Tokyo Maki specialty roll from Asian Sakae in Westminster is a work of art.

by Justin Arter, photography by Kelly Heck

Let’s take a trip to the Far Far East… no, not Delaware. Let’s take a trip to Japan using our taste buds and the perfect mix of years of skill, high quality seafood, and a little struggle with chopsticks.  Our journey? — To the various restaurants in Carroll County that offer a delectable (and creative) array of sushi.

Sushi is a broad term for all the different kinds of bite-sized morsels made by experienced Japanese sushi chefs. The options seem almost endless. Raw fish or cooked? Rice or no rice? Traditional Roll or hand roll? Fish or shrimp or eel? Regular roll or an adventurous specialty roll?

What will you pick?

Whether you are a sushi connoisseur or a sushi amateur, enjoy these recommendations. Even better, try something you’ve never had. Nevertheless, grab your chopsticks and get excited.

Asian Sakae 405 N. Center St., Westminster, (410) 857-7626

Asian Sakae is located right off of Route 140 here in Westminster. Take a seat at a table with some friends or at the sushi bar in front of the chefs and watch them make each delicious roll in front of your eyes.

Their most popular item is an ode to the town of Westminster. Dubbed the Westminster Roll, it is filled with shrimp tempura and topped with an assortment of imitation crab meat, spicy mayo, honey wasabi, eel sauce, and crunchy tempura to top it off. You can’t find this roll anywhere but at Asian Sakae, so definitely stop in for a taste of this signature dish.

Asian Taste 577 Johnsville Rd., Sykesville, (410) 552-3980

Asian Taste is truly a taste of Asia, offering selections from both Japanese and Chinese cuisine. Asian Taste gives you the chance to eat some of your favorite Chinese dishes along with your sushi. Their sushi is still as outstanding as any traditional Japanese restaurant out there.

Try their namesake roll, the Asian Taste Roll for a unique and delicious experience. The roll is filled with shrimp tempura, cucumber, seaweed salad, and topped with jumbo crab meat and mayo. Pair this roll with your favorite Chinese dish, because you can.

J & Y Sushi Restaurant 1437 Liberty Rd, Sykesville, (410) 552-0588

J & Y Sushi is located in Sykesville. The restaurant offers both delicious, mouthwatering sushi, and an impeccable presentation, which will make your dining experience one to remember. It’s like you are eating a piece of art. You almost don’t want to ruin it, but then you remember it’s still delicious sushi.

The holiday season may be over, but go back in time with their Christmas Roll. The roll is filled with spicy tuna, topped with layers of tuna tartar, seaweed salad and tobiko, very small fish roe. This creates vivid green and red coloring that’ll take you right back to the holiday season, and this roll is your present.

Pork Ramen Bowl is an exclusive menu item from the Katana Sushi & Ramen Bar in Westminster.

Katana Sushi and Ramen 410 Meadow Creek Dr., Westminster, (410) 848-8800

Katana Sushi and Ramen is also located in Westminster. The restaurant offers an assortment of traditional sushi and rolls as well as the traditional Japanese noodle dish ramen. Get a true taste of Japanese culture with a taste of both of these delicious dishes.

Try a typically seasonal item all year round with one of their most popular rolls, the Spider Roll. No, there aren’t actually spiders in this roll. It’s soft shell crabs cooked tempura style topped with a generous douse of eel sauce. It may not be the traditional Maryland Blue Crabs, but it’s sure to be delicious.

Katana Sushi Bar 1311 S. Main St., Mt Airy, (301) 829-9333

Katana Sushi Bar is located in Mt Airy. Katana offers a relaxed, upscale experience while still providing delicious sushi and beautiful Japanese art. The menu ranges from teriyaki to sushi to salads and everything in between.

Try something yummy yummy with their Yummy Yummy Roll. The roll features spicy salmon, avocado, mango, and crabstick, wrapped in soybean paper. Finally, it is topped with jumbo crab meat, spicy mayo, honey wasabi, and eel sauce. This roll offers a spicy and sweet mix through its many ingredients. The name sums it up, it’s truly yummy yummy.

Osaka Hibachi Grill 6300 Georgetown Blvd., Eldersburg, (410) 549-3215

Osaka Hibachi Grill is also located in Eldersburg. Enjoy different Japanese cuisine from their sushi to their delicious hibachi offerings. All the while take a second to take in the atmosphere which is complete with a koi pond and traditional Japanese artwork.

Feel the burn with one of their most popular rolls, the Firecracker Roll. While it may not set off explosions in your mouth, it can definitely pack a punch. The roll is filled with spicy tuna, rolled and cooked in deep fried tempura style, and finally topped with a spicy seasoning. Take a chance, grab your water and try their Firecracker roll.

Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood House and Sushi Bar Westminster Shopping Center, Westminster, (410) 871-9898

Stop by Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood House and Sushi Bar here in Westminster for a dinner and a show. Along with the traditional sushi fare, you can enjoy a chef performing while cooking your meal right in front of you in the special grill style tables. It’s sure to impress your friends and family and always be a good time.

Stepping out of traditional sushi fare, Sakura offers their Crawfish Roll. It’s a refreshing roll filled with crawfish salad, cucumber, and masago, a type of fish roe, finally topped with a tangy wasabi mayo. Head on out to Sakura Japanese Steak, Seafood House and Sushi Bar to try an adventurous roll or catch a shrimp in your mouth!

We hope the above sushi recommendations help your culinary taste buds to try something new or revisit an old favorite. As you can see, Carroll County has elevated itself to some unique and beautiful Japanese cuisine!