipping bowls of soy sauce and wasabi. A “conveyor belt” sushi restaurant serves sushi in the form of a rotating conveyor belt, and customers can pick and choose the pieces they want.

In addition to traditional and modern styles of serving and eating sushi. Various styles of sushi rolls have become popular in different parts of the world. And it is now widely available at sushi restaurants around the world. It is a popular modern variation of sushi that originated in Japan. Proper sushi etiquette is important to appreciate and respect this traditional Japanese dish. It applies regardless of the style of sushi or the method of eating it.

Health and Safety Considerations 

Eating sushi in Birmingham, or any city requires some consideration for health and safety. One potential risk when consuming sushi is the risk of foodborne illness, particularly from raw fish. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites can contaminate fish, and people must handle and prepare them properly to avoid health risks. Raw fish is used to make some types of sushi, such as sashimi and nigiri, while cooked fish or vegetables may be included in others, like maki rolls and temaki hand rolls.

To minimize the risk of foodborne illness when eating sushi in Birmingham. It’s important to choose a reputable sushi restaurant that follows proper food handling and preparation practices. Look for a restaurant that sources its fish from reputable suppliers and stores and handles the fish properly to prevent contamination. It’s also a good idea to ask your server about the restaurant’s food safety practices.

When eating sushi, follow these simple guidelines in addition to choosing a reputable restaurant to reduce your risk of foodborne illness:

  1. Avoid sushi that has been sitting out at room temperature for an extended period, as bacteria can grow on the fish.
  2. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands before eating sushi. As well as any utensils and plates that will come into contact with the food.
  3. If you have a compromised immune system or are at an increased risk of foodborne illness. It’s best to avoid raw fish altogether.

By following these tips, you can enjoy sushi in Birmingham while minimizing your risk of foodborne illness.


Recommendations for Trying Different Types of Sushi

If you’re interested in trying different types of sushi in Birmingham, here are a few recommendations:

  • Nigiri sushi
  • Maki rolls
  • Temaki hand rolls
  • Sashimi

To try these different types of sushi, you can visit a sushi restaurant or a Japanese market in Birmingham. Some popular sushi restaurants in the city include Sushi Shikon, Sushi Zen, and Sushi Village. You can also look for sushi at Japanese markets or grocery stores, which often have a selection of pre-made sushi rolls and sashimi.

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Frequently Asked Questions of Sushi in Birmingham

What is Sushi?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish made with vinegared rice and a variety of ingredients such as raw fish, seafood, vegetables, and egg. A variety of forms exist for serving sushi, including nigiri sushi, maki rolls, temaki hand rolls, and sashimi.

Is Sushi Healthy?

Fresh ingredients and a mix of vegetables and seafood can make sushi a healthy choice. However, fried fillings or sauces can make some types of sushi less healthy. Choose fresh, high-quality sushi to reduce the risk of foodborne illness from raw fish.

How Do You Eat Sushi?

There are traditional and modern ways to eat sushi. In Japan, it is customary to eat sushi with chopsticks and to use soy sauce and wasabi sparingly. As a dipping sauce for the fish rather than mixing it into the rice. It is also polite to eat each piece of sushi in one bite. In some western countries, it is more common to mix wasabi into soy sauce and use the sauce as a condiment for dipping the sushi. It is also acceptable to eat sushi with your fingers, especially temaki hand rolls.

Can Vegetarians Eat Sushi?

Yes, many types of sushi are suitable for vegetarians. Some popular vegetarian sushi options include avocado rolls, cucumber rolls, and vegetable tempura rolls. It is also possible to request vegetarian sushi at a sushi restaurant or to make it at home using a variety of vegetables and other plant-based ingredients.

What are the Most Popular Sushi Restaurants in Birmingham?

Some of the most popular sushi restaurants in Birmingham are;

  1. Sushi Passion
  2. Topokki
  3. Gaijin Sushi
  4. Kyoto Sushi & Grill
  5. Rozu

Do any Birmingham Sushi Restaurants Offer Vegan or Vegetarian Options?

Yes, many Birmingham sushi restaurants offer vegan or vegetarian options.

What is the Price Range for Sushi in Birmingham?

The price range for sushi in Birmingham varies depending on the restaurant and type of sushi. Prices can range from around £5 to £25 per dish, with many restaurants offering set deals and discounts.


In conclusion, sushi is a popular and beloved dish in Birmingham, with a range of restaurants offering a variety of styles and types of sushi to suit different tastes. Whether you are new to sushi or a seasoned aficionado, Birmingham has something to offer. When eating sushi in Birmingham, it is important to consider health and safety considerations. Such as the risk of foodborne illness from raw fish and the importance of selecting fresh, high-quality ingredients. By following proper sushi etiquette and being mindful of these considerations, you can enjoy sushi in Birmingham to the fullest.

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