Sushi will always be a viable business inside any metropolitan supermarket. Where it really wasn’t long ago when you could only visit your favorite go-to sushi restaurant to enjoy a nice lunch or dinner, these fast-food kiosks are popping up everywhere, filling the crave you may have that can’t wait or where it isn’t as convenient to sit in front of your favorite sushi chef. Even Walgreens and 7-11s have jumped on the bandwagon to cash in on this food craze. But how does supermarket sushi kiosks compare to sushi coming from a chef that makes if for you while you wait?

As a newbie sushi chef in training, you’ll spend the better part of a year or more learning how to make sushi rice. This is where all the magic begins because if you don’t learn the basics of washing rice, nor the patience it takes to become one with the rice as you spend countless hours stirring the water, you will never understand the philosophy of the Japanese culture and the backbone of sushi. This step is still taken for granted because most learning chefs will look at this as a chore, rather than a labor of love.

Of the 3 places we visited, 2 had sushi persons standing there preparing sushi, (Whole Foods and Publix) and then placing it inside a plastic container, and then placed in an open cooler for patrons to just grab and go. Walgreens had a display cooler with a see through screen that you could just roll up and choose your sushi, which was made days ago and just placed there for the picking.

So as fresh as the rice was made at the 1st two places, it was still covered up and then placed in a cooler at around 40 degrees; this is done to keep the bacteria from growing and it is done well, but the rice becomes hard and in many cases, dried out as you’ll see. It’s almost like making a fresh pizza, and then cutting it up in slices, to placed inside as cooler for people to just choose and eat. It’s not something you want to do, but it’s accepted with the change in our lifestyle. Well, the slice of pizza you could still nuke for a minute and enjoy it hot; the sushi not so much…

1. Whole Foods
The debate in South Florida will always be: who has better products in their store. Does Whole Foods really mean “organic” when it says that on the packaging? (they were recently in hot water for this very statement) Well when it comes to supermarket sushi, they came out on top. Their slices of fish looked more abundant, the nigiri looked great, and the overall packaging looked enticing. They also offered more options such as Donburi (slices of fish over rice) and sashimi selections.

2. Publix
Publix is rated at #2 in the nation for their supermarket quality and for good reason; everything is excellent, including the customer service, cleanliness and value. Our lives would be so unhappy if we didn’t live near a Publix. But when it comes to their sushi, it’s our opinion that they need a revamping, or maybe retraining of their staff on how to make rice and make sushi. The brown rice in their rolls were completely mushy, thus meaning too much water was added to the “chore” when they were making it. It was not enjoyable at all. The white rice nigiri had so much rice packed into each piece (twice the amount of what we would use), we wondered what the reason was for…maybe to fill our stomachs so we would have a feeling of value? The fish was sliced so thinly it was transparent, and use of Florida Avocado…gave little taste to the food. The sushi display at Publix always looks good, but we’ve dumbed down our standards for the sake of convenience, so as long as everyone accepts that, the demand will always be there.

But take a moment and think about this…if you had bought this sushi at a sit down restaurant, you’d be sending it back vowing never to return to that establishment. Yet you’re hungry, and shopping for groceries and at an impulse, pick up sushi in a cooler knowing that there’s no complaining because you know exactly what you’re buying…

3. Walgreens
The sushi we bought at Walgreens that day showed that day as the final day to buy it. It’s our opinion that the sushi should have been taken off the floor 2-3 days before. The avocado was turning black and even though it was a Hass avocado, no one should be eating it. There were no raw fish selections, just Surimi Rolls (artificial crab made from cooked fish) and Californina Rolls. Chef Hiro ate 2 pieces and didn’t get sick, but the rice was extremely hard and all dried out. Looking at the video of their California Roll, it’s not something we would buy, yet there are some of you that would, so it’s a win win situation for everyone.

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46 thoughts on “Supermarket Sushi

  1. speck says:

    I have been told by sushi elitists that I should not use soy sauce as it insults the chef. Well guess what? Good enough for Hiro, good enough for me!

  2. BadGamerDood says:

    I tried sushi from Walgreens once. After eating one piece, I noticed it had mayo in it, so I threw the rest out for the birds (I hate mayo).

    Later, I found out that the company that supplied (I say supplied because they don't exist anymore) sushi to Walgreens put mayo in all the sushi they made as a preservative. Plus, none of it was made by hand, it was all done by robots in a factory.

  3. Headknocker says:

    I've eaten the sushi at Kroger a few minutes after the master chef made it & it was superb..
    I have been trying to get Hiro to get this guy a real knife as he uses a $5 stainless knife that's dull..
    He'd love a mominokuni or kakucki

  4. Cheryl Medeiros says:

    Brave! I would never eat sushi from a supermarket or a convenience store! I would've asked for something they were making at the very least!
    No picture was probably he was either illegal or had warrants! Lol!

  5. Taylor M says:

    Lol every once in a while i end up at hiroyuki's channel just to think like a lot of people…. damn how much potential this channel has without the camera man

  6. CrustPunkx says:

    Its written in the law! That you can take pictures of anything in a public place. Make sure you that guy next time. Your in a public place and if you don't like it then leave.

  7. butterstix 24 says:

    I used to work at Walgreens and we’d get that Okami sushi every Tuesday and Thursday, along with the other “Fresh items”. A guy would come early in the morning and deliver it to us. The few times I tried it, it was very hard, dry and chewy, even on the first day we got them. Very trash sushi lol

  8. Allan Lin says:

    Mr. Hiro San.

    I have a lot of respect for you and your craft and it shows based on your knife skills and overall knowledge on quality. But your cameraman; hes completely bias to your work obviously because he is working for you and has admired you throughout your journey. But he shows zero appreciation tosupermarket sushi.

    Here are the facts of supermarket sushi:
    They do use Hass avocado
    They're fish is sushi grade with a letter of Guarantee to insure correct parasite destruction.
    The rice needs to be cold in order to sell at a market.
    The biggest difference in supermarket compared to restaurant is the temperature of the overall product and the use of frozen fish. Obviously those are key components to in price and overall experience but I would never go as far as saying its bad. For the best experience in market sushi, I've asked the chef to make custom rolls and that allows the chef to use their room temperature rice and create a more solid experience.

    I felt this video became a bash on supermarket sushi even though the camera man himself did not try one piece. He just repeated what Hiro San had mentioned and pushed the narrative of how supermarket sushi does not compare to the high and almighty restaurant sushi.

    I've watched a ton of your videos and I give major props to your skill. You've created sushi even from Walmart ingredients. It just doesnt sound fair when your camera man will always praise your quality and work but influence all your fanbase to dislike supermarket sushi. I believe if you really want a true representation of supermarket sushi, ask the chef to make it fresh. Buying the last sell by date on Walgreens sushi was not the right move.

    Again. Hiro San, you're a true master but I just cannot agree with how this video ended up as a bash on supermarket sushi when my experience has been phenomenal with my local market. The rice is #1 most important component to great sushi so it is clearly at a disadvantage. I bet if you were to put your sushi in the fridge for a couple of hours it will diminish the experience but I would never go as far as persuading our fanbase that we should stay away from supermarket sushi completely. Just look through your comments and see what this video has created for those that never tried supermarket sushi. You have basically made them all stay away which is not a fair. To a man that I admired, I do not agree with this video.

    I apologize for the long comment and just wanted to share my opinion.

    Edit: grammar

  9. Phuu says:

    I work for market sushi. We are being told to cool down the temperature of the rice to keep the sushi shelf life longer. Health inspector would even give us points if the sushi temperature is higher than 41. Doesn’t mean sushis are days old tho. We make them daily. We get 24 hours shelf life but most of the time we take them down after 8hours. Market sushi are meant for convenience. That was cusofmers won't have to wait for long unlike some sushi restaurants. thank you for trying out market sushi.

  10. g60force says:

    WOW your Supermarket Sushi I guess is lightyears better than what I found here in Netherlands judging by Hiro's comments… cuz when I tasted the Albert Heijn… I almost puked so hard and un-sushi-like!! even the Lidl has better Sushi… I always let it get to room temperature in 30-60mins… heck even the 22high all-you-can-eat which isn't even specialized in Sushi makes it good enough… Shabu Shabu is like a lot, but Mojo in Amsterdam next to Central Station was my best so far… (any Dutchies here that have good recommendations for Place in Amersfoort and Utrecht? or perhaps even in small towns around A'foort?)

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