Sushi is one of America’s most popular foods, with thousands of restaurants across the nation grossing over $2 billion a year. But still, for many dads, the idea of eating what they would refer to as “raw fish and rice from Japan” is a completely foreign and terrifying proposition. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are five sushi rolls that even the most squeamish dads can appreciate.
Spicy Tuna Roll
Jumping straight into a spicy, raw sushi roll might be an aggressive move for dads who have a hard time getting behind eating raw fish. But of all the sushi fish out there, tuna has the most “steak-like” tendencies, and when it’s mixed with spicy mayonnaise, dad will end up enjoying the flavor almost as much as he enjoys bragging about how he doesn’t “find this to be that spicy at all!”
Don’t let the name fool you, dads, there are no spiders involved here.
No, a spider roll is just fried soft shelled crab. Dads love crab, and dads love fried food, so giving him a fried (read as: not raw) crab dish that’s covered in a sweet sauce is something dad will inevitably support. Plus, the end pieces come with extra crab, and he can call dibs on those because he’s “the one paying to put food on the table.”
It’s a win-win: a tasty, non-threatening sushi dish that allows for the dad ego-flex.
It would normally be a hard sell to get a dad to agree to eat raw salmon. Of the more common fish, salmon can have a stronger “raw fish” flavor and texture than, say tuna. But the Philadelphia roll deftly pairs the salmon with cream cheese, a dad-friendly flavor that’s sure to overpower any potential fishiness, leaving a rich cheesiness behind.
Smoked Salmon Roll
Smoked salmon rolls also get past some of the issues salmon sushi might present to certain dads.
It’s technically cooked through the smoking process, and it takes on that strong lox flavor that dads won’t associate with sushi. “Oh, this smells sort of like that salmon they put on bagels,” dads will say before taking their first hesitant bite. Dads will like it for the same reason why many sushi fans tend to avoid it: the smoked salmon roll doesn’t really taste like “sushi.”
It just tastes like smoked fish.
Whenever you are trying to introduce a hesitant dad to the wonders of sushi, the California roll remains the best place to start.
It’s on every menu. It’s one of the cheaper rolls you can get. And it has very little a dad can complain about. It’s essentially cucumber, cooked crab meat (or fake crab, not like it matters to these dads), and avocado inside of rice. This should be the first roll you present to your sushi-skeptic dad. And it’s likely to be the first roll he’ll actually enjoy.
From there, you can work your way up to your tuna rolls and your dragon rolls, until eventually your finicky dad is the kind of person you can take to a Japanese restaurant without embarrassment. But before you reach that level, you have to take baby steps. Like only ordering the California roll for the first dozen or so times the family gets sushi.
It’s a long process, but it’ll be worth it. Up until the point where dad gets really into sushi and tries to make it at home.
But you’ll have plenty of time before it gets to that level.