Little critters have been in the spotlight as the next big thing to eat. If you remember back in the summer, I went to a festival that served cricket tacos and beetlejuice. You’ll be happy to know (though not an insect, but an arachnid), spider rolls are spider free!
It’s called a spider roll because of the way it looks with all the creepy legs sticking out. However, it’s not a spider’s legs but those of a soft shelled crab. There are different types of soft shell crabs, but I believe it’s typical to use a blue crab for spider rolls. The crabs get this name because they shed their hard shells in order to produce a new one, which makes them soft and vulnerable for a day. However, the crabs generally hide somewhere safe during this time until its hard again.
A spider roll is made with sushi rice, avocado, unagi sauce, spicy mayo and (of course) soft shelled crab that has been battered with tempura batter and put into the fryer. These ingredients are then rolled into a maki roll (seaweed on the inside, rice on the outside). It has a crispy and soft texture and has a nice sweetness to it because of the crabneat and ima go sauce. It can be dipped into soy sauce and wasabi or eaten on its own.
Due to the fact the soft shell crab is deep fried, it is best to eat it when it’s fresh otherwise it will get a bit soggy and cold. It’s not often that you will find spider rolls on a sushi buffet menu, but rather on an à la carte menu. It’s a bit on the pricier side in comparison to the typical rolls, but it’s worth it!