Nearly two decades ago The Matrix was released. The movie unleashed dystopian terror into our everyday lives, and in the years that ensued the sci-fi action flick remains iconic in many ways. From its cyberpunk fashion, slo-mo visual effects, and unfortunate red pill propaganda, The Matrix‘s influence and impact is undeniable. Nothing is more striking than the movie’s opening sequence, in which shiny green symbols of raining code trickle down your screen, as if to infer our entrapment in a digital reality.

You may be wondering what any of this has to do with the culinary realm. You’re reading a food site, after all. It turns out, we owe the now-famous visual all to raw fish.

Simon Whiteley, a production designer and creator of The Matrix code visual relied on sushi recipes to create the iconic look. According to a recent interview with CNET, Whiteley meticulously scanned characters from his wife’s Japanese cookbooks. “I like to tell everybody that The Matrix‘s code is made out of Japanese sushi recipes,” says Whiteley. “Without that code, there is no Matrix.”

And there you have it. We may be living in a computer simulation, but at least it’s delicious.

While we may never know which specific recipes are alive and well in The Matrix, below are some of our favorite fishy options. They work equally well when paired with your favorite cyber sci-fi films.

Salmon Avocado Maki


It’s a pair as classic as Neo and Trinity.  You can’t go wrong with salmon and avocado. A perfect dish, especially for first-time sushi tasters and makers. Get the recipe.

Spicy Tuna Maki


Tuna makes for a satisfying and spicy filling. The zesty flavor is amazing. These rolls are also smaller, so they make a great bite-size snack. Get the recipe.

Inside-Out Vegetable Maki


A cucumber and carrot-filled take on the dish, which is perfect for vegetarians or anyone looking for a crisp and healthy twist on sushi. Get the recipe.

Header image courtesy of Warner Bros.

See more articles