POSTED ON NOVEMBER 19, 2008:
Roll 'Er Derby
Mall goers refuel on healthy, refreshing Japanese cuisine in South Tulsa
The Right Stuff. Authentic wasabi is a very hot, pungent and tear-inducing Japanese condiment made from the root of the herb, Eutrema wasabi; it can also deal bacteria a heavy blow.
Asian cuisine continues to thrive in the Tulsa restaurant scene, and one of the most recent openings, Wasabi Japanese Restaurant, is yet another example of people desiring go beyond the ordinary dining experience.
Naturally, Wasabi focuses on sushi, as a quick glance through the menu clearly indicates. Sushi continues to rise in popularity for a variety of reasons, the main one is that it is a healthy meal. Built mainly from rice, vegetables and fish, many add low-sodium soy sauce, ginger and wasabi enhancing both the flavor and the nutrition of the meal.
Nori, the thin seaweed sheets used in Maki (rolled) sushi, is high in antioxidants, niacin and vitamins A, C and B-complex. Seaweed also aids in digestion. Rice in sushi is low-fat and is also a complex carbohydrate, fueling the body. Fresh, uncooked vegetables offer additional vitamins. In addition to these ingredients, the fish is a healthy source of protein and minerals.
Ginger, usually served with sushi, helps the digestion process along and is a good defense against bad bacteria. Authentic wasabi is a very hot, pungent and tear-inducing Japanese condiment made from the root of the herb, Eutrema wasabi; it can also deal bacteria a heavy blow. Actually, most wasabi is made from dried horseradish and mustard.
A common misconception is that all sushi is raw. Not so. Cooked fish and vegetable sushi are available in many combinations. Sushi leaves the diner feeling healthy and light, never full and weighed down.
Wasabi Japanese Restaurant is a new and bright place, located in a strip center just northwest of Woodland Hills Mall. Tables and booths are available, as well as seats at the sushi bar. Japanese-themed wall hangings are scattered about, but overall it is maintains a simple décor.
The menu consists of many sections, all organized by code. Menu options include: appetizers; salads, soups, children's selections, Nigiri sushi a la carte, sushi & sashimi, Makimono sushi, hand roll, chef special roll, noodle soup and dinner features (served with soup, salad and rice).
For larger parties or for a take-home meal, the Wasabi Sushi Party Plate is ideal. The Party Plate features many different varieties of sushi, for $49.99 or $75.00. There are also selections for lunch, and desserts, tempura cheesecake, tempura ice cream (green tea or red bean) and tempura bar.
Wasabi offers a number of beverages to accompany the meal--sake, a few Japanese beers and a modest wine list. Soft drinks and juices are available, but hot tea is highly recommended with the food.
I came by one evening and loaded up on samples to take home. My friends and I began with two appetizers. The first was a plate of large oysters rolled in fine bread crumbs and fried. They tasted very fresh and were even better with a little of the hot and sweet chili sauce that accompanied them; very nice. Our second appetizer was baked green mussels, baked in a special sauce on the half shell. These were excellent! Topped with sesame seeds, the mussels were rich and flavorful.
We then sampled the miso soup and noodle soup. The miso soup had little pieces of tofu and seaweed, with a very light fish sauce taste. The noodle soup came with udon noodles -- large, bulky texture -- in a loose chicken broth. Chicken pieces, crab, green onion and white onion were also in this soup.
We sampled many types of sushi: Spicy Tuna, Love Roll, Cucumber Roll, Quail Eggs, Spicy White Fish and Salmon Roe. Of these, we particularly enjoyed the Quail Eggs sushi; it came with little quail yolks on top of the sushi. Rice and red roe were under the yolk. We popped these in our mouth, and it was like eating breakfast for dinner. The yolk was like gravy, holding the sushi together. The Love Roll had rice around the edge, and was lightly pink in color. There was a great variety of flavors and textures to this roll -- an added sweetness to the cream cheese maybe. The Spicy Tuna had a very fresh, clean taste. The Spicy White Fish was exceptional! It was made with crab, cucumber, fried white fish, avocado with seaweed and rice on the outside then topped with a spicy sauce. Delicious!
I also ordered a dinner entree that mixed beef teriyaki marinated beef strips, seven California rolls, two shrimp rolls, white rice and an iceberg lettuce salad with an Asian dressing.
We also sampled the tempura cheesecake, which is exactly what it sounds like: cheesecake fried in a tempura batter. It was drizzled with chocolate and chocolate chips nestled on the side.
Wasabi Japanese Restaurant
6827 S. Memorial Dr.
Fri.-Sat. 11am-3pm; 5-10:30pm
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