Thanks to the Memphis Sandwich Clique and Jimmy "Sushi Jimmi" Sinh, I think I’ve now tried everything when it comes to sandwiches.
I ate my first-ever Sushi Burger at Saltwater Crab.
Conrad Phillips, who is with Memphis Sandwich Clique, asked Sinh, who is Saltwater Crab executive chef/kitchen manager, if he could make a sushi sandwich for Memphis Sandwich Clique, which is an online local foodie group specializing in local, fresh, handmade sandwiches.
“They asked me and I told them, ‘Yeah. I could make it happen,’” Sinh says.
I was invited by Memphis Sandwich Clique founders Ryan Hopgood and Reuben Skahill to join them at Saltwater Crab. Phillips and his daughter, Brooke, and La Hacienda owner Dino Sarwar, rounded out the group.
On Fat Tuesday I ate the fattest piece of sushi I’ve ever eaten.
We loved the Sushi Burger, which is about the size of a jumbo hamburger. It resembles the old Hostess Snowball, but it sure doesn’t taste like one. It’s a savory, delicious concoction.
Like any good sandwich, you can hold it while you take a bite out of it.
“The buns are made of sushi rice,” Sinh says. “On top of the bun is furikake. That’s the seasoning that gives it the flavor. It’s a really good rice seasoning. You could eat the seasoning by itself."
The seasoning is made of dried bonito fish, a little bit of sugar, sesame, and seaweed. “It just gives the perfect flavor to the sushi. If you were just to eat sushi rice by itself and put that on there, it’s perfect.”
As to why someone can hold the burger without it falling apart, Sinh says, “The rice is already sticky. I put a sheet of seaweed to hold it together.”
And now the patty. “The patty is made out of spicy tuna. The greens: I put seaweed salad and some microgreens inside. I also put avocado slices inside. Four slices of avocado, which gives it more a texture. Creamier flavor.”
The filling also includes dried chili. “That's just more flavor. It doesn’t bite you in a spicy way.”
The Sushi Burger dates to Sinh’s old restaurant, Sushi Jimmi. “I actually made that when I had my restaurant. A customer requested it and I made it. It was never on the menu.”
It’s not on the Saltwater Crab menu, either. “Just ask Chef Jimmy to make one and I can make one any time of day. I have the ingredients in the house and I can make one.”
Sinh doesn’t end with Sushi Burgers. “Next time, I’ll make you guys sushi pizza,” he says.
Saltwater Crab is at 2509 Madison, (901) 922-5202