Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Now for a sushi post

Flickr is now back up and running, so I can post the goodness.

My friend Chris went to New York for his brother's wedding. Every time he comes back from NYC he regales me with stories of the Asian fish market where you can get sushi grade fish for next-to-nothing prices.


This time he did one better. He brought it back with him.


If I am being honest, I have to admit that I am a sushi whore. I love sushi, and I'll eat pretty much anything they put in front of me. The problem comes in at the end of the meal when I receive my bill. As an example; the last time I went out to sushi dinner the bill for my meal alone was $80. I like sushi a lot.


Obviously I can't eat sushi often, as I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage.

So when Chris showed me a steak of blue-fin tuna (a.k.a. meguro) which would probably cost you about $15-20 as sashimi in the restaurant that he only paid $5 for, I was salivating and recommending dinner at his house in no time.


What Chris brought back with him was a tuna steak, whole grilled eel (unagi), some roe (not sure which fish it was from though), some seaweed (nori). He also brough some salmon (sake), but it didn't make the trip very well and was spoiled upon arrival.


I supplemented this with some sashimi from one of the local sushi joints, Fujiyamas. They aren't my favorite, but they were open when I got off of work and could have my order ready in 20 minutes. So be it:

The provided me with 2 orders of salmon (sake) sashimi, and 2 orders of yellowtail (hamachi) sashimi, along with 2 orders of sushi rice.


On to Chris's house to make some sushi!


We started with the eel. It is grilled before packaging, and the skin is left on. All it needed was a quick throw under the broiler to heat it back up and put a bit of crisp back into it. This found it's way onto some rice with some wasabi, making it Unagi Nigiri. This would have been photographed, but by the time the smell hit my nostril almost all the eel was already gone.


So after the appetizer, Chris busted out his roller and went to town. The finished product? A platter so pretty I almost didn't want to remove anything to eat. Well... almost:

So what is all that stuff?

- Well in the top left you have a mound of pickled ginger (gari), which is used to clear the palette.

- Right next to that (and sprinkled throughout the platter) is the dark brown goodness of the eel.

- Then you have a small mound of white cabbage. It doesn't have any flavor (it's not pickled), but Chris eats the hell out of it.

- Tucked in the top left corner you can see the bright green of imitation wasabi, which you add to your soy sauce (Shoyu) if you want it to be spicier. Wasabi burns the nose, not the throat. MMmmm

- Below the ginger you have Salmon Rolls (sakemaki), which is salmon wrapped in rice and seaweed (nori)

- to the right of that you have some more eel (unagi)

- below on the left you have salmon sashimi (sake)

- followed by tuna sashimi (meguro)

- followed by yellowtail sashimi (hamachi)

- some more cabbage, and finally some yellowtail rolls (hamachimaki)

Chris ate the roe a little later, but I did not partake. :) All in all though, it was an awesome dinner, and took care of my sushi fix for a little while.


Some notes on sushi:

- Sushi is not just your average fish from Albertson's. It is fresher, and generally of a higher quality to insure that it doesn't contain parasites


- Blue-Fin tuna is not something that I would generally eat, due to it's declining wild population. It wouldn't surprise me if it soon showed up on the endangered species list. Chris however could care less, and continues to buy it regardless.


- When eating eel, realize that there are bones in there. They are small and as long as you chew wont cause you any grief. Don't chew very well though, and there could be some fun involved.


- If you haven't tried sushi and want to give it a whirl, start out with mild fish (yellowtail is a good one, as is yellowfin tuna) and get it in a roll. The rice, nori, and vegetables (which you get in a restaurant) will help ease you into this whole raw fish thing.


- If you want to push your boundaries a bit get Uni or Horse Meat, assuming you can get it at your restaurant.


If you want to learn more about sushi, check out the Sushi Otaku blog. Lots of good info in there!


Chickenbells said...

I adore sushi and do not go out and eat it near enough. Great, now I'm hungry for sushi...I'm gonna have to find someone to convince to go with me now...

TomboCheck said...

:) Sushi rocks! If you can manage to figure out their funky ass hours, Esoji is my favorite sushi joint in town. :)