Sushi

21 Jan

Among my favorite foods is Sushi. I wasn’t cool like many others, and it took me a little while to really develop a taste for it. (Even now I’m not a very big fan of the fishier fish in nigiri.) However, since I’m married to a man whose family is from Japan it was a pretty inevitable that I’d have plenty of opportunities to try sushi. In fact, my husband loves telling this story that on one of our first dates we went to Sakura, and he ordered for us, since I didn’t really know what I was doing. I think I’d eaten sushi once before that, and that was in 7th grade for our “cultural awareness”day. Anyway, the big plate of sushi comes and the typical pickled ginger and little mound of wasabi. In my very limited knowledge of Japanese cuisine I figured I was safe with a chunk of the green stuff, since everyone knows that green equals not spicy (not true, but I was like 18). I take this huge bite of wasabi as my husband is trying to warn me. Needless to say, I was completely shocked. I remember the sensation of my entire nose clearing and feeling an intense powerful whoosh of spice unlike anything I was used to. He burst out laughing as tears started streaming down my face, and I was trying not to laugh as well.

That was ten years ago and I’ve had a pretty healthy respect for wasabi since then. Sushi though, nigiri or sashimi specifically, I have really developed a taste for. I have a few favorites that I go in phases with. Lately I’ve been really in to hotate, raw scallop, which with a little lemon juice is just amazing. I also really like ika, squid, if it’s fresh and cut right it has this buttery, melt in your mouth flavor. Sake, salmon is always a favorite, and I like toro, the tuna. Sometimes I really like the super white albacore, but lately I’ve been less interested in that. My last and maybe all time favorite is the ama ebi, or sweet shrimp. The body and tail come raw and is sweet and buttery, then most restaurants deep fry the heads, sometimes they are lightly battered, and bring them out super hot. You eat the heads and shell and it’s salty and crispy. Delicious. Although without fail we always do get some strange looks when eating the heads.

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