Knoxville Sushi Exotica

At this point in Knoxville sushi time, creative genius is alive and well and visible in the form of a sushi roll. From volcanoes to rainbows, the sushi roll expresses a wealth of creativity from not only sushi chefs but also from adventurous and curious diners who design their own signature rolls. Here's a sampling of some of the exotic, if not odd, options that can be found in a some of the many sushi bars in our fair town.

A Night with Sydney

Patrick Rathida, Tomo Japanese Restaurant

This roll is the result of sushi chef and customer collaboration and good word of mouth. Sydney likes her tempura shrimp wrapped up with cucumber, avocado, and mayo and blanketed by spicy tuna, salmon, whitefish and even more avocado. Sydney's a regular with a lot of friends who share her taste, so this have-it-your-way roll found its way onto the menu.

Hakko Ebi

Jeek Kim, Nama Downtown

This roll is one of the Nama secrets, so keep it quiet. Kim added this roll because he liked the idea of combining one of oldest techniques for making sushi with a little American taste. Hakke means box and refers to shape of pressed sushi, ebi means shrimp and the two together make a special roll. The shrimp is pressed with the rice and then topped with Nama's house salad.

Port-Land Roll

Jason Shelton, Stir Fry Café

Shelton rolls up tempura Portobello, asparagus, cream cheese, cucumber and rice. Then he finishes the roll by topping it with spinach and a sliced grilled Portobello and a drizzle of cucumber mignonette. Vegetarians can take some comfort—Shelton's got your back.

Seafood Boat

Seisuke Fukuoka, Anaba

Fukuoka's a traditional kind of guy in terms of sushi, but when he turns to American sushi, he turns goes for the gusto. The Seafood Boat brings together mixed seafood and fried fish that gets all rolled up and finished in the oven. The result is a hot and crispy roll with a little bit of cheese. Fukuoka says it's the pizza of sushi—very American, very popular.

American Dream Roll

Ricky Liu, Tangerine Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Bar

Spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado and tempura shrimp are enrobed in rice and then topped with baked eel, spicy mayo and crunchy flakes.