Monday, January 12, 2009

How to eat sushi

I had to run to the store for some vegetables this afternoon - oh! And ground chicken too, which is commonplace here, and fresh and okay-tasting. Weird dinner which I don't feel like describing. Not a repeater in our repertoire. ANYWAY.

I had to run to the store for some vegetables, so I decided to walk to a Japanese grocery store from the base. See, Japanese malls all tend to have grocery stores on the ground floor which, hello, is the best idea ever - no extra stop for rice or whatever after a long day of clothes shopping; just pop downstairs! There's a mall right outside of base, and I found what I needed. But!

I was soooo hungry because I'd had to run an errand on base which I thought would take twenty minutes but ended up taking TWO HOURS so I knew if I didn't eat before shopping that I would buy all the everythings in the store. No, I haven't had coffee this late at night. Why?

So because I live in Japan, a quick snack means sushi at the go-round. Today is a Japanese holiday - Coming of Age Day - and the place was deserted, so I got to order whatever I wanted, right from the chef at the counter. My sushi did not go round.

Oh, but it was good. When you sit down to eat they bring you water and hot miso soup, which warms the bones after walking in the wind. Green tea is already at your place - little spigots in the wall dispense the hot water. Mmmm.

So how do you eat sushi? First of all, forget rolls. Sushi here is a piece of something on top of a little hand-formed cylinder of rice: nigiri. I started with salmon nigiri today. the fish is at room temperature, and so is the rice, usually, but today it was a little warm. Yum. The chef applies the wasabi and then, I learned, you can take the fish off the rice with your chopsticks, dip it in a little soy sauce, and place the sauced fish back on the rice. I'd been trying to dip the whole nigiri, but then the rice falls apart.

Eat, savor.

Oh, it was so good. After the salmon I did actually have one roll: kappa maki, or cucumber roll. But it's not a deep-fried, hot-sauce crabstick roll; it's a couple tiny pieces of julienne cucumber wrapped up in rice and nori - maybe the diameter of a dime. Yum! Lastly, since it was just a snack, I had tamago nigiri, which is a sweet omelette over rice. That, if I do say so myself, is a pretty good way to eat sushi.


Bob said...

I want some sushi too! It sounds so good! Best to both of you!

Melanie said...

Me too, Bob. The sushi sounds amazing. Hungry. Your posts have been making me hungry lately, last week it was the soup. Yum.

Nadine said...

Wow I had no idea you're suppose to take the fish off the rice for dipping! good to know, it will be easier this way :)

SabrinaT said...

I have been reading your blog off and on for a while. WE like the sushi shop on the first floor of the Diaso.