From the land that gave the world such tiny treats as bonsai, midget submarines and shiploads of quaint consumer goods comes, according to Shukan Bunshun, the latest example of Japanese miniaturization — single grain sushi!
The delicate little morsel is authentic sushi, but instead of a slather of raw fish slapped on top of a handful of rice, there’s only a single, tiny grain of the Japanese staple used.
That leaves only enough room for the fish to no bigger than about 1 centimeter-by-2 centimeters at most.
Single grain sushi is not the latest diet fad to hit the country, it’s just the latest item on the menu at Omoroi Sushiya Kajiki, a sushi restaurant with a sense of humor in Fukuoka.
Omoroi Sushiya Kajiki’s main chef comes up with a variety of outlandish raw fish dishes daily depending on his mood at the time, according to Shukan Bunshun, which adds that it was this process that gave birth to the idea of single grain sushi.
Single grain sushi is sold in plates of 10 or 12 (arranged in a circle with a couple of strips of leek in the middle to form the hands of a clock) and features all the typical sushi, including makimono, tako, tamago, ikura, kohata, anago, ebi, ika, Otoro and kanpachi.
Omoroi Shushiya Kajiki will make the single grain sushi up for any customer who makes an advance booking, providing they don’t want to eat it at one of the busier times of the day.
Considering the minute size of the sushi, it almost seems too much effort to create the tiny taste treat, but chef Atsushi Kajiki wouldn’t have it any other way.
"I do it because the girls love it," the crafty itamae tells Shukan Bunshun. "I tell ‘em I’m gonna give ‘em a full serving of sushi and then bring out a plate of the single grain stuff. They laugh and then go on about how cute it looks. Some of ‘em take photos of it with their mobile phones. More than anything, though, I do it because I like nothing more than seeing a woman’s smiling face."