Sushi is a very popular food in the UK. Catering to exotic tastes as well as being naturally gluten free and with vegan options it offers something for every diet, palate and budget so it is no surprise that you can pick up a pack of sushi at convenience stores, petrol stations and at dedicated Japanese restaurants. Places like Nobu, Yo Sushi and Wagamama have brought traditional and fusion cuisine to the tables of UK diners, and it is still something that is eaten out, rather than at home thanks to the complexity of preparation.
Most sushi is fish or vegetable based, but there are dishes like beef sashimi which use raw beef as the protein source. Eating raw fish and meat does put some people off, but there are just as many adventurous people out there and in many European countries raw meat is not seen as a potential health risk in the same way it is viewed in the UK. This willingness to eat uncooked meat has not gone unnoticed by Italian butcher Ale Elaloui, who works at the impressive Le Fantasie Macelleria in Turin. He is well known for his innovative butchery, creating beautiful and exciting combinations of flavour in a style that would not be out of place in a Michelin starred restaurant and has developed a raw meat sushi, made from rice, mince and various other flavours including olives, capers and other traditionally Italian ingredients.
Unlike other meat sushi recipes that have been tried before, these products are intended to be eaten raw making them very different from the meat rolls that have the look, but not the authentic rawness of Japanese sushi. Eating raw mince does not faze continental customers but it would be incredibly difficult to do in the UK, which has very strict laws concerning the sale of minced meat products that are not cooked to a certain temperature. Even top restaurants may ask you to sign a disclaimer to have your burger cooked rare and chefs regularly have to jump through hoops to satisfy FSA regulations governing how burgers are made and cooked.
For now, it looks like you’ll have to make your own meat sushi, or take a trip to Italy to get a taste of the real thing. I, for one, can think of worse reasons to take a holiday!