The local Japanese restaurant and a personal favorite, Yoshimatsu, has a new vegan special: the Xochitl (So-Chill) Roll. The new roll was created in collaboration with my vegan food-focused platform, Tucson Vegan, and named after myself, Xochitl, which means “flower” in the Nahuatl language.
Beginning Friday, November 18, you’ll be able to order this special for a limited time. The roll is destined to satisfy vegan and non-vegan sushi fans with its creative and appetizing ingredients.
When coming up with the details for the roll, Yoshimatsu’s chef and owner, Yoshimi Tashima, and chef Rob Ortiz were instantly on board to include fried tofu in the middle. We all agreed it would make for a more solid and enticing vegan roll.
Additionally, it combines elements from a handful of my favorite items on their menu, which are constantly featured on my social media posts and stories: the Ginger Tofu appetizer and the Shishito Peppers.
Altogether, the Xochitl Roll features fried tofu, cucumber, and avocado in the middle. It’s then topped with shishito peppers, lemon zest, and ginger sauce. Finally, and with a special and very fitting touch, the roll elegantly rests in a tofu purée, awaiting to satisfy the most critical foodies.
It’s visually appealing, too, with its different layers of textures, flavors, and colors.
“When we eat, we do it with all our senses” said chef Ortiz, who is one of the masterminds behind the many items on Yoshimatsu’s menu. The roll is love and curiosity at first bite. The fried tofu and cucumber deliver two types of crunchiness which, combined with the softness of the avocado, creates a mouth-watering experience.
"The simpleness of its insides plays deliciously with the shishito peppers, which give a slight spiciness. To tie it all together, the kick of the lemon zest creates a final explosion of flavor in every single bite.”
I decided that my first collaboration with a local restaurant had to be significant, so when I thought about who I would work with, I was drawn directly to Yoshimatsu.
For me, Yoshimatsu has been a place of celebration and joy during the good times and comfort when I’m going through times of sorrow. I’m greeted with smiles every time I visit and my sense are fascinated every time I leave. Make sure to give the Xochitl Roll a try and support a restaurant that has been deliciously feeding Tucsonans for more than two decades.
Yoshimatsu Japanese Eatery is located at 2417 N. Campbell Ave. and is open daily from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. For more information, visit yoshimatsuaz.com.
Xochitl Gracia is a social worker supervisor by day and a food blogger at night. Xochitl was born and raised in a small town in Mexico and moved to Tucson to pursue a college degree at the UA. She fell...