Setsubun is one of Japan’s more unusual celebrations. Held each year in early February, it’s sometimes referred to in English as the “bean-throwing festival,” since you’re supposed to throw roasted soybeans either out your home’s door or at someone dressed as an oni/ogre, which somehow blesses you and your family with good luck in the year to come.
However, you could also think of Setsubun as the “sushi roll-eating festival,” because the more delicious part of the holiday is when you stuff yourself with ehomaki, luxury sushi rolls, while facing whichever direction of the compass divinators have determined to be the “lucky” one for the year.
Most ehomaki contain high-priced ingredients like premium sashimi or shellfish, but Japanese restaurant chain Amataro figures there’s nothing wrong with having both quality and quantity, which it’s delivering with the shocking Akuma no Ehomaki, or “Devil’s Ehomaki.”
The name seems to be more a reflection of the sushi roll’s addictive decadence than any genuine evil. So if there’s no actual hellfire involved, what are the contents of this 50-centimeter ehomaki?
Starting from the 11 o’clock position in the above cross-section (where it says 牛カルビ焼肉 in Japanese text) and moving clockwise, the ingredients are listed as:
● Yakiniku beef short rib meat
● Garlic rice (wrapped in seaweed)
● Deep-fried pork fillet cutlet
You might notice that it’s only the garlic rice and pork cutlet that are technically part of the roll (and since the rice may not be vinegared, the Devil’s Ehomaki’s technical sushi status is somewhat hazy). On the other hand, when the ehomaki’s mouthwatering toppings include a thin-crust pizza, you can kind of forgive Amataro for not being able to fit everything inside.
The Devil’s Ehomaki tips the scales at a staggering 1.5 kilograms in weight, and if you’re wondering how much it might add to your personal body mass, the calorie count is 6,000, equivalent to about three days’ worth of calories for an average adult male by Japanese dietary guidelines. Thankfully, Amataro is an izakaya (Japanese pub), meaning that you’re supposed to share those calories with a group of friends over drinks, and also share its cost of 3,990 yen.
The Devil’s Ehomaki is available at Amataro branches in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Osaka, and Hyogo Prefectures (with the exception of the Yokohama Nishiguchi branch) between now and Feb 4.
Related: Amataro location list
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