Thai or sushi: Spice it up at Ketana

Ketana Roll

The popular Ketana Roll is a combination of spicy tuna, avocado, krab, asparagus and rice wrapped in seaweed, then deep fried, sliced and topped with more spicy tuna and house special sauce.

Published: Friday, January 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Raw seafood, whether sushi or oysters, seems to elicit extremely passionate responses — from those who love it and those who are adamantly against it.

Since discovering sushi as a teenager, I have reveled in what I consider to be a delicious and fun eating experience for the senses. A local suggested I try Ketana after she became hooked.

Ketana definitely pays attention to details. The straw in my Diet Coke had the top of the paper wrapper left on it, but the rest of the wrapper had been twisted, spiral wrapped and tucked neatly around it. I asked waitress Aom Sirisang about her technique and she was happy to show me how it is done.

“When I first tried, not so beautiful,” said Sirisang, who made it look easy as she demonstrated. (She handed me a straw to try — not so easy, with the tucking of the twisted wrapper especially tricky.)

At her suggestion, I ordered the Ketana Roll, the most popular along with the Beauty & the Beast and Red Dragon rolls. After the white rectangular platter of sushi arrived, I realized there was no way to eat each piece in one or even two bites.

Each piece looked like a volcano with red and orange house sauces spilling over the mound of spicy tuna. (Ketana also has a roll named Volcano). I took my chopsticks skills to the limit, keeping each piece intact for dipping in the mixture of soy and wasabi — though more spice really was unnecessary.

Sushi chef Wannarong Khuantang mixes the ground yellow fin tuna with spicy mayo, onion, fish egg, pure sesame oil, Srichai and eel sauce.

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