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Jun 20, 2008 07:34 AM

Brown rice sushi

Someone I know, is looking for good sushi establishments in Montreal, that offer the brown rice sushi option. Any suggestions?

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  1. can't speak for the quality, but the Sushi Shop chain does.

    1 Reply
    1. re: C70

      Quality is OK. Fish is very sterile: fresh but also not much flavor. It is more like a "functional food" for me, I eat it for the nutrition that brown rice and fish provides (so never tried tempura/mayo whatever rolls). People who work there are not artists, it is a Mcjob for them so don't expect an achingly enlightening experience. But I have to admit (even though this might discredit me per the chowhound hierarchy) that I eat is occasionally at the Guy/Concordia branch. It is a healthy option for me after a few days of indulging, not a treat. But it is affordable and the fish was surprisingly fresh (probably just defrosted).

    2. I also cannot vouch for quality, but the sushi shop on Monkland (NOT MIkado) near the Pain Dore offers brown rice as an option.

      1. I have a weird mind, when reading this topic, I could just imagine making "cajun style" sushi made with dirty rice.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Maximilien

          it is odd that you mention this, some time in the early 90's I recollect a film that was poking fun at the Sushi and Japanese restuarant trends and the restaurant in the film had a huge neon sign glaring 'CAJUN SUSHI'.

          Brown rice is far from traditional. Yes, the Sushi shop seems to be the only place selling this, and in fact, having tried it, it is not bad. Yet, I would doublt that you will see this becoming a trend in any upscale joint.

          If you feel guilty about eating branfree rice, you can appease your guilt by downing a big tasty glass of Psyllium (read Metamucil) and get all that fiber back in you diet presto.

          Seriously, this is like making poutine with boiled potatoes to avoid the fat. Leave the brown rice as a side dish.

          1. re: fedelst1

            I am not trying to flame, but there are a number of myths presented as "facts" in your post. I hope you won't take this personal, but...

            First, white rice+ fiber is not equal to brown rice. When you mill the rice, you lose a significant percentage of vitamins and proteins and increase its glycemic index significantly. There is some research suggesting that supplementing it with fiber again increases the GI, but only slightly.

            Per the authenticity of the brown rice sushi... Most anthropologists agree that (a good expert is Emiko Ohnuki Tierney at University of Wisconsin) white rice in Japan is only a recent phenomenon, introduced by the whiteys, and only around the late 17th century. Before that Japanese ate genmai, brown rice. The introduction was an externality of the colonialist activity of the East India Company which brought the milling technique to India. Japanese adopted white rice not only because it was easier to digest, but they also saw it as a signifier of modernized Japanese identity. Unfortunately, because of the gaining popularity of white rice, quite a number of Japanese people suffered beriberi (lack of thiamine, which is stripped during the milling). With these facts, and knowing that the origins of sushi go back to the 7th century; one can legitimately argue that it is actually the brown rice sushi that is authentic.

            Also, in macrobiotic diet (a sub-cuisine, a health movement, whatever you name it) the sushi is always brown rice.

            I am not trying to start a pissing contest, but it seems like all the discussions about the authenticity of an "thing" (pizza, bagel, Korean food, ramen, etc) in Chowhound is always a matter of perception of some supposedly objective truth about the essentialness of a "thing". This of course depends on how one is able to construct some legitimacy and negotiate "facts" about the pure form of that "thing". Just like I did above. I admit it is mostly a pissing game.

            Honestly, for me, if it tastes good it tastes good and this is highly subjective. Cuisines evolve; authenticity is fluid, relational and constructed. What matters is how it tastes to someone, only. This time, brown rice sushi just tastes ok to me. Good enough for a desk-lunch. Whether it is authentic or not is a rhetorical game of legitimacy.

            1. re: emerilcantcook

              You present some excellent points, and I appreciate your facts based reply. True, especially in older civilizations such as Japan, I am certain that the original diet was composed of less processed foods, such as brown rice. And it is true that milling rice does remove a lot more nutrients than just the bran.

              However, we are not discussing authentic, as in the original manner in which Sushi was originally made. I believe that in this case the term authentic would be in comparison to the haute cuisine sushi that we see served today from Japan to L.A. True, you can make pretty decent Sushi with brown rice, but for the same reasons you don't use Lobster in Sushi, you may find that flavor of Brown Rice is too strong and would detract from the fine taste of the fish that it carries.

              Remember, the rice is supposed to be a neutral and complementary host to the star of the show, the fish. However, if it really is your thing, and you truly want to experience Brown Rice Sushi, I recommend using Lundberg's whole grain Calrose short grain rice. It has a low enough starch content that it will not be mushy or too sticky when used in sushi. You will find that most other short grain, whole grain rice will turn to little paste bombs when prepared for sushi.

              As for anything authentic, this argument can be fought on many fronts. Like Tourtiere in Quebec, there is often no official denomination for most of these foods we seek to find an authentic model for. Only recently has a group in Italy declared an official version for Bolognese sauce for pasta. Yet, there are many other equally as good or better recipes out theree than the declared original. Having tried making the original version, I can attest to the fact that I have other recipes that I prefer. The same can be said for udon, Tonkatsu, Mac and cheese, boudin, bagels, etc.

              I'm with you.... if it tastes good do it..... but I diverge at brown rice sushi. I made it, I tried it, and I prefer the white version. My personal preference... and I have mastered sushi rice over 15 years ago.

              1. re: emerilcantcook

                only one problem in what you are saying about brown rice sushi:
                Edomae zushi (what we now know as just "sushi") was not invented until the mid-1800's.

                That said, nothing surprising about brown rice sushi though. black rice, red rice, any rice you can think of it. The trick is matching it with the right fish (think cheese and wine, etc ;)

                1. re: bopuc

                  My point was exactly this: Trying to argue about the authenticity of a food item that is extremely historically and geographically contextualized is only an act of exercising power/legitimacy through which one seeks to gain power/legitimacy and establishes symbolic boundaries (sushi master vs clueless gaijin). I wasn't trying to come up with the most authoritative argument on the authenticity of a certain thing [brown rice sushi]; rather I just wanted to demonstrate how authoritative depictions on "things" could be constructed with so called "facts". But if we want to continue a silly pissing game, I must say that we can also discuss many months about what constitutes "sushi" as well as definitions of "authentic", the exact time point when "traditional" becomes "modern" or yesterday becomes today. But I should at least try to convince you that Wikipedia does not always make the most reliable source for history, nor most historians, unfortunately. We can argue for days about facts on "words" and "things". Les Mots et les choses...but instead of that, I'd rather prefer to eat.