Allison Day


“Sushi made with deer meat, anyone? How about a slice of raw horse on that rice?” This morning Martin Fackler wrote an article for the New York Times (Waiter, There’s Deer in My Sushi) concerning the shortage of the high quality tuna used for sushi. As the popularity of sushi rises worldwide, the depletion of bluefin tuna is rising, and it doesn’t look like it will stop. This is driving tuna prices up, and forcing Japanese sushi chefs to look for other alternatives. Some are considering using deer or horse meat as substitutes. Other sushi chefs even look to American restaurants for inspiration, bringing back smoked duck or sea urchin sushi ideas. Perhaps some will even look to SushiDay for ideas! 😛

As an aside, if anyone is ever in the Los Angeles/Santa Monica area, you should definitely visit The Counter! It’s the best burger place I have ever been to… Son and I stopped by there last Friday and shared a 2/3 pound burger with grilled onions, sauteed mushrooms, scallions, bacon, cheddar cheese and honey mustard sauce, with some sweet potato fries on the side. The place was packed so we ate in the car, but it was so good! I didn’t have a camera with me so I couldn’t get any pictures, but I promise you next time we will get pictures! Hehe I know, it’s not sushi, but still! Hehe I’m allowed to digress every now and then, aren’t I? 😀

You also might like...


  1. Brian says:

    I live in Vancouver, Canada, and there’s a local Japanese restaurant (with excellent noodles and pretty good sushi/sashimi) and they serve horse meat sashimi. We asked the waitress, and apparently horses are farmed for sashimi, just like cows are farmed for beef.

  2. Robert-Gilles Martineau says:

    Horsemeat, or “sakura” (Cherry blossom) as it is more widely called in Japan is absolutely delicious. Maybe the more for me as I am French (I can hear my British friends screaming at me, although Great britain is the biggest exporter of horsemeat to France!).
    As for deer meat/venison of “shika” in Japanese, it is as delicious!
    Beef/gyu or gyusashi is great too, but a bit bland in comparison!
    Now, I will shock a lot of people (and will not fall into politics, sorry!) but whalemeat/kujira is also a treat to try!
    All these meats are best served as sashimi, preferably with grated ginger or garlic mixed in strong shoyu or “tare”. As nigiri, they are great, too.
    As for maki, I wonder.
    You can also serve it as “yuke” or korean-style tartare!

  3. Robert-Gilles Martineau says:

    Sorry for the typos, Allison!
    Could you please correct them:
    and for “ad”, mixed for “ixed”, etc.

  4. Allison says:

    Brian – Fascinating! I’m not sure if I could eat horse sushi… I get a bit squeamish at stuff like that, but it would definitely be something interesting to try!

    Robert-Gilles – It’s always wonderful to hear a perspective from Japan! Son would love it all, but then of course he will eat just about anything. You make the meats sound so good… I will certainly have to travel to Japan some day to try these delicacies! Also, I have corrected your typos… I think I got them all. 😀

  5. Yvo says:

    I had venison pastrami once… or ceviche… no, carpaccio. (I know, the last two are so similar in idea…) It was interesting, and tasted like pastrami… thinly sliced I could see it tasting ok but thicker slices are kind of gross… chewy I would think. I don’t know. I guess it would depend on the place, too…. how fresh they get it. Super interesting… 🙂

  6. Karianne says:

    Beef sushi is quite delicious, so this is probably also very good. But – I too have second thoughts about horse sushi. Just naming it Sakura also outside of Japan would probably help (she says having no problem with eating Rudolf regularly…).

  7. Allison says:

    Yvo – Interesting… I have never had venison and I don’t know if I would like venison pastrami (I’m not a huge fan of regular pastrami… I don’t hate it, I just don’t prefer it), but heck, I’ll try it once! 😀

    Karianne – True, eating it with a different name might help… because horse sushi doesn’t sound so great but sakura sounds much better!

  8. brian says:

    is beef, venison, horse? etc…is all that safe to eat raw? btw if cow meat are called beef, deer meat is called venison….what is horse meat? whale?
    just a thought…

  9. Cass says:

    Horse sashimi (it’s also called basashi ) is already really popular in Japan, and I see beef and chicken occaisionally too. (After all my mum’s warnings about raw chicken and salmonella, I can’t quite bring myself to try it though).

    As for whether it’s safe to eat, we already eat a lot of rare beef. High quality farmed beef and horse sashimi should be as safe as eating a ‘blue’ steak, tartare or carpaccio right?

  10. Allison says:

    Brian – See Cass’ comment. She obviously knows much more about the subject than I do, especially since she lives in Japan. ^-^

    Cass – Between you and Robert-Gilles, it’s fantastic to get the perspective of people who actually live in Japan and eat these foods I speak of! I agree that high quality horse and beef (and other foods we Americans might consider weird) should be pretty safe to eat. Unlike the overprocessed ground beef we have here, which recently (at least in my area) was involved in a health scare. E-coli or something like that. I have never had any sorts of raw beef (penniless college student – that’s me!), but I have heard of it and it seems to be well enough accepted in the U.S. Of course, if you were to eat with Son’s family you would be eating practically raw meat all the time anyways… they eat their beef practically off the cow! I’m kidding, but it’s definitely very rare. Okay, I’m rambling… it’s late! Thanks for your comment! 😀

  11. Troy says:

    Interesting article. I’ve only just now found your site, and I’m really enjoying it.

    I have a friend that is a sushi chef/assistant manager of Mr. Sushi in the Dallas area. I’ll have to ask him about the horsemeat and whale next time I see him.

  12. Allison says:

    Thanks Troy! I doubt those ingredients are used in the U.S., since most Americans probably get queasy at the thought of eating horse and the such, especially raw! But definitely let me know what he says! 🙂

  13. Denboy says:

    Basashi (horsemeat sushi) is very popular on Kyushu (the southernmost Japanese main island), particularly around Myazaki. I have had it twice there and would recommend it (although Uni sushi is my absolute favorite). According to some friends, it has been a very popular dish there for 100 years.

  14. Allison says:

    Wow! That’s fascinating! I wonder how it tastes? That’s something I might want to try someday, although it might take a very strong will to get myself to try it!

  15. Ravyn_2006 says:

    Ok, you all just gave me some great ideas to get my husband to eat sushi!! He loves venison!! In fact, I believe I have half a loin in the freezer right now. I am off to try yet a third sushi for dinner tonight. I already had smoked salmon and crab made. Hopefully, he will see what a delight sushi can be.

  16. Amanda says:

    Sorry to be a buzz kill, but do any of you own horses? Have you ever seen videos of what happens to people’s backyard pets and retired race horses at a slaughter house? I know that cows and chickens also go to slaughter houses. Yes I am a meat eater. I know I could not give it up, but there is something tabboo about eating horse. People who can not take care of their horses anymore or who need to thin out their herd sometimes take thier animals to an auction. The horses that get purchased by the meat companies get loaded into overfilled trucks and carted on a 24-48 hour journey with no food or water. Horses can be very skiddish and will nip, bite, and kick each other out of fright during the ride. If they end up in Canada they will be be killed with a blow to the head with an air hammer. This isn’t so bad. if they end up in Mexico they will be loaded into a small bloddy, narrow area and a man will take a knife and slice at their neck until they manage to nick the spinal only paralyzing the horse. They are then hung by their back legs to be cut and only die after bleeding out. I have seen some videos where they shoot them with shot guns. I feel that horses are more intelligent then cows or chickens and it just seems like such a tragedy when an animal goes from living a pampered life being loved by humans to end up with this horrible fate. I actually wish that people would ban horse meat.

  17. Ya, right... says:

    I dun ficking get this.
    WTF is wrong wit asians, as they eat ficking cats, dogs and horses. What won’t they eat? c0ckroaches…

  18. The Horse Sushi Sagas – Reblogged From “The Gadabout” | heatherclemenceau says:

    […] ago I wrote about flying a horse charter to Fukuoka, Japan. Evidently, there is a big market for horsemeat in Japan. Japanese restaurants evidently think Belgian Draft horses make really good sushi […]

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv Enabled

Enter your email for updates: