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Thursday, November 01, 2001

Yes, there is a sushi bar in Carroll County

Yes, there is a sushi bar in Carroll County

By: Stephen Snyder, Times Staff Writer October 31, 2001

Though Chinese food has changed significantly since being popularized in America, the ancient Japanese art of sushi has changed little

When it comes to sushi, it seems there's little room for improvement.

"Sushi originally came from Japan about 1,500 years ago," said [the] owner of North China restaurant in the Cranberry Plaza off Md. 140 in Westminster.

Since opening North China five years ago, {the restaurant] has operated the only sushi bar in Carroll County and attracted some notable patrons, including Westminster mayor Kevin Dayhoff.

[S]ushi chef Zheng Liu boast the ability to serve more than 80 varieties of sushi and the menu ranges from tuna to eel to sea urchin.

The sushi bar at North China is actually a bar, complete with bar stools and a bartender (the sushi chef). Patrons can order three basic variations on raw fish: sushi, sashimi and maki (or rolls).

Not all raw fish is sushi. Sushi actually means fish with rice. Each piece of fish is served on top of a small bed of sticky rice. Sashimi is the pure sliced pieces of raw fish that most people think about when they picture sushi.

Rolls, on the other hand, are combinations, usually raw fish and some fruit or vegetable, stuffed with sticky rice and rolled together with a thin sheet of roasted seaweed. There are rolls, like the kappa or cucumber roll, that contain no raw seafood at all.

Liu says their most popular item is California roll, a mixture of imitation crab meat and an avocado slice.

… [S]ushi is very popular at North China. The restaurant sells about 65 percent traditional Chinese food and 35 percent sushi….

Liu explained that sushi is popular because eating raw fish is actually healthier than eating it cooked. There is virtually no fat in sushi and you don't cook out any of the nutrients.

"I eat sushi a lot," said Lui while patting his stomach behind the bar. "Not fat," he added smiling.

Although sushi has been in Japan for hundreds of years, it is a relatively new phenomenon in China, where Lee lived before emigrating to the United States 12 years ago. Sushi only came when China began opening its borders to foreign trade. In fact, he said, it began showing up in China the same time that McDonalds did.

Liu learned how to be a sushi chef while living in Hong Kong.

©Carroll County Online 2001

20011031 Yes there is a sushi bar in Carroll County