BEST Massaman Curry EVER?! 😱
I don’t know any other way to say this: someone at Sushi Gem in Hampstead, NC makes a killer curry. Massaman, to be exact. Curry is a comfort food that’s near and dear to me. Savory. Sweet. Buttery. Rich. I’ve been to a slew of authentic Thai spots and I had little-to-no expectations when I took a swing and ordered this dish the night my family and I ate here. The obvious stood out: sushi. Of course we were there for that, but I have always been one to order sushi and an entree, and S.G. has a very extensive menu by the way. Whether you in the mood for traditional Chinese or Vietnamese pho…they have it. It’s a diverse menu to say the least.
But let’s get back to my curry love affair.
Massaman is a rich and relatively mild Thai curry made with: cardamom; cinnamon; cloves, star anise; cumin; bay leaves; nutmeg, and mace. Thats not all. These distinct spices are combined with cilantro seeds; lemongrass; dried chili peppers; white pepper; shrimp paste; shallots; and garlic.
Oh yeah, it’s a lot, and they ALL work together to build the depths of the velvety sauce. Okay, one more thing…unlike a lot of other curries you might be familiar with, it also has potatoes!
I know its a lot to take in but I promise you won’t be thinking about any of this when you’re inhaling the melt in your mouth dish. Sushi Gems’ version has creamy cashews folded into the curry that create a perfect bite along with the potatoes and chicken, my protein of choice. I have returned for this treat many times since then, opting for take-out and it’s always just as good once I get home.
The portion is generous and can easily be shared with another person, but don’t think I do that. I normally inhale half, take a break, and eat the rest the same night. The flavor is buttery, slightly sweet, and savory.
Are you a curry lover? Are you unfamiliar with curry? If so, then massaman is a good curry to try first due to its mild taste. They also offer red, yellow, green, and panang curry. I have not tried these, but I will update articles as I try new menu items!
I am a lover of all things sushi. Raw rolls; cooked rolls; hand rolls; sashimi; nigiri…I love it all! If you are someone who has never ventured from the California roll, it’s time to take a walk on the wild side and let your hair down.
First things first, THE ROLLS AT SUSHI GEM ARE ALWAYS 25% OFF! I don’t know about you, but that’s a big deal to me. Sushi rolls aren’t cheap, especially the specialty ones I prefer, so this is a great incentive they offer.
My hubby is a fan of simpler rolls, like the Cali and shrimp tempura roll, which is his fav. Those are pictured here and they are fresh and nicely done. However, they have an extensive list of specialty rolls, like the dynamite roll, featuring fresh yellowtail, spicy tuna, white fish, and masago, with spicy mayo inside. It is tempura style and topped with eel sauce. Eel sauce is a great accompaniment to ANY roll, and you can always ask for it on the side. It’s a simple reduction of sake, sugar, mirin, and soy sauce.
How to pick a roll:
I pick rolls that have my favorite ingredients, and you should too. The menus always have a description of what is on the inside, so if you have an aversion to anything or an allergy, it’s easy to avoid. I love rolls with spicy mayo and masago, which are fish eggs. Don’t get nervous- the dynamite roll is a warm, crunchy, and creamy treat. You’ve got your tempura crust on the outside layer, followed by seaweed which I love, that surrounds the signature sticky, sushi rice. The fresh fish is enveloped on the inside, at the core of the roll.
Some other menu favs of mine are the:
fantasy eel roll,
in love roll,
and the Korean bbq ribs (these are PHENOMENAL!)
Sushi Gem is located in Hampstead Town Center at 17230 US Hwy 17N Suite 124, 28443 | Phone: (910) 821 1285 |Sushi Gem on Facebook – FOLLOW their page for COVID updates on their hours.