Any Instagram foodie will tell you that food simply tastes better if it looks better. Contemporary French chefs have taken this a step further with trendy “trompe l’œil” or “optical illusion” dishes that are designed to make the diner believe their savory main course is a sweet treat or vice versa. Skip the international flight and stick to Stockton where you can try out the oh-so-tasty “sushi donut,” which is neither a donut nor traditional sushi, being served up by local pop-up Petunia’s Vegan Kitchen.
“The ‘sushi donut’ was created as a way to create a fun, handheld version of my most popular dish – vegan sushi,” says Stephanie McCutchen, creator of Petunia’s Vegan Kitchen. “Since I primarily serve at events, I needed a way to combine classic flavors you’d experience at a sit-down restaurant with the casual approach of street food.”
Inspired by the nostalgic comfort food we all know and love and modernized with a vegan, street food twist, the sushi donut is made with seasoned rice, miso avocado filling, broiled bell pepper “salmon,” and black sesame that is sure to satisfy both vegans and sushi-loving omnivores. In fact, Stephanie says that many of her best customers aren’t vegan at all, but they love the new take on the dish and can’t get enough. “The smoked bell pepper ‘salmon’ is marinated in nori to mimic the flavor and texture of real fish,” she explains. “It’s a savory flavor bomb.”
Craving a little more crunch? Stephanie recommends trying the tempura battered “fried sushi bite,” which sees all the same ingredients encased in a crispy tempura shell. “Both of these options can be ordered anytime for catering by shooting us a DM on Instagram,” Stephanie says. “We also serve at our favorite local event, Vegansoulstice, which is hosted every first Saturday and every third Sunday of the month at Hatch Workshop.”