Myths - facts about eating sushi when you're pregnant.
Considering the fact that our club (the Sushi Club of Houston)
has more than 6,000 registered members, it's safe to say that
approximately 50% (or more) of our membership is female.
And as you can imagine (from time to time), a sushi club member
regrettably informs us that she'll have to stop eating sushi for
a while because she's pregnant. While we couldn't be
happier for the soon-to-be mom, we're even happier to dispel the
myth! Just as dozens of other falsehoods have been created
over time, the never-ending squabble between sushi and expecting
moms has surfaced to become a matter of 'public knowledge.'
But, in reality, the truth is confused with fragments of
The big mistake - 'Sushi is raw fish.' Nope. In
fact...way off! Sushi and raw fish are not one in the
same. Sushi is defined as 'the combination of vinegared
rice and another ingredient.' The very definition of sushi
itself has nothing to do with raw fish. That's merely a
misunderstanding that's continuously (and erroneously)
encouraged by people who simply don't understand it. So
it's best to get that entire notion out of your head right now.
When you think of 'sushi,' think of sushi rice...never define
sushi as 'raw fish.'
Now here's where the truth comes into the picture - Pregnant
gals should avoid eating raw fish. Why? Because the
slightest ingestion of a food-borne parasite can cause
complications for would-be moms. Although only a serious
ingestion of parasites in her tummy can cause an alarming
condition for the baby, a mom's immune system is lowered during
pregnancy. Therefore, if she finds herself struggling with
nausea or other forms of tummy problems, she isn't likely to
bounce back as fast. Therefore, it's best to stay away
from raw fish to play it safe. That's a fact.
Additionally, it's best (when pregnant) to avoid fish that
contains concentrations of mercury (such as tuna and mackerel)
and fish roe (also known as caviar and tobiko).
Here's the good news - sushi doesn't have to include raw fish!
In fact, there are lots of sushi-related menu items that contain
cooked fish, fresh vegetables and fried seafood. Here are
great examples which are found at most sushi establishments:
Traditional Nigiri Sushi
Unagi Nigiri: Cooked, fresh water sea eel.
Anago Nigri: Cooked, salt water sea eel.
Tamago Nigiri: Cooked, sweetend egg.
Shrimp Nigiri: Known as ebi - boiled shrimp.
King Crab Leg Nigiri: Boiled King Crab leg.
Common and Traditional Sushi Rolls
Shrimp and Avocado Sushi Rolls: Made with boiled shrimp & fresh
Cucumber rolls: known in Japan as Kappa maki.
Avocado Rolls: Soft, yet firm slices of fresh avocado.
Shrimp and Asparagus Rolls: Boiled shrimp combined with crispy
Popular Fusion Sushi Rolls
Caterpillar Rolls: Unagi and Avocado with a sweetned eel
Spider Rolls: Soft-shell crab made with cucumber and
Great Sushi Roll Recommendations in Houston for Expecting Moms:
Kubo's Sushi Bar & Grill's
A great menu item that's delicious, simple and remarkably
reasonable on the pocket book - fried shrimp, spicy mayo and
sprinkled with colored tobiko. Merely request 'no tobiko'
and you've got yourself a great sushi roll that's
Kata Robata's Shitake Nigiri, Veggie
Kata Robata provides a fantastic assortment of veggie
sushi for your convenience. In fact, their Veggie Sushi
Assortment is perfect for 'Expecting Mommies.'
Redfish Seafood Grill's Happy Roll.
The Happy Roll, at Redfish Seafood Grill, is a great roll
- including shrimp tempura, jalapeno, cream cheese, masago and
mayo. Merely ask the wait staff to remove the masago for a
great, pregnancy-safe sushi roll!
The Jack William Roll is a fantastic combination of tempura
veggies, fresh avocado and snow crab, topped with seared beef
ribeye, leeks and sprinkled with a citrus soy dressing.
Although it goes without saying, an expecting mom should always
do three things before ordering and eating sushi:
1. Inform the wait staff and/or sushi chef that you're
pregnant before you order. This is a big
help to the restaurant. It's a lot easier to ensure that
they make you a great sushi meal knowing your dietary situation
in advance. Telling them after the sushi has arrived at
your table forces them to back peddle, apologize for no reason
and re-create your meal.
2. When you order your sushi (especially sushi rolls),
always ask if it contains any raw fish or raw seafood.
Sometimes, merely as an oversight, a sushi chef might make a
'pregnancy-friendly roll' and top it with masago or tobiko (fish
eggs - aka caviar). If you're trying to avoid raw fish, it's best to
ensure that fish eggs aren't included.
3. Sit at the sushi bar and speak directly to the chef.
Since he's making your sushi rolls, it's best to communicate
with him directly. He might have some interesting options
that you might have not considered.
4. Depending on your dietary concerns, check with your
doctor. Although we love the idea of all pregnant women
enjoy sushi, it's best to ensure that other issues (such as
allergies and mercury consumption) is considered before you
begin making sushi lunches an 'everyday thing.'