On a Roll: Exactly What is Big D's Defining Sushi?

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

The Dallas Fish Market, which offers discounted sushi to downtowners on Sundays and free sushi to everybody on Wednesdays, is now promoting its late-night sushi menu: A selection of specialty rolls, including the Dallas roll, is available until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

While few diners with cause to order sushi after midnight on the weekends are likely to give the question much thought, just what is a Dallas roll? At the Dallas Fish Market, it's a rice-less combination of spicy tuna, himachi, crab meat and avocado, wrapped in cucumber. But a "Dallas roll" order is unlikely to produce the same preparation elsewhere in town; there's remarkably little unanimity among local sushi restaurateurs and connoisseurs as to what defines the city's namesake roll.

Rolls named for cities typically showcase an ingredient associated with the region: That's why Philadelphia rolls come with cream cheese, and California rolls are made with avocados. While avocado figures into a number of local rolls sold under the Dallas name, there's no single ingredient that shows up in every recipe.

Sushi House serves a Dallas roll made with baked yellowtail, yamagobo, masago and cucumber. Ku Sushi's Dallas roll includes shrimp tempura, avocado and crab stick. And Sushi Zushi's created a Dallas roll from tuna, yellowtail salmon, snow crab and avocado "wrapped in a fine sheet of daikon radish."

Interestingly, while Dallasites struggle to translate their hometown into raw fish, New Yorkers have it all figured out. A "Dallas Roll" means the same thing from Westport, Connecticut, to Brooklyn: Spicy tuna, shrimp and avocado. Something to remember next time you're at 81st and Amsterdam.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.