9 super cool facts about sushi

Rolls of sushi with cute faces on them

(Anastasia Mutovina/123RF)

Have you ever had sushi? If you have, then you know it's all about the raw fish. But have you ever heard of sushi that tastes like hot dogs, or even bling sushi?

There are all sorts of ways to make it, ways to eat it and ways to serve it. People are so obsessed with sushi, they even collect it!

Oh so sweet sushi

Sushi made with kit kats

(Photo by Katexic Clippings Newsletter licensed CC BY)

Only in Japan could you get Kit Kat sushi! OK, so it's not really sushi since there's no vinegared rice. But there IS rice — it's just a crispy rice treat. Close enough.

Japan loves its Kit Kat. So when a new shop opened in Tokyo, they celebrated by creating a special sushi Kit Kat promotion. There were three flavours: raspberry that looked like tuna, mascarpone cheese that looked like uni (sea urchin) and pumpkin pudding that looked like tamago (egg) sushi.

Sushi as a movie snack

Sushi packaged up in plastic take-out containers.
Sushi to go. (suthichaiphoto/123RF)

Imagine eating sushi with your favourite movie instead of snacking on candy or popcorn!

Sushi is usually eaten for lunch or dinner. But originally, the rolls were served in theatres as a handheld snack that could be eaten quickly.

Sushi that comes to you

A conveyor filled with plates of sushi

Triple-decker high-speed sushi at the Uobei restaurant in Tokyo, Japan. (Toshifumi Kitamura/Getty Images)

Ever wanted to sit at a table as plates of food go by — all on their own — for you to pick from?

Instead of being served at a table, some restaurants in Japan use a conveyor belt called a kaitenzushi.

Customers pick the food they want from the conveyor belt instead of ordering off a menu.

Sushi that tastes like hot dogs

a spam sushi with a can of spam in the background

Spam sushi is everywhere in Hawaii. (Julie Van Rosendale/CBC)

We're talking spam, the food, not the annoying fake emails your grown-ups complain about.

Spam (thought to be "spiced" + "ham") is basically hot dogs in a can. The food became popular with soldiers during the Second World War, who had it in their rations.

After the war, a new type of sushi was invented in Hawaii using spam, called spam musubi. You can find it everywhere in Hawaii!

Bring on the sushi bling

sushi rolls with pearls on the top

Chef Angelito Araneta Jr. places African diamonds on top of pearls to re-create his Guinness World Record for most expensive sushi, 2012. (Romeo Ranoco/Reuters)

Guinness World Records reports that the most expensive sushi was dripping in diamonds, pearls and gold leaf!

The sushi was made by a chef in the Philippines and cost almost $2000 US for five pieces.

Most dangerous sushi you can eat

fugu fish on the left and fugu sashimi on the right

(Wakasa blowfish sashimi: duybox/123RF Blowfish: Toshiyuki Aizawa/Reuters)

But sushi with diamonds isn’t the most dangerous sushi you can eat. Fugu (say "foo-goo") is made of pufferfish, which could kill a person.

It is so poisonous that only trained sushi chefs prepare the fish. Even with sushi chef training, people have accidentally died eating pufferfish sashimi (like sushi, but without any rice).

Sushi without fish?

natto on the left and natto sushi on the right

(Natto: Johan Nillson/Getty Images  Sushi: Phurinee Chinakathum/123RF)

Sushi isn’t always made with fish. Many other ingredients are popular as well.

Some sushi has vegetables. Some has fermented soybeans called natto. In the city of Kumamoto, you can order sushi with horse meat called basashi. In Tokyo, you can find hoya — raw sea cucumber.

Stinky sushi is a thing

Japanese goldfish swimming in water

(fish: Wikimedia/KENPEI/CC BY-SA)

You can get fermented sushi, called funazushi, in Japan. Fermenting gives the fish a very sour taste. It also has a unique smell — some people say it's like very strong cheese or old socks.

It's made from a type of goldfish only found in Lake Biwa. It's fermented in rice for several years before you can eat it — the fish, not the rice!

This was how sushi was originally made in Southeast Asia, where it was invented. The fermented rice kept the fish from going bad or attracting flies and gave it its sour taste.

Everyone's collecting sushi!

man holding little hello kitty sushi

(Photo by Mike Mozart licensed CC BY)

There are sushi plushies, sushi socks, sushi keychains and even Hello Kitty sushi. People just love to collect sushi!

And you don't have to travel to Japan to find cute sushi things. They might be very popular there, but people in North American like to collect them too.

So be on the lookout for surprising sushi and fun ways to eat it. You never know the amazing sushi you’ll discover!