Every since I was a child, my father used to bring my brother and I to have weekly sushi dinners. I was no older than seven with those training wheel chopsticks … sitting at the sushi bar staring into rows and rows of fish. I remember my childhood friends sharing their dining stories of steakhouses and Italian restaurants. When I would mention my sushi dinners, my friends (and their parents) would stare at me like I was crazy.
You see, a long time ago (1980’s) in a galaxy far far away (New Jersey) people thought eating raw fish was disgusting.
Over the years, this has obviously changed. Over the years, sushi has become wildly popular, with no shortage of ways to get your “sush fix.” It has made its way into the delivery mainstream and even plastic containers on ice in your local supermarket. But one thing that seems to have also happened is a dilution of the approach. So below are a few guidelines I drafted to help the fellow sushi eater looking to gain a little more of a genuine dining experience:
Never order “spicy ___” roll. Seriously – don’t do it. These rolls usually consist of chopped fish with god knows what inside. It’s the ground beef of sushi. The mystery meat of Japanese cuisine. If you order this with me, I will judge you.
A California roll is not a “beginner” role. There is a difference between the imitation crab from your local take-out place and the fresh crab real California rolls embody.
Put the rolls to rest for the night. To truly appreciate sushi is to appreciate the skill in slicing a good piece of fish. Order some sashimi and nigiri.
Don’t drown your sushi. If you submerge your sushi in spicy mayo – you don’t like sushi. In fact, I would wager you don’t even know what sushi tastes like. You just like spicy mayo (which is really just mayonnaise with hot sauce).
Sit at the sushi bar. It’s one of the few times where you can look at the fish before its served to you, discuss your options directly with the chef before you order and learn while your dining. Unless you are in a large group, there is no reason not to take advantage of this opportunity.
Like Sigalle’s blog posts? Read others at Sigalle Barness: A Celebration of Life, Law and Travel.