Try This: Ando’s Plum Paste Sushi

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to banish “half price” from your sushi game. How does deeply discounted raw seafood honestly sound like a good idea? Japanese cuisine has long been revered for its purity, not to mention quality, both in flavor and level of ingredients. Sticking to the culinary clearance rack at your local sushi counter or izakaya isn’t doing anybody any favors. Trust me. You needn’t go for broke—or order the big boat—to catch on.

Umeshiso Maki sushi
Umeshiso Maki sushi

Photograph by Dustin Sparks

An order of umeshiso maki should be ground zero in your efforts to re-discern your palate. At Ando, traditionally dried and pickled umeboshi plum paste is combined with strips of shiso leaf (kind of a cross between mint and basil) inside a rice-primed sheet of nori. The bracingly fresh flavor combination hits all the right notes of sweet, salty, and faintly umami. And at $5.25 an order, you won’t have to cash in any major chips to pay for dinner.

Ando, 5889 Pfeiffer Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 791-8687, andojapaneserestaurant.com

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