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By Kari Winter Kari is a Food & Dining columnist for WCHL/Chapelboro.com

Akai Hana’s Surprising New Treat

By Kari Winter Posted December 17, 2013 at 9:31 am

230037_551734481524031_1005701216_nWhen my daughter and I feel like having a special night out, just the two of us, sometimes to celebrate a good report card, sometimes just because we feel like it has been too long (which, for us, means more than 3 weeks), we head to Akai Hana for some sushi. For a 7-year-old, that girl can eat a ton of sushi; it is truly impressive. And her favorite is salmon roe topped with a raw quail’s egg. We get it every time, and love it. So when I first noticed that they were starting to feature Quail Egg shots, I took notice and ordered one.

Akai Hana’s head sushi chef, Pojo, came up with the idea of Quail Egg shots. Knowing that quail eggs are normally served on top of fish roe, he decided to put the two together in a new way. The shots include a fresh raw quail egg, sake, mirin (a sweet cooking wine), salmon roe, yuzu juice (a citric flavor), a little pickled ginger, scallions and bonito flakes (bonito is dried, fermented and smoked tuna). This is served in a shot glass and can be served either before or after the meal. I got my first one at the start of our meal, and right away I liked it. The flavors are familiar, if you are a fan of sushi and Japanese food in general, but put together in a fun, different way. And there is not a ton of alcohol in them, so it isn’t something you need to worry will make you woozy if you’re not a drinker. In fact, the owner’s wife loves them, and she doesn’t usually drink alcohol.

Even if the idea of this doesn’t appeal to you, I can highly recommend the sushi at Akai Hana. It is my favorite place for sushi in the Triangle. But for $4.95 a shot, it might be worth trying once just to say you have.

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