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[P]
How To Make Sushi

By mbreyno in Culture
Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:25:16 AM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)
Food

Like a lot of people I know, I love sushi. Like other people who love sushi, I go out to my favorite Japanese restaurants to get good sushi. After all, it's really hard to make, right? Well, as it turns out, it's extremely easy to make and actually quite fun. I was amazed at how easy and inexpensive it is to make homemade sushi that is just like the kind served in restaurants. I actually felt a bit silly because it seemed like I should have known how easy it is since all it consists of is basically raw fish and rice, but I somehow thought that there must be some secret process or preparation method that leads to edible sushi. Nope... it's raw fish on rice. I discovered this when one of my friends offered to make a sushi dinner for a group of us. I was so excited to learn that I documented the process with my digital camera so that I, too, could make restaurant-style sushi. Although real sushi chefs are trained to achieve the best cut, most people can use these instructions to prepare sushi that is very tasty at considerably reduced expense.


The first step is to get good fish. This is the most important thing. The quality and freshness of the fish pretty much determines how good your sushi will be. You really need to go to your local Asian food market to get good fish that's fit for sushi. Some grocery stores will sell sushi-quality fish but it's better to be sure by going to an Asian market. Just walk in and ask for some good fish for making sushi. Fresh fish is best but frozen is ok, too if that's all you can get. For this tutorial, we will use tuna, salmon and broiled eel. The quantities are ideal for about four hungry people. In addition to the fish, a few more things are required, so here is our list of requirements:

Thawing the fish

If any of your fish is frozen, you will need to thaw it. Place the fish in the sink (still wrapped) and thaw it by running cool water over it. It's good to let the sink fill up a little bit with water if you can partially stop the drain but make sure the water is flowing down the drain so that fresh water is always flowing over the fish.

Rice preparation

While the fish is thawing, start making the rice. Start by washing the bowl from the rice cooker and then measuring the rice. For this meal, you should use about five scoops of rice. After putting the rice in the bowl, add some water and wash the rice with your hands for a minute or two. Drain the water and then add some more and repeat this step of washing the rice one or two more times. Now add water and fill the bowl to the line that corresponds with five scoops of rice. Now wipe off any excess water from the outside of the bowl and place it in the rice cooker. Turn it on and leave it.

Slicing the fish

While the rice is cooking, come back and check on the fish. If it's mostly soft then it's ready to be cut. It's ok if it's still a little frozen since it will be sitting out for a while during the cutting process. Cut open the tuna and place it on the cutting board. The tuna will make both sushi and rolls so start by cutting long strips from the side of the tuna for the rolls. Cut off about two or three of these long strips and place them on a glass plate. Ideally, the section of tuna that's left should be about three inches wide. Be sure to keep the fish cool. If you are preparing this in a warm environment, you might consider placing the cut fish in the refrigerator for now.

Now it's time to cut off pieces for sushi. Start cutting thin wafers of tuna off until it is completely cut. Place these wafers on the glass plate.

Before starting on the next step, put some water in the pot and start boiling it. We will come back to this later. Let it heat up while you cut the salmon (next).

Now open the salmon and start cutting it the same way but don't make long strips unless it's large. Most of the time, you can get "sushi-ready" salmon that is just the right size to cut into sushi wafers. If you want, you can start by cutting off a larger chunk first and then slice this up to make sashimi, which is just raw fish (no rice). After the salmon is cut into wafers, place it on a plate.

Now it's time for the eel. The water should be boiling by now. Turn off the burner to stop the boil and place the eel (still wrapped) in the pot of hot water. Leave it for now.

Make some wasabi. Place some of the wasabi powder in a small bowl. Add water and mix it up until you are left with a thick paste.

Seasoning the rice

The rice should be ready by now. You'll know because the little "done" light will come on. Take the rice out and open it up. Give it a few stirs to loosen it up. Now, add some rice vinegar and stir it in. Keep seasoning with rice vinegar until you like the way the rice tastes. When the rice is seasoned, place it in a bowl.

Putting it all together

Now it's time to make the rice beds. Get out the plastic wrap and tear off a sheet. Scoop out a little chunk of rice and place it in the center of the plastic wrap. Bunch up the rice by forming a little pocket with the plastic wrap and compact it by pulling it between your fingers. After the rice is compacted, open it up and a nice little rice bed will be staring at you.

With a small spoon, place some wasabi on the rice bed. Be careful not to add too much... wasabi is very potent! Now that the wasabi is on top of the rice, take one of the wafers of fish and stick it to the top of the rice. You now have a finished piece of sushi. Make more rice beds, add more wasabi, and stick on more fish until you have used all the fish. By now, you should have some nice dishes of sushi. Your fingers will get sticky as you make the rice beds so clean them in between pieces by dipping them in a bowl of water.

Take the eel out of the water and open it up. If it's a long piece, feel free to cut off the end and lay it on top. Using clean scissors or a knife, cut the eel into small chunks that are about the same size as the fish wafers you just made from the tuna and salmon. Stick the pieces of eel onto more wasabi-topped rice beds. You now have tuna, salmon, and eel sushi!

Rolls

Now it's time for some rolls. Open up the seaweed and cut it into pieces about five inches wide. Place the seaweed on a cutting board and rollable mat and make a bed of rice on it. Be sure to leave about an inch of seaweed uncovered. Lay one of the strips of tuna on the rice bed. Wet your finger and run it along the uncovered strip of seaweed to make a sticky edge. Now roll it up and make it tight. Open it up and you should now have a tube of fish and rice. Make more of these until the fish is gone. Now slice up the tubes to make little rolls. Arrange them on a plate to look nice. If you want to make true California rolls, you can make them with avocado slices and slightly toasted sesame seeds stuck to the outside of the rice.

Dinner!

It's time to eat! Fill some small bowls with soy sauce for dipping and mix in some wasabi and start feasting on your sushi. Mmmm... tasty!

As you can see, making sushi is not very difficult and is a very unique and impressive dish. You can experiment with other types of fish next time, like yellowtail and mackerel. Just try to get good quality, fresh fish and your sushi will be the envy of all your friends. Enjoy!

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Related Links
o Scoop
o tuna
o salmon
o broiled eel
o rice vinegar
o a rice cooker
o rice
o wasabi powder
o water
o plastic wrap
o dried seaweed
o rollable mat
o a medium-sized pot for boiling water
o running cool water over it
o measuring the rice
o add some water
o wash the rice with your hands
o Drain the water
o add water
o wipe off any excess water
o Turn it on
o check on the fish
o cutting long strips
o long strips
o place them on a glass plate
o cutting thin wafers
o completely cut
o on the glass plate
o put some water in the pot
o start boiling it
o open the salmon
o cutting it the same way
o larger chunk
o place it on a plate
o place the eel
o in a small bowl
o Add water
o mix it up
o thick paste
o open it up
o Give it a few stirs
o add some rice vinegar
o place it in a bowl
o tear off a sheet
o place it in the center
o pulling it between your fingers
o nice little rice bed
o place some wasabi on the rice bed
o on top of the rice
o stick it to the top
o more rice beds
o more wasabi
o more fish
o dishes of sushi
o dipping them in a bowl of water
o open it up [2]
o cut off the end
o lay it on top
o cut the eel
o same size
o Stick the pieces of eel
o cut it into pieces
o cutting board and rollable mat
o make a bed of rice
o uncovered
o on the rice bed
o Wet your finger
o run it along the uncovered strip of seaweed
o roll it up
o make it tight
o Open it up
o tube of fish and rice
o more of these
o slice up the tubes
o Arrange them on a plate
o Fill some small bowls
o feasting on your sushi
o Also by mbreyno


Display: Sort:
How To Make Sushi | 265 comments (238 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
Overkill? (4.50 / 2) (#1)
by A Proud American on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:36:48 PM EST

Here's how I make sushi:

while(hungry) {
 fish.catch();
 fish.eat();
}


____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


Yeah... (none / 0) (#2)
by mbreyno on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:39:28 PM EST

...your way requires fewer photos, too ;-)

SpinWeb: Intelligent Internet Software
ZenBox: Open Source Alternative Health

[ Parent ]
That's sashimi (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by dipierro on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:01:34 PM EST

not sushi :)

[ Parent ]
Sir (none / 0) (#15)
by A Proud American on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:06:09 PM EST

I consume salads and granola cereal.  That's about it, aside from a few litres of cabernet each week.

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


[ Parent ]
Sir (3.00 / 2) (#20)
by truth versus death on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:36:02 PM EST

War has not solved slavery, fascism, communism, nor nazism. I hope you enjoy your French wine.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
War has solved (none / 0) (#92)
by Rande on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:44:19 AM EST

War _has_ solved overpopulation (temporary) ;)

[ Parent ]
oh sure, treat the poor fish as an object [n/t] (5.00 / 3) (#32)
by radish on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:10:42 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Gollum (none / 0) (#48)
by Lyssander Agarwaen on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:39:51 AM EST

That's very Gollum-Style. You didn't even bother to remove the head or any fishbones :)


--
/(bb|[^b]{2})/
[ Parent ]
you're kidding right? (none / 0) (#93)
by odaiwai on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:45:43 AM EST

The head is the best part: those fleshy cheeks are just the nicest bit of meat on the whole fish.

dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]

Cod tongues (none / 0) (#150)
by Dest on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:24:09 PM EST

It's true. Tastiest part. They're referred to as 'cod tongues' in Newfoundland (of course, from cod). Great stuff.

----
Dest

"Bah. You have no taste, you won't be getting better than tofurkey bukkake." -- Ni
[ Parent ]
Not good OOP style... (5.00 / 1) (#176)
by kaosmunkee on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:01:44 AM EST

Sorry, catch() and eat() are not done by the fish (in this instance), they're done to the fish.  A correct OOP implementation might be:

while (me->is_hungry())
{
  rod->bait(worm) ;
  rod->cast() ;

  while (!rod->moved())
  {
    me->sip(beer) ;
    wait_a_while() ;
  }

  fish = rod->reel_in_catch() ;
  if (!fish->is_valid())
    // damn.  caught a shoe again.
    continue ;

  me->eat(fish) ;
}

-kaosmunkee the pedantophile

[ Parent ]

Design patterns (none / 0) (#188)
by squigly on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 05:04:58 AM EST

Shouldn't the "me" class be a singleton?

[ Parent ]
No. (none / 0) (#219)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:57:48 PM EST

"me" is fine, but the retarded "wait_a_while" function simply has to be removed.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

OOPs (none / 0) (#231)
by squigly on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 04:58:22 PM EST

Well, that shows how bad my knowledge of OOP is.  the "wait_a_while" function is probably implementation dependent, and on some systems wll result in the process sleeping, some will result int the whole system idling, whereas others may do some basic fil operations on unreelated tasks (e.g. reading and writing).

I'd certainly be reluctant to have a "continue" statement near the end of the loop, especially since only one line is dependent on the condition.  I'll stop short of "continue considered harmful", but I would generally discourage it when there's an alternative.

[ Parent ]

continue vs if..else (none / 0) (#235)
by kaosmunkee on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 07:17:08 PM EST

I could have used if..else there, it's true.  I don't know what the difference would be in the compiled code, but I'm going to go and see as soon as I finish writing this.  Is there more to it than just personal style?

-kaosmunkee

[ Parent ]

No real difference (none / 0) (#247)
by squigly on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 03:52:17 AM EST

Just personal style.  I think the compiled code will be identical. I just find that breaks and continues can sometimes make things a little confusing which loop it refers to in nested loops, so I tend to avoid it where possible.  Actually, continue doesn't cause much of a problem there either.

Sometimes continue is very useful.  If you have a lot of conditions that may result in skipping the rest of the loop, then it avoids a lot of nested if/else statements.

Anyway, feel free to ignore me.  It's just a coding style thing.  

[ Parent ]

Nope, no difference in the assembly output (none / 0) (#248)
by kaosmunkee on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 04:13:57 AM EST

gcc compiles both into the same bytecode. I agree that using contine in a deeply nested conditional can be confusing, though. I don't really ever use it if I'm more than 1 level deep if I can help it. -kaosmunkee

[ Parent ]
What's wrong with "continue"? (none / 0) (#245)
by tkatchev on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 03:27:47 AM EST

Personally, I think both "break" and "continue" are perfectly acceptable, and certainly help make code clearer the majority of the time.

Even "goto" I find acceptable -- there are common situations when "goto" will greatly simplify code.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

goto considered harmful... (none / 0) (#249)
by kaosmunkee on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 04:16:13 AM EST

I know it has its uses, but I had 'goto considered harmful' drilled into me so often that I can't bring myself to use it.

-kaosmunkee

[ Parent ]

That's not good. (none / 0) (#252)
by tkatchev on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 05:31:10 AM EST

That means you let some other unqualified chump do the thinking for you.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

unqualified chump? Dijkstra? (nt) (none / 0) (#265)
by tps12 on Wed Apr 09, 2003 at 11:22:50 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Goto (none / 0) (#250)
by squigly on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 05:21:28 AM EST

Maybe I should write an article on this.  Unfortunately, my knowledge of the subject matter probably isn't sufficient.

"goto" is used incorrectly so many times, that overall it's better to simply ban it.  There is always another way.  

[ Parent ]

When was the last time you programmed? (none / 0) (#251)
by tkatchev on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 05:30:29 AM EST

"Goto" is used incorrectly so many times?

When was the last time you saw somebody use "goto" in actual code?

I'd say that "goto" is not used at all nowadays.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Erm... (none / 0) (#253)
by squigly on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 06:46:04 AM EST

I mean the times when it was used.  Hell, if you want me to say what I mean I'll need to rearrange the entire sentence.  Can't you mind read or something?  

Nobody seems to use it anymore.  When they did, many years ago, people often produced spaghetti code.  People who avoid it seem to  produce perfectly as fast and much more readable code.  

[ Parent ]

goto exception_handler (none / 0) (#254)
by it certainly is on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 08:07:37 AM EST

very handy for exception-style programming in C (which doesn't have C++ exceptions). Each function can have its own clean-up section. Makes code a lot easier to read than having inner loops do break and having all outer loops have an "if the inner loop broke, then break" clause.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Exactly. (none / 0) (#255)
by tkatchev on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 09:50:44 AM EST

There are also a couple of other examples where "goto" can be put to good use.

Anyways, my point was that the use of "goto" nowadays is such an exceptional rarity that it is almost invariantly used by people who know what they are doing.

The days of crappy Basic are long gone, I guess...

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Raw fish? - alive and kicking! (none / 0) (#209)
by ivory on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:21:18 PM EST

I went reef fishing in Aitutaki in the Cook Islands when I was a volunteer worker at University.... oh the hardship of student life!

We rounded up these fish like it was a cattle drive chasing them into gill nets by waving palm fronds. The locals extracted the fish from the nets and placed them in a bucket. A lot of the group were saddened to see the small (2 inch) beautiful colored tropical fish flopping in the bucket.

The local Maori pick up a couple of fish, knocked their heads on the side of the boat and with a knife sliced the flanks of the fish and handed them around the papa'ahs. A sort of pass the parcel occurred as the westerners passed on the raw fish - it ended up with me. I took the fish and swished it in the sea water and proceeded to munch on it. Stunning. The others were horrifed at me and I was hassled about it for weeks - but the locals loved it - it was the best sushi I've ever had!!!!

The rest of the fish ended up filleted and mixed with lime juice and coconut juice to make something like ceviche - that great Peruvian / South American fish dish - mmmmmm!

[ Parent ]
Negligence: (4.75 / 4) (#4)
by JChen on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:44:21 PM EST

1) I don't know about you, but sushi isn't sushi without the more expensive glutinous rice; regular rice you get by the fifty pound bags just doesn't cut it.

2) In Asain markets, there are usually two types of seaweed: the thin kind and the thick kind, which is actually kelp. Don't use kelp. If you're really stupid, just pay the premium price for the pre-cut packs that say "SUSHI SEAWEED" on them.

3) What about methods of keeping the fish sanitary? Rusty coming down with diarrhea would certainly be amusing, but we certainly don't want to see Rusty the Tubboy anytime in the near future.

Let us do as we say.

Good points... (none / 0) (#10)
by mbreyno on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:59:46 PM EST

Thanks... it might indeed be a good idea to mention this stuff ;-)

SpinWeb: Intelligent Internet Software
ZenBox: Open Source Alternative Health

[ Parent ]
Seaweed (none / 0) (#24)
by tedoneill on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:49:59 PM EST

You have stayed away from too many Japanese words here, but a few are OK. The seaweed you want for sushi is nori- stay away from the kombu. I think you know this already, but might as well throw it in there for anyone who doesn't. Plus, it just sounds better than seaweed.

--Ted

"Always be wary of any helpful item which weighs less than its operating manual." -- Terry Pratchett
[ Parent ]

Kombu (5.00 / 1) (#218)
by crispee on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:56:17 PM EST

I don't know if anyone mentioned it but you must buy some kombu and put a 1 square inch piece of it in your rice while it cooks (wash it first). This will make the rice stickier and give it a nice oceanic flavor.
Do you know what's better?
[ Parent ]
More about rice variety (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by Alannon on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:19:13 PM EST

Use Calrose variety of rice.  Do NOT use anything that's labled 'glutinous rice'.  Glutinous rice is used mostly for chinese-style sticky-rice.

A very popular, and reasonably-priced brand of Calrose rice is "Kokuho Rose'.  It doesn't say 'Calrose' on it, but it's the same thing.  It's grown in the US, so the price is fairly low.  It also makes a decent all-purpose white rice for other dishes.  You can pay an arm and a leg for imported japanese sushi rice, but don't bother.  All of the sushi restaurants where I live (Vancouver, probably the best city for sushi outside of Japan, including California) use this variety of rice, as far as I've seen.

[ Parent ]

Kokuho Rose (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by 87C751 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:57:43 PM EST

I second this brand. While I'm no expert, I make sushi and sashimi fairly regularly, and this is the best rice to use. It comes out of the rice cooker appropriately semi-sticky. 3 or 4 ounces of seasoned rice vinegar later... yum!

Another hint: try using low-sodium soy sauce. I was a "pile on the salt" guy for a long time, but a sushi chef in Montreal turned me on to this. The lower salt content really lets the flavors of the fish come through.

Lastly, let your wasabe paste rest a while after mixing it. It should be about the consistency of Play-Doh or a little bit softer. The flavor really fills out after sitting a few minutes. (I usually give mine about 20-30) If you serve it right after mixing, it can tend to taste sharp and annoying.

My ranting place.
[ Parent ]

Wasabi (none / 0) (#239)
by Alannon on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 12:10:45 AM EST

Yes. In addition, as tempting as it might be (if you're extremely lazy) to add wasabi powder directly to your soy sauce, DON'T. It will taste wrong. Mix it with water and let it sit for a while before you use it.

[ Parent ]
Rice (none / 0) (#153)
by Subtillus on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:31:27 PM EST

I third calrose, it makes the best sushi.

Also, I may be wrong as my gf is the sushi expert, but I think that you need to add rice vinegar to the cooked rice to give it the sushi rice taste.

I'll get back on just how much but I think no more than a tea spoon. Also, depending on your rice maker, or if you're just making it in the pot, use a little more water than you're supposed to, this makes the rice just sticky enough and not too mushy.

[ Parent ]

I'd like to see Rusty the Tubboy!! (none / 0) (#168)
by egg troll on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:42:12 PM EST


He's a bondage fan, a gastronome, a sensualist
Unparalleled for sinister lasciviousness.

[ Parent ]

Make I'm snobbish... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by BushidoCoder on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:54:44 PM EST

... but the difference between cut raw fish with sushi ingredients and real sushi is huge. I've tried to make sushi before, and I can't cut tuna or any other fish in the exact spot at the exact angle to achieve the same texture.

On a seperate note, its not a California Roll unless it has avocado slices in it and slightly toasted sesame seeds stuck to the outside of the glutinous rice. Well, I guess you can use raw sesame seeds, but slightly toasting them brings out a stronger flavor. Most california rolls I've seen are crab meat also, although I think tuna tastes better. It's kind of annoying, but no matter how many different types of sushi I try and love, nothing competes with the three beginner ones; California Rolls, Tuna and Eel.

\bc

Thanks (none / 0) (#8)
by mbreyno on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:57:23 PM EST

Thanks for the tips... I will edit the article with some updated info. I am definitely not trying to say that anyone can become a sushi chef, but the homemade sushi that I ate was pretty damn good ;-)

SpinWeb: Intelligent Internet Software
ZenBox: Open Source Alternative Health

[ Parent ]
Try a new knife (none / 0) (#14)
by lakeland on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:06:00 PM EST

Some things are awkward to cut well without a very sharp knife. You might find that simply replacing your knife will allow you to cut the fish as you like it.

Of course, it is near impossible to do as well as a professional sushi chef, though I think the main difference would be in proportions of ingredients and tightness of wrapping. However it is relatively easy to do better than your average takeout sushi since you're using better ingredients and spending more time trying to do a good job.

[ Parent ]

California Roll (none / 0) (#142)
by Elkor on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:20:00 PM EST

Another popular ingredient is Cucumber. (see later)

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
California Roll (none / 0) (#203)
by LordEq on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:43:15 AM EST

  • Crab meat (preferred) or shrimp
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Nori
  • Vinegared rice
  • Masago (REQUIRED)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)


--LordEq

"That's what K5's about. Hippies and narcs cavorting together." --panck
[ Parent ]
california rolls (none / 0) (#236)
by NightHwk1 on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 07:39:52 PM EST

Most sushi restaurants I've been to, make California rolls with:

kanikama (not real crab)
thin cucumber slices
avacado
nori
rice
either masago or sesame seeds, usually not both

But IMO, the best maki-sushi is the rainbow roll.. basically a large California roll wrapped in salmon, yellowtail, and tuna.

As for nigiri-sushi, the best I've had is toro (fatty tuna) which was served with a miso dressing.


[ Parent ]

Cali Rolls (none / 0) (#241)
by LordEq on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 12:41:31 AM EST

Most sushi restaurants I've been to, make California rolls with:

kanikama (not real crab)
thin cucumber slices
avacado
nori
rice
either masago or sesame seeds, usually not both

Same here, but IMNSHO the ones made with masago are far better.  Of all the places I've ever eaten sushi, I think I've seen one restaurant that did both at once.  As for the crabmeat, the imitation stuff is the usual fare around here too—but it works.

But IMO, the best maki-sushi is the rainbow roll.. basically a large California roll wrapped in salmon, yellowtail, and tuna.

Mmmm... must try this...

As for nigiri-sushi, the best I've had is toro (fatty tuna) which was served with a miso dressing.

Darnit, you're making me hungry!  Oh well, sushi for lunch tomorrow (such a horrible fate, I know...)



--LordEq

"That's what K5's about. Hippies and narcs cavorting together." --panck
[ Parent ]
An unpopular opinion (1.50 / 26) (#7)
by A Proud American on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:57:10 PM EST

But I think that dropping the Go games, anime screenings, and sushi meals is a great start to becoming less anti-American.

I mean, you pay taxes to the United States government regardless of what movie or food genre is your favorite.  Why not accept that you don't live in Japan and get on with your life?

____________________________
The weak are killed and eaten...


Oh, how the hippies lambast us now (2.00 / 2) (#60)
by Filthy Socialist Hippy on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:40:55 AM EST

If you don't ostentatiously enjoy the latest foreign fad food (currently sushi), you're clearly an imperialist running dog.

It appears that the appeal of spending six hours shopping for and meticulously preparing  just the right sort of breathtakingly overpriced raw fish, weeds, grains and rancid wine should be so obvious that it doesn't even need explained.  Hey, if it's that expensive and fiddly, it must taste nice, right?

Er, sorry, I meant to say:

5u5h1 i5 t3h r0x0rz!!!!


--
leftist, you don't love America, you love what America with all its wealth and power can be if you turn it into a socialist state. - thelizman
[ Parent ]

I'm so glad xenophobia is cool these days. (5.00 / 5) (#104)
by misanthrope112 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:15:53 AM EST

I was going to say "chic" at first, but I don't think that word is sufficiently American to pass muster; I'm not sure, but I think it may even be French.  

So as a REAL American, what do you eat, pemmican?   Just about all other foods were brought over (or invented) by those damned immigrants.  Do you live in a longhouse or a teepee, or perhaps an adobe dwelling on a cliffside?   To live in any kind of dwelling that was used somewhere else first would probably be un-American.  

As an unrelated side note, I'm fortunate enough to live in Japan right now, so for me sushi isn't Japanese food--it's just food.  

[ Parent ]

Besides... (none / 0) (#163)
by Eric Green on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:56:13 PM EST

if God had intended man to eat raw fish, He would not have invented fire.
--
You are feeling sleepy... you are feeling verrry sleepy...
[ Parent ]
Balance is the key (5.00 / 1) (#166)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:32:39 PM EST

Yeah, but if God had intended man to eat cooked red meat all the time, He would not have invented colon cancer. :P

[ Parent ]
Clothing wasn't invented in America... (none / 0) (#201)
by smithmc on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:30:02 AM EST

...so I assume you walk around naked?

And you don't drive a car, either - they were invented in Germany.

Are you staring at an American-made monitor right now? I thought not.

I could go on, but you're just not worth it.

[ Parent ]

Unfairly Rated (none / 0) (#262)
by cribcage on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 03:27:32 AM EST

Why not accept that you don't live in Japan and get on with your life?
25 ratings, and this comment only packs a 1.52?

Nerds have no sense of humor, sometimes. That post cracked me up.

crib



Please don't read my journal.
[ Parent ]
Not sure whether this is topical or editorial... (5.00 / 3) (#11)
by terpy on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:00:30 PM EST

But when making the rice, Don't Forget the Vinegar!!

Also, keep the fish cold. Temperature affects texture and many people do not like the texture of warm raw fish. After thawing, Place fish in the fridge until used.

Also in regards to temperature, make the rice about 40 minutes ahead of time. This will allow ample time for the rice to cool. Cool rice doesn't mush into paste easily, and does not warm the fish up.

Wasabi in a tube is generally much better than the powdered stuff, and is still pretty inexpensive. Making your own wasabi from fresh ingredients is a beautiful thing. And quite easy.

When using the rolling mat for rolls, it is sometimes helpful to cover the bamboo with plastic wrap. You won't have little bamboo indentations on your sushi, and this makes an easy job of keeping your bamboo clean.

My minor nitpicks aside, great article.

---
"I'd rather punch myself in the dick all day than drink a Pepsi. "-egg troll

temperature (none / 0) (#56)
by tps12 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:31:40 AM EST

AFAIK, sushi is traditionally served at about room temperature. The fish is kept cool, and placed on slightly warm rice.

[ Parent ]
You forgot one step ... (2.33 / 3) (#13)
by pyramid termite on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:04:37 PM EST

... cooking the fish. (Yes, I know, I'm a provincial idiot for saying it, but rare steak and hamburger gag me, too. Some of us just can't get past the raw part. Sorry.)

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
The eel was cooked (none / 0) (#17)
by dipierro on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:13:29 PM EST

stick with the eel :)

[ Parent ]
I was like you once, (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by imadork on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:15:55 PM EST

but then my company sent me to Japan. Sure enough, I ate at least one piece of raw fish every day I was there.

And now I prefer raw fish over cooked fish. It's true! Give me some Salmon sushi over a cooked salmon steak anyday!

Approximately 50% of us are below average..
[ Parent ]

Just keep in mind... (none / 0) (#26)
by SleepDirt on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:23:58 PM EST

There's a HUGE difference between raw red meat and raw fresh fish. Raw beef is full of bacteria -- fresh fish has minimal bacteria that is harmful to humans.

"In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity." - Hunter S. Thompson
[ Parent ]
How do you explain steak tartar then? (none / 0) (#44)
by Hired Goons on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:44:15 PM EST

Hmmm??? They must do something special to all that raw beef!
You calling that feature a bug? THWAK
[ Parent ]
Beef is not really worse than fish. (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by NateTG on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:42:29 AM EST

As far as I know, most cultures that actually eat cattle, or cattle-like animals, have dishes that call for the meat to be eaten raw, or close to raw.

Steak tartar is a french dish that calls for raw beef, the Germans have a dish called "Gehacktes" that is essentially chopped steak with onions and IIRC raw eggs, the Etheopian national dish is also raw beef.  If you've watched dances with wolves, you can see an American Indian tear the liver out of a Buffalo and eat it while it's still warm, and the middle of a steak that's been cooked 'rare' should still be relatively cool.

The problems with beef have to do with cattle overcrowding and poor meat handling.


[ Parent ]

yup (none / 0) (#57)
by tps12 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:34:08 AM EST

I've also had an excellent bibimbap with raw steak. The bacteria in beef live on the outside of the cut, so just trim that off and enjoy.

Also, I remember Iron Chef Japan (forget which one it was) prepared turkey sashimi for the Christmas episode a few years ago. I'd be more wary about that one, as poultry bacteria live throughout the meat.

[ Parent ]

Mince (none / 0) (#167)
by SoupIsGoodFood on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:45:56 PM EST

The bacteria in beef live on the outside of the cut, so just trim that off and enjoy.

Yip. Which is why you can have a rare steak. But still should always cook mince fully. Mince has a greater chance of contamination because of the mincing process exposing it to contaminates and also mixing them right throughout the meat.

[ Parent ]

no there isn't (none / 0) (#131)
by perky on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:08:28 PM EST

So bacteria live on the surface of red meat, hence the lightest touch of the grill is sufficient to render a steak safe for eating. Order your steak "bleu" in a French restaurant and the middle will still be cold. On the other hand burgers and sausages are made from ground beef, pork etc, so must be cooked all the way through. White meat such as chicken can contain bacteria all the way through, so likewise must be cooked thoroughly.

Back to beef. Most cuisines have dishes containing raw beef. For example steak tartare, or beef carpaccio. I'm quite fond of the latter. So your statement about raw beef being full of bacteria is just wrong.

Now onto the much nastier (as far as I'm concerned) subject of parasites. You won't find them in beef. You will find them in fish. Hence you need to check carefully by holding up to a bright light, or freeze the fish for 48 hours. The freezing will fsck up the texture and flavour a little though.

Bottom line is that with a little common sense you are unlikely to make yourself ill, and even if you do it won't be very serious.

-- "Freedom is the by-product of economic surplus" Aneurin Bevan
Note: spamblocker...
[ Parent ]
Then it's not sushi (none / 0) (#64)
by Silent Chris on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:47:53 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Rice (none / 0) (#108)
by MrAcheson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:20:09 AM EST

"Sushi" is not "raw fish".  It is "vinegared rice".  It is perfectly allowable to have cooked shellfish used in sushi and it is a wise idea considering bacteria in shellfish.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
Ssspoiling nice fishh! (5.00 / 1) (#149)
by kmlee99 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:10:19 PM EST

Give it to ussss raw and wwwriggling.

[ Parent ]
Some ingredient points (5.00 / 2) (#21)
by lakeland on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:38:58 PM EST

If you can get fresh fish rather than frozen, then this is quite a bit better. Frozen fish is frozen on the boats the hour it is caught, so it doesn't deteriorate on the way to your table. Unfortunatly, freezing and thawing the fish cause quite a few of the cell walls to break down, and the fish is not as nice as fresh. Perhaps this is unnoticeable if the fish is cooked, but it is quite noticeable raw.

However in most places this is unnecessary. Fishing boats go out every day and your local fishmonger (or a decent butcher/grocer that is branching out) will get their fish straight from the boats. So you can get fish that is only a few hours old five days a week. Even if your fishmonger only gets fish one day a week, make sushi on that day.

Of course, choosing between two-day-old fish and frozen fish gives a clear win to frozen.

Another thing mbreyno skipped over is that using short-grain rice is critical. Beyond that, using short-grain glutenous rice is better, and using proper (semi-glutenous) rice is better still. But make sure you at least have short-grained rice.

You can generally just go to your asian supply store and buy a sushi-pack or sushi-rice to save the hassle of making sure you're getting the right thing. You'll pay a premium, but it'll be less than your local sushi-chef and you won't have to worry about mistakes. Next time, you can buy the proper ingredients without the premium.

Rice (none / 0) (#23)
by mbreyno on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:48:24 PM EST

Thanks for the tip about the rice... I've added this note to the ingredients. I did not pay close attention to the type of rice my friend used so I overlooked this detail.

SpinWeb: Intelligent Internet Software
ZenBox: Open Source Alternative Health

[ Parent ]
Notes about fresh fish safety (5.00 / 6) (#27)
by Alannon on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:25:45 PM EST

It should be noted that not all fresh fish is safe to consume raw.  With a few exceptions, salt-water fish are safe to consume raw.  The noteable exception to this (when it comes to sushi) is salmon.  Salmon is very subject to parasites, which you do not want to eat when alive.  In SOME areas, the salmon is safe, others, not.  Talk to a local sushi-chef in your area and ask if they consider the local salmon safe to eat fresh.  If not, freeze for at least 24 hours.

Fresh-water fish must ALWAYS be frozen before it's safe to consume, I believe for the same reasons as the salmon.

[ Parent ]

Really, really frozen (none / 0) (#159)
by schlouse on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:52:47 PM EST

I did some reading on this a while ago, as I was a little concerned about eating sushi at least once a week. It turns out that most sushi grade fish are deeply frozen (like cryogenic-style). Your average household freezer just won't cut it, and a percentage of parasites can remain alive.

The moral of the story is never, ever, use non-sushi grade fish to make sushi. "Fresh" sushi is just frozen sushi that's been thawed.

Mark S.

[ Parent ]

Not ALWAYS true (none / 0) (#172)
by Alannon on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:20:10 AM EST

Where I live (Vancouver), for example, all of the salmon that the restaurants serve are farmed Atlantic salmon.  It has a mellow flavor and a good, even texture for sushi.  Starting a few years ago, many restaurants started serving it fresh, not pre-frozen.  This is according to a friend that owns a sushi restaurant here.

This whole article has gotten me craving sushi, so I went and made some tonight.  I used fresh (not pre-frozen) atlantic salmon.  I made sure it was packed the same day I purchased and used it.  I guess if I never post again, you'll know it killed me. :-)

[ Parent ]

FDA's comments (none / 0) (#177)
by schlouse on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:12:36 AM EST

I found the paper I was referring to. It's from the Food and Drug Administration of the US. Quoting:
A recent survey of U.S. gastroenterologists has confirmed that seafood-borne parasitic infections occur in the U.S. with sufficient frequency to make preventive controls necessary during the processing of parasite-containing species of fish that are intended for raw consumption. [...]

The effectiveness of freezing to kill parasites depends on several factors, including the temperature of the freezing process, the length of time needed to freeze the fish tissue, the length of time the fish is held frozen, the fat content of the fish, and the type of parasite present. The temperature of the freezing process, the length of time the fish is held frozen, and the type of parasite appear to be the most important factors. For example, tapeworms are more susceptible to freezing than are roundworms. Flukes appear to be more resistant than roundworms.

Freezing and storing at -4F (-20C) or below for 7 days (total time), or freezing at -31F (-35C) or below until solid and storing at -31F (-35C) or below for 15 hours, or freezing at -31F (-35C) or below until solid and storing at -4F (-20C) or below for 24 hours is sufficient to kill parasites. FDA's Food Code recommends these freezing conditions to retailers who provide fish intended for raw consumption.

Note that non-commercial home freezers usually are only capable of getting down to about 5F. I would not personally trust home freezing to kill the parasites.

Mark S.

[ Parent ]

I'm not a biologist, but (none / 0) (#112)
by Jman1 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:37:09 AM EST

I don't think that fish (or other animals) HAVE cell walls.

[ Parent ]
Yes and no (none / 0) (#161)
by gidds on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:08:06 PM EST

(My biology qualifications stop at a single GCSE, but even I know this one...)

It's true that only plant cells (generally) have a rigid cellulose cell wall; but plant and animal cells are enclosed by a cell membrane. And both of these can be ruptured by the small ice crystals which form during freezing.

Andy/
[ Parent ]

How hard would it be to make raw fish? [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#28)
by Stick on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:33:08 PM EST




---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
Rice (none / 0) (#102)
by MrAcheson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:13:05 AM EST

Sushi does not mean raw fish.  Sushi means "vinegared rice" in Japanese (IIRC).  Sushi rice takes much much longer to prepare and get right than the fish.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
harder than you think. (none / 0) (#170)
by squidinkcalligraphy on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:02:02 AM EST



An identity card is better that no identity at all
[ Parent ]
I don't very hard [nt] (none / 0) (#197)
by Stick on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:21:02 AM EST




---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
How to cook sushi rice (5.00 / 2) (#30)
by Alannon on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:40:51 PM EST

I've been making sushi for many years now and the biggest problem I've had is in cooking the rice.

The only rice-cooker I've used invariably burns the relatively delicate short-grain rice.  You may have better luck with yours.

Eventually I found a sure-fire method of cooking sushi-rice.  Rinse your rice to get all of the excess starch off the surface of the rice.  This will keep the grains more separate when you use them.  Soaking your rice helps the consistency throughout the grain when cooked, but don't soak for more than 20 minutes or so.

The problem with soaking and rinsing your rise is that it becomes impossible to measure the amount of water afterwards!  To overcome this, I discovered a trick.  After soaking and rinsing your rice, place it in an appropriately-sized pot, so that the uncooked rice fills between 1/4 and 1/3 of the pot.  Add water until it covers the top of the rice by about 1.5 cm (roughly a finger's-width).

Heat the rice over medium-heat until it begins to boil, covered.  Let it boil for no more than 30 seconds or so, then immediately turn the heat down the minimum setting.  Let it simmer for roughly 30 minutes.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you be tempted to lift the lid on the pot at ANY time after you turn the temperature down.  Sit on your hands.  Play some GBA. Cut the fish.  Prepare the rice marinade.  Whatever.  Just DON'T LIFT THE LID!

After 30 minutes, remove the pot from the element and let it stand (lid still on) for another 5-10 minutes.  Finally open the lid and run a chop-stick through the rice, back and forth, separating the grains a bit.  Don't over-do it.  A dozen or so swipes through the rice is enough.  Place the lid back on the pot and let it sit for another 10 minutes.

Finally, transfer it into another dish to let it cool.  It should be cool enough to place your hands into the rice without discomfort before you add the rice marinade.  It should be near to room-temperature before you start using it to make sushi.

A safe way. (none / 0) (#66)
by i on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:50:07 AM EST

I use two bowls designed to fit one on top of another. Water goes in the lower bowl, rice with water (in proportion of 2:3) in the upper bowl. Cook on a stove for 30 minutes or so.

Or just use a microwave rice steamer.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]

Rice (4.00 / 1) (#74)
by MrAcheson on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:49:41 AM EST

Yeah cooking it on the stove in a simple metal pot is definitely the way to go.  Just make sure you don't use the rice stuck to the sides of the pot.  It has a noticeably different texture than normal sushi rice.

My sushi rice cooking method is similar to yours.

(1)  Rinse rice until water is clear or your sick of it.  I usually stop at 5 to 6 times because if your rinse too much your rice will break down.  Use lots of water here.

(2)  Cover the rice with water and let it sit for 15 minutes or until the rice turns completely white.  Drain.

(3)  Do you know how much dry rice you started with?  Good.  Now add that much water to the rice you have now and put it in the pot.

(4)  Cook the rice on high until it boils and then cut the heat in half.  Cook for 5 minutes, step down, cook 5 minutes, step down, etc until almost all the water is gone.  

(5)  Take the rice off the heat and let them "set" for 10-15 minutes.

(6)  Add sushi sauce to taste.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.


[ Parent ]
Use a glass lid if you need to look (5.00 / 1) (#146)
by lakeland on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:42:03 PM EST

There's an old chinese proverb which I forget, that says something like about magic steam cooking the rice and if you lift the lid it escapes.  Kinda like the quote "Computers don't work so well once the magic smoke escapes".

However, I simply can't bring myself to not check on the rice during cooking.  Much like I tend to prefer using my hands to a spatula.

Fortunatly, I've found a compromise that works well.
I find using glass lids satisfies my need to know when it is done without letting the steam escape. You can even tilt the pan to see if there is any water left without having to lift the lid.

Incidentially, my normal method of cooking rice differs somewhat from yours, though normally I eat basmati rice.  I buy prewashed basmati rice which is a few cents more expensive but saves the hassle of adding water mucking up weight. Often this is just advertised as premium rice or whatever.  I get it in 50 lb sacks for about $25 from memory.

Add the rice to the pot and add water to an equal height over the rice.  Now put the lid on and heat the pot until the water boils.  Turn the heat down to lowest and keep cooking until the water just dissapears.   Turn the heat off and leave for ~5 mins.

One nice thing about this method is it is very tolerant of mistakes.  There is no measuring or weighing, and the one estimation needed (the height of the rice) can be out by almost half before it significantly impairs the final dish.  Using different rice just means it absorbs the water slower/faster, and the method automatically adjusts without you needing to think about it.  Also, not having to set the timer is nice.

If you find this isn't quite seperated enough for you then have a look at a pilaf recipe.  Something about heating it in the oven seems to keep the grains amazingly individual.

[ Parent ]

Microwave it - everone has a microwave (none / 0) (#207)
by ivory on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:03:56 PM EST

I'll say it again - microwave it.

A rice cooker is a fancy steamer - say... isn't that what a microwave is?

Use rice:water = 1:1.3

Cook on high for 10 minutes, cook on medium for 10 minutes - done - no chance of burning. Perfect everytime - for the last 25 years.

[ Parent ]
Not EVERYONE has a microwave... (5.00 / 1) (#232)
by kaosmunkee on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 05:06:53 PM EST

It's a little silly, but I'm kinda proud of the fact that since I moved out on my own I haven't owned a microwave.  I do just fine with my gas stove/oven and a toaster oven.

my ($1.00/50)

-Kaosmunkee

[ Parent ]

microwave pride (none / 0) (#237)
by ivory on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 08:33:32 PM EST

Yeah - I know what you mean.... but that's 'cos having a microwave implies heat'n'eat meals and not 'real' cooking.

However if you avoid heat'n'eat you can use a microwave to supplement other cooking methods. For instance.... I microwave pumpkin until it is soft and toss it into the wok with fried beef, onions and green beans where is disintegrates into a paste that makes a perfect sauce.

The only heat'n'eat I do is Dim Sum - awesome.... and that is because Dim Sum is usually steamed and a microwave is in effect a steamer.

[ Parent ]
Ghetto sushi (4.00 / 2) (#31)
by Blarney on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:57:02 PM EST

Take one salmon fillet, remove scales, and slice up into chunks. Serve with purple horseradish, bread, and butter. Feeds one, because nobody but me ever wants any.

Instead of warmed sake (none / 0) (#33)
by Hide The Hamster on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:41:34 PM EST

Drink a chilled Colt 45 malt. Yee.


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]
Funny you should mention that. (none / 0) (#115)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:55:58 AM EST

As it happens, hot sake is the ghetto stuff. You drink the good stuff at room temperature.

The practice of warming sake goes back to WW2. Making good sake takes a hell of a lot more rice than the cheap stuff, as they only use the center of the grain, and they don't press the fermented rice. With the rice rationing during the war, however, the sake companies couldn't even make the cheap stuff taste decent, so they told their customers to serve it hot, as to make the lousy flavor less noticable.

Go on, ask me about "Kobe beef."

[ Parent ]

"kobe beef"? (5.00 / 2) (#118)
by vivelame on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:31:55 PM EST



--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
I'm so glad you asked! (none / 0) (#119)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:47:25 PM EST

While there is indeed a Japanese method of raising tasty beef, it's certainly not centered in or around the industrial city of Kobe.

This is another artifact of WW2. When the US navy seized Japanese ships and raided the officers' mess, they found very tasty beef. Curious, they asked their prisoners, "where does this tasty beef come from?" The prisoners didn't know, so they answered "Kobe." That city, you see, was the main supply point for the Japanese navy.

They got everything from Kobe, tasty luxury-beef included. Kobe, in turn, got it from whichever luxury-beef farm had it handy.

[ Parent ]

happy to oblige (none / 0) (#140)
by vivelame on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:55:32 PM EST

since you seem to be far more knowledgeable than i am on japanese culture & history :-)

--
Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
This is boring. (5.00 / 1) (#184)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:28:14 AM EST

Let's talk about Dragonball instead.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Personally, (none / 0) (#210)
by it certainly is on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:30:28 PM EST

I find rope bondage more interesting than anime. Can we talk about that instead?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Why not? (5.00 / 1) (#215)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:24:09 PM EST

Better yet, let's talk about how rope bondage depicted in Anime movies reflects the ancient samurai tradition of Japan.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Yes. (none / 0) (#216)
by it certainly is on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:28:51 PM EST

Let's recant 16th century haikus about ninjas covering rope-bound geishas' feet with wasubi while fighting off demon tentacles dressed in sailor outfis with sushi knives.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Oh definitely. (none / 0) (#225)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:59:27 PM EST

In that vein, have you seen "Ghost in the Shell"?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

What a wonderful film. (none / 0) (#228)
by it certainly is on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:50:29 PM EST

Ghost in the Shell (or TwatS for short) is Miyazaki's finest work, far superior to the Hollywood knock-off released by Cohen brothers. It's a crying shame that Warner Bros are trying to plug their own cheap knockoffs like The Matrix and not these glorious foreign porno cartoons.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

cool sake is the "bling bling" stuff (none / 0) (#244)
by needless on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 02:17:25 AM EST

I wouldn't call warmed sake ghetto merely for the fact that the only sake that I've experienced that tasted decent unwarmed was ridiculously expensive.  Ranging from 35$/bottle for sub-par stuff up to hundreds of dollars/bottle (and probably more) for the very good.

If you know of an affordable sake that is good chilled or tepid, let me know.

[ Parent ]

Good wine is expensive, too... (none / 0) (#246)
by RobotSlave on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 03:34:31 AM EST

Personally, I usually drink Ichinokura or Otokoyama. These run $50-$60 for a bottle, but it's a 1.8 liter bottle. That's a lot of Sake! There are dozens of good japanese Ginjos and Junmais in this range.

If you're looking for a cheaper domestic, a lot of Americans like the Sake made in Oregon by Momokawa. Their Silver is a decent dry Sake, and their Pearl is a true unfiltered Nigori, which tends to go over well for its sweet flavor as well as its novel cloudy appearance. Momokawa has decided to market their entire line in the smaller bottles associated with high-end sake; a bottle will run a little under $15 for most of their stuff. I'd avoid the fruit-flavored varieties...

The best way to sample a wide variety of Sake is by the glass. Or the Masu, I suppose. Find a sushi bar with a large selection of Sake, go there a lot, and ask a lot of questions.

Note: Chilling sake kills flavor almost as effectively as heating, particularly if it's stored in a freezer (like vodka). The ideal temperature is between 46F and room temperature, depending on the type of sake. Look for a place that has a large display shelf, and a light refrigerator just for sake off in a corner.

[ Parent ]

Kinda Ghetto sushi (none / 0) (#224)
by x3nophil3 on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:58:09 PM EST

This is a recipe I made up after trying something similar at a good sushi joint here in Montreal. Takes about 5 minutes.
  1. procure nice skinless peice of good quality tuna. 1 inch thick.
  2. Coat both sides of tuna with sesame seeds.
  3. Heat a frying pan with peanut / sesame oil (or a mix) until the oil just begins to smoke
  4. Sear tuna on both sides. Just cook until the outside begins to gray, 10-15 seconds a side, not more. The idea is to leave the middle very raw. Remove tuna from pan.
  5. After tuna has cooled slightly, slice it into very thin strips (1/8th of an inch or so) with a very sharp knife. Arrange strips on a plate.
  6. mix one part japanese soy sauce and one part orange juice with a little cornstarch and drizzle over tuna strips. If you like, drizzle some of the oil from the frying pan over as well.
Yummy. I don't know how authentic it is.

[ Parent ]
Beware the Wasabi (4.75 / 4) (#35)
by HidingMyName on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:10:23 PM EST

Is not to do what I did the first time I tried sushi (in a Mall near where I lived at the time, where I grew up, sushi was not common) I tasted the pickled ginger and it was a little bit sweet, but did not try the wasabi.because I mistakenly thought it was the dessert. I saved it for the end and popped a nice big ball of wasabi in my mouth.

Later when I went to grad school I had a Japanese roommate who used to say "Don't snort cocaine, use wasabi, it is better than drugs". He later told me that real wasabi in Japan is much stronger than what we get in the U.S. and I'm very afraid of it.

*cracking up* (none / 0) (#63)
by Silent Chris on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:47:03 AM EST

That's hysterical.  Usually, I avoid Wasabi like the plague, but sometimes I stick a little bit on the end of my chopstick near the end, just to tempt myself.  I'm usually begging for liquid in under a second.

[ Parent ]
Wasabi (none / 0) (#96)
by odaiwai on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:51:41 AM EST

You're not supposed to eat it by itself.  Take a little bit, pour some soy sauce over it and mix well with your chopsticks.  This gives you a dipping sauce which you can use a little or a lot of, depending on your taste, or the particular type of sushi.

There should be no wasabi in the sushi.

dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]

Wasabi rocks! (5.00 / 1) (#147)
by Soulmender on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:45:44 PM EST

I have no idea if I have eaten true wasabi or fake. But I have had very different experiences.

I really really love the flavour and the sensation when the scalp seems to shoot photons into space.



[ Parent ]

Right and wrong (none / 0) (#154)
by driptray on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:39:01 PM EST

Your shoyu and wasabi mixing instructions are correct, but it's not true that there should be no wasabi in the sushi.

Virtually every piece of sushi you buy in Japan has a small dollop of wasabi between the rice and the fish. I know - I eat it all the time.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

Noooo! No wasabi into the soy sauce! (5.00 / 1) (#179)
by 6hill on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:55:42 AM EST

You're not supposed to eat it by itself. Take a little bit, pour some soy sauce over it and mix well with your chopsticks.

According to a friend of mine who's lived in Japan for several years, you're not supposed to be mixing wasabi in your soy sauce where you dip the sushi. This is an insult to the sushi chef, implying he doesn't know how much wasabi to put into the sushi pieces. So the wasabi is supposed to be in the sushi, not in the sauce.

I think in Western countries the wasabi is left out of the sushi pieces to accomodate the Western palate which might not be used to the heat or taste of the horseradish paste. I personally like my sushi with some kick in it, but YMMV.

[ Parent ]

East v. West (none / 0) (#200)
by LordEq on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:26:36 AM EST

According to a friend of mine who's lived in Japan for several years, you're not supposed to be mixing wasabi in your soy sauce where you dip the sushi.  This is an insult to the sushi chef, implying he doesn't know how much wasabi to put into the sushi pieces.

Sushi chefs living in Western countries aren't likely to be this thin-skinned.  To take such a trivial action as an insult is to read waaaaaaay too much into [what is quickly becoming] a regional custom, and to disregard the very concept of personal tastes.  Fine for Japan -- but a fine recipe for a nervous breakdown in "the West."



--LordEq

"That's what K5's about. Hippies and narcs cavorting together." --panck
[ Parent ]
To wasabi or not to wasabi (none / 0) (#243)
by 6hill on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 01:29:21 AM EST

Sushi chefs living in Western countries aren't likely to be this thin-skinned. To take such a trivial action as an insult is to read waaaaaaay too much into [what is quickly becoming] a regional custom, and to disregard the very concept of personal tastes. Fine for Japan -- but a fine recipe for a nervous breakdown in "the West."

Very true. My context for writing the post was more in the interest of visitors to Japan avoiding a possible faux pas. Your run-of-the-mill sushi bought in $SUPERMARKET or $LUNCHCOUNTER is unlikely to have been made by a real sushi chef (who have years and years of training and are highly skilled artisans).

Also, the parent poster said:

There should be no wasabi in the sushi.

Which is wrong regardless of geographical placement.

[ Parent ]

Stalking the deadly wasabe (none / 0) (#134)
by 87C751 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:14:34 PM EST

When I was first discovering sushi, I saw some blowhard noob mistake the wasabe for guacomole and pop the whole wad (about the size of a ping-pong ball) into his mouth. I've never seen anyone turn that particular shade of red before or since.

For the beginner, take a small glob of wasabe paste (about the size of a pencil eraser) and mix a little soy sauce into it to make a thin paste. Then add more soy sauce until it's dipping depth. As you progress, you may decide you want to use more wasabe. (I use a chunk about dime-sized and roughly spherical for the first pass, and add more as I go on)

For the spice afficianados, the best I've had is the TNT roll, as made at Nami in Minneapolis, MN. Spicy tuna and spicy scallop mistures in an inside-out roll that's topped with wasabe-cured tobiko. Sheer genius!

My ranting place.
[ Parent ]

US wasabi vs Japanese wasabi (none / 0) (#141)
by ebonkyre on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:00:08 PM EST

The "wasabi" found in US restaurants is typically regular horseradish, with green food-coloring and/or other ingredients added.  Real wasabi is made from... wasabi.  The article isn't on their site anymore, but I remember reading on MSNBC that the green horseradish costs about $3/oz, where real wasabi is closer to $70/oz, and that the strength varies by a similar proportion (!).

(disclaimer: I do not eat sushi, but I did watch Iron Chef in a Holiday Inn Express last night.)


"Time is an abstract concept devised by carbon-based lifeforms to monitor their ongoing decay."
-- Thundercleese
[ Parent ]

A place to get real wasabi, and plants! (5.00 / 1) (#157)
by Hechz on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:29:15 PM EST

And it is quite expensive. It comes from Oregon

[ Parent ]
High on the list of great tricks to play... (none / 0) (#165)
by the original jht on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:30:14 PM EST

You can only get away with this once, so pick your spot carefully.

Take a decent-sized wad of wasabi.  Put it in a tube of toothpaste destined for your victim (a roommate, in this scenario).  Wait until sufficient alcohol has been consumed, then switch at home later.

Enjoy.

- -Josh Turiel
"Someday we'll all look back at this and laugh..."

[ Parent ]

But for the truly disgusting (none / 0) (#258)
by dachshund on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 12:38:44 PM EST

My two dogs managed to steal several pieces of Wasabi out of the trash when we went out for the evening. I can't imagine the unpleasantness this must have caused them, given that their noses are so much more sensitive than ours.

Nevertheless, they were both cheerful and excited when we got home, like nothing had happened... until we saw the mess they'd made on our bed.

[ Parent ]

Thank you (4.00 / 1) (#37)
by MSBob on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:12:08 PM EST

I was never brave enough to make my own sushi but now I'm inspired to give it a try. Sure I made some rolls with crab meat but it's not the same as the primal taste of raw fish.

On a somewhat related note, in Poland we have a dish which is called tartar. It's nothing to do with tartar sauce but a special dish made with... raw ground beef. It's mixed with raw egg yolks and many spices and then chilled before eating. Sounds disturbing I know, but it's actually delicious :). The problem is that supermarket quality food isn't safe enough for making tartar so it's best to purchase fresh beef from a farmer you know and trust. I'd not dare make it even with the highest quality supermarket beef.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

Raw eggs (5.00 / 1) (#223)
by x3nophil3 on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:42:52 PM EST

Actually, you should be a lot more worried about contracting salmonella from the raw eggs than the hygiene of the beef (although, yeah, supermarket beef is not a very good idea).

Salmonella bacteria is on the outside of the egg-shell. Boiling an egg for about 30 seconds is sufficient to kill the bacteria, and leaves almost all of the egg uncooked. Much safer since a very large percentage of eggs have salmonella.

I too enjoy good steak tartar ... polish myself. My grandmother used to make it by scraping a steak with a large knife, which is a huge pain in the ass, but gives the meat the consistency of butter. Mmmmm.

[ Parent ]

Why stick to fish? (4.50 / 2) (#51)
by squigly on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:06:17 AM EST

Shitake mushrooms, avacados and cucumber make excellent replacements, are suitable for vegetarians, and are more palatable to those who don't like raw fish.  

Because then it's not sushi. (1.00 / 1) (#62)
by Silent Chris on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:45:31 AM EST



[ Parent ]
well (none / 0) (#81)
by tps12 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:04:15 AM EST

Lots of kinds of sushi don't have fish.

[ Parent ]
Of course it is. (none / 0) (#86)
by Alannon on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:17:43 AM EST

Sushi does not need to include fish. It only needs to include rice. For example Kapa-Maki (cucumber roll) is an extremely popular variety, and as traditional as any other, as far as I know.

[ Parent ]
Kapa-maki (none / 0) (#110)
by jrumney on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:20:45 AM EST

Certainly more traditional than anything with avocado in it.

[ Parent ]
no.. then its not sashimi (none / 0) (#122)
by harryhoode on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:54:43 PM EST

sushi is not just fish.. sashimi is

[ Parent ]
Excellent!!! (3.00 / 1) (#58)
by BarryReiswerg on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:35:09 AM EST

I don't know that I am brave enough to make my own sushi, but now at least I know how!

wasabi and eel? (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by tps12 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:38:36 AM EST

Is eel sushi usually made with wasabi? I don't remember it being in there...

You can put Wasabi in practically everything (none / 0) (#61)
by Silent Chris on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:45:09 AM EST

Sometimes, I think my local sushi chef likes to hide it under the rice to piss me off.

[ Parent ]
under the rice? (none / 0) (#67)
by tps12 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:54:26 AM EST

Like, on the table?

Wasabi is usually between the rice and the fish, and nowhere else. The practice of supplementing it by stirring wasabi into the soy sauce is completely American, a reaction (I think) to chefs who tone down the wasabi in an attempt to better please the USian palate.

It just seems a little weird to eat wasabi with the eel, which is already in a sweet brown sauce.

[ Parent ]

Yes, under the rice (5.00 / 1) (#76)
by Silent Chris on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:53:49 AM EST

As in, I check between the fish and rice and there's nothing.  I pick up a piece, put it in my mouth, and realize the Wasabi was stuck below the rice.  The chef smirks at me.

I've become really paranoid since I've gone to that place.

[ Parent ]

An American Practice? (none / 0) (#99)
by odaiwai on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:01:29 AM EST

I don't think so: it's very common here in Hong Kong to have the wasabi separate and mixed with soy sauce to your own taste.  

Can anyone who's actually had sushi in Japan comment?

dave
-- "They're chefs! Chefs with chainsaws!"
[ Parent ]

heh (none / 0) (#103)
by tps12 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:13:44 AM EST

Good point, I haven't had sushi in Hong Kong. I have had it in Japan, though, and I can confirm that they only stick the wasabi in the sushi itself.

[ Parent ]
clarification (none / 0) (#111)
by tps12 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:30:29 AM EST

At sushi bars, you aren't given an extra dollop of wasabi for mixing. I think people would mix for eating grocery store sushi and such, and maybe sashimi also. I assumed it was like salt at nice restaurants; providing extra indicates that the chef isn't confident in his seasoning.

[ Parent ]
Wasabi in Japan (5.00 / 1) (#107)
by jrumney on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:17:54 AM EST

It is fairly normal to mix wasabi with soy sauce in Japan. It is also fairly normal to eat sushi with your fingers instead of struggling with stopping the fish from falling off as you dip it into the soy sauce with your chopsticks. One thing that was glaringly missing from the article is that the rice should be cooled quickly (usually with a hand-held fan and frequent stirring, and by using as big a bowl as possible so it can be spread out). Tinned tuna and surimi sticks (sometimes called seafood sticks or artificial crab sticks) also go well in sushi rolls (with some lettuce or cucumber).

[ Parent ]
Only the fake stuff. (5.00 / 1) (#116)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:09:22 PM EST

Real wasabi root is far too expensive (>$80/lb, last time I checked) to waste by drowning it in soy sauce.

The fake powdered stuff that's served in almost every sushi bar in the US, and all over Japan, too, is another matter entirely— it doesn't contain any real wasabi at all (it's a combination of "chinese mustard," which is mostly horseradish, and some sort of bright green food coloring).

[ Parent ]

No extra wasabi in nice sushi bars in Tokyo (none / 0) (#181)
by gpvillamil on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:06:22 AM EST

I've been living in Tokyo for a year. I frequent many fine local sushi bars in Akasaka.

The nicer sushi bars use real wasabi root, and never provide a lump to mix with soy sauce. Some places, for some dishes, will provide you with a chunk of root and a sharkskin grater. However, some people (even Japanese) may ask for extra and mix with soy sauce, but generally for sashimi.

However, for convenience store or supermarket sushi, people do mix 'wasabi' with the soy sauce.

[ Parent ]

No. (5.00 / 2) (#75)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:52:45 AM EST

And more traditionally, it's not even served as sushi at all.

[ Parent ]
Dangerously Irresponsible Article (4.57 / 28) (#71)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:36:47 AM EST

For Christs sake, you can't just plow into sushi instruction without any mention of basic food safety, particularly with regard to the raw fish you're going to be dealing with.

I'm sorry, but the blasé "go to an asian market" suggestion is not just flippant, and a bit racist—there are plenty of asians who don't know the first thing about sushi, you see—it's also outright dangerous.

The first rule of selecting fish for sushi is Do not use fresh-water fish, including fresh wild-caught salmon, which may have gone through one or more breeding cycles.

The reason for this is that parasites that fish are exposed to in fresh water are compatible with the human system, whereas those found in salt water are generally not.

Select farmed salmon can be eaten fresh (it's raised entirely in salt water), as can wild-caught salmon that's been treated by deep-freeze -- but your home freezer is not cold enough for this. Whatever you do, do not make sushi out of the salmon that you or your friends have just brought back from a fishing trip.

Unagi, or fresh-water eel, is shipped frozen and sometimes thawed out at the market, but it is cooked and seasoned before it is packaged. It's a processed food product, as are several of the other common items you may be accustomed to thinking of as "fresh" at sushi bars.

If you want to eat fresh, wild-caught, fresh-water fish, it must be cooked. There are many methods of making salt-water fish safe (or safer) for consumption, but a web-site comment is certainly not the place to teach them. More on that in a moment. First:

I am, frankly, appalled that there is not even a brief mention in this article of proper cleaning of the food prep area. Working with raw flesh of any sort requires thorough cleaning, preferably with a dilute bleach solution, once the prep is done, and before any other ingredients touch the prep surface. Because sushi is served raw, you have to clean ten times as often. Watch a trained sushi chef in a restaurant carefully-- you'll see that he (yes, it's almost always he) cleans his knife, including the handle, after slicing every portion.

Yes, you can make sushi at home, and have a good time doing it, but for god's sake, don't blithely assume you're ready to do so after reading an uninformed article on the internet. If you want to get it right, and avoid those embarassing scenes where your guests double over later in the evening clutching at their stomachs, then please, take a class from a qualified instructor.

Your instructor will know a lot more about what products are available in your area, and which local sea life might be unsafe. If you're unsure, ask someone with experience. If you're still unsure, don't guess.

I've just scratched the surface of the safety issues here, touching only on the ones that have given me instant grey hair. There's a lot more to it, and the more adventurous your palatte gets, the more you'll need to know.

But don't take it from me. I just apprenticed to a sushi chef for two years. Go out there and ask an expert. Please. Before you hurt someone.

And this goes a thousand times over for you, mbreyno. Shame on you.

Sure, you could do all that... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by tkatchev on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:45:25 AM EST

...or, alternatively, deep-fry your fish and live happily ever after...

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

It astounds me. . . (3.00 / 1) (#77)
by IHCOYC on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:54:52 AM EST

. . . that the human race has managed to survive some three and a half million years without the benefits of this wisdom.
 --
The color is black, the material is leather, the seduction is beauty, the justification is honesty, the aim is ecstasy, the fantasy is death.[ Parent ]
Which came first, Mr. Dismissive? (5.00 / 1) (#80)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:58:40 AM EST

Fishing, or fire?

[ Parent ]
Fishing, but... (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by catseye on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:05:09 AM EST

...10,000 years ago, people were more adapted to living with parasites and disease or being able to fight them off. Our resistance is much lower now, because we're not exposed to them and antibiotics are prevalent.

There's a lot of evidence to suggest that early humans were scavengers, and they were probably quite happy eating leftover kills raw. If you or I ate rotting, raw meat, we'd probably be in the hospital.

Not to mention, that many fresh-water rivers, lakes and streams are now polluted with all sorts of industrial chemicals that you're better off not ingesting.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

Evidence, please. (1.00 / 1) (#135)
by tkatchev on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:22:18 PM EST

AFIK, people always cooked food.

Eating things raw is a product of our modern, decadent post-modernist societies.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 0) (#152)
by adequate nathan on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:17:28 PM EST

Eating things raw is a product of our modern, decadent post-modernist societies.

The Esquimaux are post-modernist and decadent?

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Very much so. (none / 0) (#183)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:17:34 AM EST

Or are you claiming that living in permafrost surrounded by permament ten-foot-deep snowpiles without even a hint of vegetation is a natural human environment?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

call me crazy (none / 0) (#194)
by adequate nathan on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:39:13 AM EST

The pre-Dorsets (precursors of the Inuit) migrated across northern Canada about 4000 years ago. Can you really call them post-modern?

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Yes. In full seriousness. (none / 0) (#206)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:50:19 AM EST

There is this failed 19th century notion that "native" necessarily means "primitive".

Personally, I don't agree with people who claim that.

While it is true that some native tribes are primitive, it is also true that others are not. They are simply unfamiliar to the average European.

P.S. When did the direct ancestors of the modern-day farmers of France first settle their land? You see, "age" says nothing about being "advanced", whatever that means.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

well, the pre-Ds are precursors to Abraham (none / 0) (#208)
by adequate nathan on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:08:37 PM EST

The Inuit themselves didn't come to northern Canada until around 1100 AD. I am in no way calling the Inuit primitive.

On the other hand, the pre-Dorset people had a lifestyle similar to that of the Inuit, including a reliance upon raw meat. They emigrated to northern Canada around the time that the Old Kingdom of Egypt began to give way to the 7th and 8th dynasties.

Can you define post-modernism a bit so that I can evaluate the argument better?

Nathan
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Post-modernism. (none / 0) (#214)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:22:18 PM EST

Post-modernism is when simply living your life is not good enough anymore, and you want that little bit of perversion to help you pass the time.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

oh no (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by sophacles on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:52:30 AM EST

I ate a raw apple with lunch today! And my sandwich had lettuce and tomato on it. Both raw!

I've become a modernist, socially-decadent modern poster.

[ Parent ]

Come on. (none / 0) (#182)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:16:29 AM EST

Don't act like an idiot, you know perfectly well what I'm talking about.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

I know (none / 0) (#196)
by sophacles on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:07:36 AM EST

I just wanted to have a reason to write that last sentance.

[ Parent ]
Good points... (5.00 / 6) (#78)
by mbreyno on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:55:12 AM EST

...but I feel that you are overreacting. I have had numerous homemade sushi dinners prepared by my friends (yes, Asians) and it has always been great. If you notice, I said "Just walk in and ask for some good fish for making sushi." In my experience, Asian markets are more likely to have good fish for sushi than your local supermarket so it was not meant to be racist... simply a fact. Many of my Asian friends make sushi at home all the time by getting their fish at the Asian market and following these exact steps. Notice how I specifically said to ask for fish that is specifically for making sushi. Sure, you can get bad fish just as easily as you can get a bad cut of any other meat or get sick from a bag of White Castles. In general, however, if you ask and are specific about it... you will get good fish.

As for cleanliness, yes... you do need to have a clean work area and clean your knives and such, but I (perhaps wrongly) assumed that this goes without saying. Perhaps I should have made mention of it.

In any case, yes... you are right about the attention to cleanliness that is required but in my opinion, saying that this a "Dangerously Irresponsible Article" seems a little excessive.

SpinWeb: Intelligent Internet Software
ZenBox: Open Source Alternative Health

[ Parent ]

Asian Market (5.00 / 5) (#83)
by sllort on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:08:02 AM EST

I bought a "how to make sushi" book from Amazon a few years back and did exactly the same thing, went to an Asian supermarket (specifically, Korean Korner on the corner of connecticutt and viers mill, D.C. outerbelt) and asked them for sushi-grade salmon. Which is an entirely separate product. It's more expensive, it's more carefully washed, it's always from saltwater, and it's separately marked and labelled. They knew exactly what I needed.

So, I don't want to wade into the flamewar you two are having, but that was my experience.

I quit making sushi because the rice was such a two-hour pain in the ass with all the rice-fanning for polish and such. I'm thinking of trying your (admittedly less complicated) method.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 0) (#84)
by mbreyno on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:11:53 AM EST

Thanks for sharing your experience. I certainly don't see this as a flame war and I hope it does not become one ;-) I welcome RobotSlave's comments and he has some good points, even if I don't completely agree.

SpinWeb: Intelligent Internet Software
ZenBox: Open Source Alternative Health

[ Parent ]
What's the point? (none / 0) (#199)
by smithmc on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:23:20 AM EST

..that people will go to get bad tasting sickness inducing food are fascinating. Who's up for raw hamburger, or how about sausage? Trichonosis anyone?

So it's basically a complicated procedure to barf right?

Which almost anyone who really studies a few cook books could have figured out on their own.

Hey want to know about a revolutionary idea? A new food called pancakes! I bet no one has ever heard of that before!

What's the point of all this stupid trolling? OK, you don't like sushi. We get it. Go away now, 'kay?

[ Parent ]

Do NOT use fresh fish for home sushis ! (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by Ptyx on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:21:43 AM EST

A large number of fishes host parasites (anisakis) which ARE dangerous (but are hopefully destroyed by freezing):

"If you eat active larval stages of this particular roundworm the larva, finding itself in a non marine environment starts burrowing into your stomach or intestinal wall. This creates lesions on the stomach wall and somebody has to go inside and pull the little critters out. This used to done with major surgery but can now be done with fiber optics. Oh goody!"
(http://www.bigfishtackle.com/Articles/georges_fish_tales_parasites.htm)

Sushi chefs using fresh fish are (should be ?) trained to detect and remove these parasites before serving.

If you want to make sushis at home, use frozen fish.


-- "On voudrais parfois tre cannibale, moins pour le plaisir de dvorer tel ou tel que pour celui de le vomir... " Cioran
[ Parent ]
For what it's worth... (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by DDS3 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:26:09 PM EST

I've seen coments by the CDC and health departments on TV and from a resturant I used to work at (many moons ago -- second job), talking about the importance of freezing fish.  Specifically noted was that non-commercial grade freezers DO NOT GET COLD ENOUGH to rid fish of all parasites.

This advice should be taken to heart.  If you're not sure what you're doing, make sure the fish has been frozen in a commercial grade freezer before you dare think about eating it raw.  Period!

Anyone that says you can use fresh-raw or self-caught fish for sushi is very poorly informed at best and is BEGGING to cause someone to get seriously ill.  Even if the odds are 1 in 100,000, and you are serving other people, you're still gambling with other people's health.  Don't do it!


[ Parent ]

My apologies (5.00 / 3) (#88)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:23:35 AM EST

...if it seemed like an overreaction. But you can't just assume that people will know how to handle raw food safely, and you have to take the possiblity of communication difficulty into account when you send a novice off to an "Asian Market." You also can't assume that the "Asian Market" you frequent will be anything like the one closest to your reader.

If the worst that could happen as a result of the omissions in this article was a temporarily unbootable server or a funny-looking haircut, I wouldn't be upset. But food poisoning can be quite serious, and it deserves serious attention.

Dismissing the danger as the sort of thing one might just as easily get from "a bag of White Castles" does not reassure me. White Castle, believe it or not, goes to extensive lengths to make sure that their food is prepared safely. If cases of food poisoning happen regardless of those safeguards, how on earth does it follow that you don't need to provide any safety advice whatsoever when telling people how to eat fish raw at home?

No, on careful reflection, I do not think the word "irresponsible" was too strong. I understand you didn't mean to do anything wrong, but you're clearly a newcomer to your subject. You should have at least asked your favorite sushi chef for a few handling tips, or done a bit of internet searching on the subject of safety.

Pretending there is no real hazard here is not acceptable.

[ Parent ]

Not pretending (none / 0) (#100)
by mbreyno on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:06:59 AM EST

Thanks for the feedback. Perhaps I was not clear but I am certainly not pretending that there is no real danger. I would consider it a risk every time I prepare meat, whether it's beef, chicken, or raw fish. I just tend to think that if you are careful and clean you will for the most part be ok. I did talk to my friend about the dangers of sushi and she said that in Korea they occassionally take "parasite pills" once a year or so to make sure that there are no parasites in their bodies from fish or other meats. She said it was a very casual thing and hardly anyone really has problems and if they do the parasite pill takes care of it.

I have based my information on the experiences of people who have made a lot of sushi. I tend to think this is a good source. Yes, real sushi chefs are trained to do it well and I respect their art a great deal. However, from what I can tell... making decent sushi is not rocket science and is not a huge health risk.

In any case, thanks for the feedback and for bringing up these health concerns. Hopefully it will help by encouraging people to be clean and careful.

SpinWeb: Intelligent Internet Software
ZenBox: Open Source Alternative Health

[ Parent ]

Get a grip! (3.93 / 15) (#85)
by Alannon on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:13:21 AM EST

Good lord!  Get a grip on yourself.

Suggesting to go to an Asian supermarket to get sushi ingredients is racist?  Is it racist to suggest to go to an Italian grocer to get high-quality pasta?  Asian supermarkets generally have a better selection of stuff I use to make sushi.

As far as food safety, a little common-sense goes a long way.  If you can handle poultry in the kitchen without killing yourself, you can handle fish, even raw.

A well-trained sushi chef cleans his knife after almost every cut NOT for sanitary reasons.  You get a better cut when your blade is clean.  Rice is especially bad and sticks to any blade.

You do not need a deep freezer to sanitize fish from parasites.  48 hours or so in a regular freezer will make it safe.  Nearly any type of fish, fresh, salt-water, farmed or fresh-caught is safe to eat so long as you freeze it.  There are a few exceptions.  He mentions tuna, salmon and bbq eel in his article.  He mentions to go to a place that specializes in sushi fish if you don't know what to get.

Okay, you were an apprentice sushi-chef for 2 years, if you say so.  I've been making it regularly for about 8 years now, including banquets for 80 people. I have never had a single incident of even a queasy tummy from any of my guests.  Why?  I get my fish from a reputable seafood market.  I keep my fish cold until it's ready to serve.  I use basic food-safety rules that anybody cooking anything as dangerous as an omlette needs to know.  I've never taken a course.  I've never apprenticed to a chef (though I'm friends with a few).

Most satisfying endeavors have some risks involved with them.  As long as you're not a dumb-ass, you'll get by just fine.  I encourage EVERBODY who enjoys sushi to try making it themselves.  This is a fine article.

P.S.
Phrases like 'shame on you' and 'I am, frankly, appalled' just make you sound like a pompous jackass rather than well-educated in the subject.

[ Parent ]

I don't understand. (4.20 / 5) (#95)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:49:37 AM EST

I said I was appalled because I was appalled. how does that make me "pompous?"

I'm glad to hear you haven't hurt anyone with your sushi. Are you suggesting I shouldn't write things that might prevent other people from causing harm via poorly chosen or carelessly handled fish? Is that out of line?

Are you saying that everyone is born with an innate "common sense" knowledge of safe food preparation? Or that only people with "common sense" would attempt to make sushi?

On the off chance that someone without your own evident and prodigious "common sense" might attempt to make sushi, would it not be a good idea to spell out what, exactly, that "common sense" ought to dictate in the matter?

Or would you rather these little "safety concern" thingies I've brought up be kept from the novice?

Oh, also. I suppose a sushi chef might clean his knife just to keep it nice and sharp, for all I know. I never got to the level where they teach you how to sharpen knives using only towels and water (I had to use a stone instead). I can tell you for certain, however, that when the master screams at his apprentice for failing to clean the knife, sanitation is the only reason for the fury, and the full substance of the tirade.

There is a difference between wetting a knife, you see, which is done immediately before a cut, and cleaning it, which is done after every portion, not every cut.

[ Parent ]

-1, pompous jackass. (3.00 / 2) (#97)
by it certainly is on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:53:09 AM EST

I said I was appalled because I was appalled. how does that make me "pompous?"

Because you do this every fucking time, Ed. You take a little knowledge, pretend you're the world's greatest in whatever it is and belittle whoever you're replying to.

You love rubbing people up the wrong way. Admit it.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

web site (none / 0) (#105)
by adequate nathan on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:16:02 AM EST

neato
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

dangit (none / 0) (#106)
by adequate nathan on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:16:25 AM EST

Link went dead now
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
[ Parent ]

Looks fun! (none / 0) (#124)
by it certainly is on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:01:36 PM EST

One of the reviews says "surprisingly well-executed". Is that good or bad?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

OK. I admit it. (3.66 / 3) (#109)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:20:35 AM EST

Now tell us, Stu, how does that make it OK to prepare sushi at home without even considering food safety?

I know damned well I'm not the world's foremost expert on sushi (hell, a classicly trained sushi chef is just barely past cooking rice after his first two years) but I'm just as certain that I know a hell of a lot more about it than the author of this article.

And that's your failing, Stu. You absolutely can't stand it when somone's just a touch sharper than you or your pals, or a wee bit better informed, and you'll do anything and everything to cut them down, and damn the consequences for all and sundry.

It's a pretty bad case of that infamous "tall poppy syndrome" that plagues the Scots, isn't it?

[ Parent ]

But Sir Lancelot was silent. (3.00 / 2) (#123)
by it certainly is on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:57:24 PM EST

I'm just as certain that I know a hell of a lot more about it than the author of this article.

So where was that article of yours on making sushi, then? You know, the one you wrote because you're so much better at making sushi than this guy? You care so much more for the people, who are obviously all morons and would hurt themselves with the knife if you forgot to write "remember kids, the edge of the knife is sharp".

It's a shame you didn't spend two years as a salesman's apprentice, because you might have learned how to avoid looking like an arrogant prick whenever you say anything. People aren't easily persuaded by arrogant pricks.

that infamous "tall poppy syndrome"

I looked this phrase up. You really do think too highly of yourself. Here's another phrase for you: "cherry picking". How terrible it would be for you to be wrong when you're doing your whole "condescending little shit" act! It's a shame reality doesn't work like that... or perhaps you have the nickname "Silent Eddy"?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Ho, hum. (3.00 / 2) (#160)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:00:42 PM EST

As I explained at the outset, I think people who want to learn how to make sushi at home should do so by taking a class, and not by reading internet how-to articles. Thus, I don't write them.

But you've ignored that in your blind fury, of course.

The fact that you didn't know the name for your problem doesn't mean you don't suffer from it, Stu. Quite the contrary, I'd say.

I know how much you want me to be wrong. I know how happy it would make you to find that I'm bluffing here, cribbing it all from some web page just to get a rise out of nerds who fixate on all things Japanese.

The thing is, Stu, I do know exactly what I'm talking about, and I know it from first-hand experience.

Not that I expect you to know when to apologize, mind, let alone how to do it gracefully. You're far more likely to keep coming after me, because you've developed a personal vendetta to the point where you'll spew bile at every comment I make, no matter what the issue at hand might be.

Go on, find some petty, hateful little complaint, or some tangential point to set upon. Gather up a whole bouquet of them, even. I'll let you have the last word here— go ahead and give it everything you've got in your reply.

Just try not to let it bother you the next time you hear about a case of food poisoning from bad fish. The point shouldn't be too hard to ignore, for one as callous and worldly as yourself.

[ Parent ]

Eight paragraphs! I'm not worthy! (none / 0) (#164)
by it certainly is on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:05:03 PM EST

The thing is, Stu, I do know exactly what I'm talking about, and I know it from first-hand experience.

Look, Ed, I believe you. Just stop being a dick about it.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

your master needs a new master, like Alannon[nt] (none / 0) (#139)
by relief on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:32:24 PM EST



----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]
not to nitpick but.... (5.00 / 2) (#98)
by shrubbery on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:54:43 AM EST

"Suggesting to go to an Asian supermarket to get sushi ingredients is racist? Is it racist to suggest to go to an Italian grocer to get high-quality pasta?"

That's like saying:

"Suggesting to go to a Caucasian supermarket to get bread ingredients is racist? Is it racist to suggest to go to an Chinese grocer to get high-quality rice?"

Sushi is japanese. Being of Chinese descent, my parents and most of my elders have never tried sushi. Actually, they have an aversion to anything raw at all.

Secondly, Far East Asia has *great* fresh pasta :) I'd say there's even more variety of pastas than the Italians with rice, egg, or flour as base ingredients and many, many different textures and shapes. Then again, I'm much more exposed to authentic Chinese, Vietnamese restaurants than authentic Italian restaurants so I could be wrong.

[ Parent ]

Settle down Beavis. (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by Vellmont on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:23:57 PM EST

Yes, Sushi is Japanese, I think most of us know this.  I've made sushi before (though only with vegetables, not raw fish) and the local Asian markets have the seaweed, rolling mats, wasabi, etc.  The ones I've been to aren't run by people of Japanese decent, but they all carry a wide variety of imported foods from all over asia.  The author said asian market, not chinese market.  Japan is part of asia.

Why is it racist to merely reflect reality?  The article didn't say all asian people eat sushi, it merely said that an asian market would be a better place to get sushi quality fish.  I'm sure all asian markets don't carry sushi quality fish, but you're much more likely to find it their than your local chain supermarket.  Furthermore I'd expect people at the market to be more familiar with where you might get sushi quality fish, if only because shops like that tend to be part of a larger community.  (The asian markets around here are all in the same area, so finding another one is as easy as crossing the street).

Yeesh..  I'm so tired of people that are part of the knee-jerk "racism patrol".  It seems like people are racist until proven innocent these days.

[ Parent ]

as I said... (none / 0) (#226)
by shrubbery on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:12:01 PM EST

I'm not calling it racist. But I am nitpicking the fact that there is a difference between a race (caucasian, mongoloid, negroid) and a nationalty (italian, japanese, english). Comparing italian to asian is like comparing japanese to caucasian.

[ Parent ]
Why most sushi chefs are male (4.00 / 3) (#127)
by piggy on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:40:15 PM EST

yes, it's almost always he
Interestingly enough, the chef in the sushi course my wife and I took said that the reason why there are fewer female sushi chefs than male sushi chefs is that women's hands are typically warmer, and the more you handle fish with warm hands, the more "cooked" it gets. The philosophy is to touch the fish as little as possible.

On the other hand, given how cold my wife's hands are, I'm not sure I totally buy it as a reason.

[ Parent ]

Myth (5.00 / 1) (#162)
by RobotSlave on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:42:54 PM EST

Yes, they do say women's hands are too warm to make sushi. It's bunk, of course, offered in support of a system that still hasn't been touched by notions like "equal pay for equal work."

Women's rights still haven't made much headway in Japan, and some regressive ideas have unfortunately been imported along with the culinary technique.

Things are changing in the US, where the growth of Sushi has outstripped the available supply of Japanese men willing to learn the trade.

Non-japanese asian men have been working as sushi chefs in this country for a while now, and we're starting to see more latinos. It's even possible these days, though not common, to find a white guy or a woman working behind a sushi bar in the US.

[ Parent ]

sup (1.00 / 4) (#138)
by relief on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:26:54 PM EST

hey guys, calm down? most asian markets have packaged raw fish that is either use for eating directly or making sushi. as for cooks washing their knife everytime they cut, this is utter bs. even if they did it wouldn't make sense to.

----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]
also important for all raw meats (none / 0) (#155)
by blisspix on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:50:15 PM EST

I recently had beef tartare without knowing what it was. Hours later, I was unbelievably sick. I would not have eaten it had I known it was raw because there is such a tricky art to this kind of food preparation.

I avoid sushi at take-away places in the city because they've been sitting in not-so-cold fridges all day long and who knows how they were prepared. If I'm going to eat sushi, I'm going to go to a restaurant and get it fresh.

[ Parent ]

-100000000 (1.24 / 25) (#72)
by tkatchev on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:42:44 AM EST

Japan sucks.

(OK, that was a troll, sorry...)

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

Oh wow. (1.00 / 3) (#132)
by tkatchev on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:11:14 PM EST

I never thought there were so many Japanese patriots on this web-board...

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Who said anything about patriots? (none / 0) (#171)
by batkiwi on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:15:33 AM EST

I'd just rather not read random crap like that, and would like to discourage it.

If you're going to troll, do so wittily, or don't bother :P

(of course I'm not helping with this post, but you DID ask...)

[ Parent ]

Discussion (3.00 / 2) (#204)
by Mitheral on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:47:33 AM EST

I'll think you'll find if you post a top level (or even below) comment on any topic here that doesn't even remotely advance the discussion you'll get ones for your effort. I'm a little surprised that juahonen gave you a two. He must be in a good mood.

[ Parent ]
Thanks for the advice, chump. (2.60 / 5) (#217)
by tkatchev on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:53:51 PM EST

Any more mind-blowing advice on life that you would like to impart on me?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Fugu (1.66 / 3) (#101)
by mumble on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:08:35 AM EST

Fugu me! I want fugu. I want fugu. Fugu me now!!Anyone here watch the Simpson's perhaps?

BTW a couple of other interesting things seen at my local Japanese restuarant: raw beef, cooked octopuss tentacles. Raw beef is suprisingly tasty. And I expected octopuss to be chewy, but it was suprisingly normal tasting.

Too much green tea and saki. I don't remember anything else about Japanese restaurants.

-----
stats for a better tomorrow
bitcoin: 1GsfkeggHSqbcVGS3GSJnwaCu6FYwF73fR
"They must know I'm here. The half and half jug is missing" - MDC.
"I've grown weary of googling the solutions to my many problems" - MDC.

Not so surprising... (none / 0) (#190)
by gordonjcp on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 07:28:07 AM EST

Raw beef is suprisingly tasty.
What, maybe a bit like a rare steak?

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
mmmmmm... sushi.... (3.00 / 1) (#113)
by SaintPort on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:47:30 AM EST

...maybe a 1/4 teaspoon of wasabi in 2 tablespoons of shoyu (soy sauce) for dipping and a little sliced ginger on the side....mmmmmmm...

Did not see the term nigiri (oval sushi) mentioned.

here's another link...
http://japanesefood.about.com/library/weekly/aa092900a.htm


--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

Parasites... (none / 0) (#114)
by Skywise on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:53:33 AM EST

Stick to treated fish

For instance, Smoked Salmon, Krab (the fake/cheap crab), Shrimp (not sweet shrimp), and the cooked Eel (Unagi) and are all pre-treated in some way and should kill off the parasites.
The Salmon is smoked, the Krab is processed blue fish, the Shrimp is broiled ala cocktail style (Usually, Sweet Shrimp is definitely not), and the cooked Eel is...coooked.

Parasites are not a threat (1.00 / 1) (#213)
by benzapp on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:09:56 PM EST

Parasites are no less dangerous than any other organism that calls your body home. Non-human cells outnumber human cells in your own body! The health benefits of raw food are far more important than any trivial risk of parasites. Here is a good essay on the subject.

Cooked food, and cooked meat specifically is dangerous and contains many harmful substances for which your body has not evolved any defences. Your body has had millions of years to adapt a whole range of defenses against invading organisms, but new chemical which result from cooking food are completely foreign to your body.

One example is cholesterol. Cholesterol is the dominant substances next to water in your brain. There is 20 times as much cholesterol as protein in human breast milk. Yet, some cholesterol is bad. The LDL cholesterol, or low density lipoprotein. They are low density because they have been oxidized by heat.

By and large, cooked food is the reason for many health problems today, read the link above for more info. Also, I have been eating raw fish nearly ever day for over two years, and I never have so much had diahrrea let alone a parasite. I am also in better health than I have ever been before.



[ Parent ]
I think it tastes good. *shrug* (5.00 / 2) (#117)
by overcode on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:10:20 PM EST

I really enjoy the taste of certain sushi. Of course it varies wildly depending on the type of fish and the style of preparation, but it's not just an attempt to look trendy.

As for the bread article, I never knew it was that easy, and proceeded to bake a loaf of bread that night. It was very tasty.

These articles are great. Bring 'em on.

-John


word (none / 0) (#178)
by SmilingJack on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:54:28 AM EST

You got it! I am one of the (hopefully many) members here who doesn't know everything and hasn't formed an unassailable opinion on every subject the government has approved for conversation. (a side note: I am surprised by the fact that some k5 hangers-out are still able to sqeeze their tube of dogma into - of all things - an article on sushi made simple. Will I ever learn?)
-- <CENSORED>
[ Parent ]
IHBT, but... (5.00 / 3) (#120)
by fencepost on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:55:37 PM EST

Sushi is more or less raw fish which is a nontrivially unsafe thing. Getting internal parasites and various bacteria aren't my idea of a good meal. and [people (Asian-descended or not) in the US lack the intestinal flora to deal with raw fish]

This is why you get sushi-grade fish, and also the reason why the fish and seafood used in sushi is all either saltwater or cooked. I'm sure there are people who can give you more details, but the impression I've gotten is that freshwater fish is much more likely to have dangerous parasites and/or microbes.

Anyone with a normal immune system should have no problems with properly-prepared sushi, but people with compromised immune systems are generally advised not to eat raw meats or undercooked (runny) eggs.

The intestinal flora bit is way too obviously a troll.

The horrific taste.

I'm sure there are things you eat that I'd find equally distasteful.

--
There's a constellation of traits that make up (no pun intended) the defective girl. --

Compromised immune systems... (1.00 / 1) (#211)
by benzapp on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:01:35 PM EST

Anyone with a normal immune system should have no problems with properly-prepared sushi, but people with compromised immune systems are generally advised not to eat raw meats or undercooked (runny) eggs.

Most people have a compromised immune system because they do NOT eat raw animal food. Eat animal food exposes you to a wide variety of pathogens and allows your body to produce necessary anitbodies. Eating raw animal food works in the same way as a vaccine.



[ Parent ]
Trick for mixing wasabi and soy sauce: (4.66 / 3) (#121)
by jforan on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:27:44 PM EST

Realize that the wasabi dissolves the soy, not the other way around.

Consequently, it is difficult to smooth out the mixture when you first add a whole bunch of soy sauce, and then add the wasabi, as the wasabi is pasty and will not separate naturally in the soy sauce.

Instead, first mix the amount of wasabi you want to use with a few drops of soy sauce.  Then add a little more soy sauce and mix.  By the third time, you should have more of a liquid mixture than a paste, and can add soy sauce as necessary to your personal taste.

Jeff

I hops to be barley workin'.

I start with water... (none / 0) (#144)
by Elkor on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:35:07 PM EST

I add a straw full of water from my drink to my dish on top of the Wasabi. Stir this around until it is dissolved, and then add Soy Sauce.

Soy Sauce itself has too strong a flavor for my liking, and the water cuts it back nicely.

It also makes it easier to see when the Wasabi has dissolved.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Question about wasabi. (none / 0) (#260)
by bashibazouk on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 06:22:14 PM EST

Anyone know if you can get real wasabi in the states? Or does it never leave Japan?

The stuff at restaurants and markets called wasabi is really mustard and horseradish. I hear the real stuff has a more subtle flavor but is very hard to farm.

[ Parent ]

real wasabi (none / 0) (#263)
by pmacko on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 10:12:45 PM EST

freshwasabi.com

[ Parent ]
Rice cooker?!?!? (4.50 / 2) (#126)
by djkitsch on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:30:20 PM EST

What's wrong with a saucepan?

1) Take water to boiling point in pan
2) Add about half the amount of rice to water
3) Simmer until done!

That's it! No burning, no messy insides of "rice cookers" to clean, just plain old pan. Easy.

-------------------------
sig:- (wit >= sarcasm)
different thing entirely (4.00 / 1) (#130)
by faecal on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:07:16 PM EST

Take some rice from a rice cooker, and some rice that was boiled. Compare and contrast. Which you prefer is, of course, a matter of opinion. However, the two methods are undeniably different in the product they produce.

[ Parent ]
Close. (4.00 / 1) (#185)
by bashibazouk on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 04:09:25 AM EST

Your right, good rice can be made in a saucepan.

Use Japanese or Californian short grain rice. The amount of water to rice varies depending on where the rice was grown and how old it was. Usually 1 part rice to 1.25 parts water, this will decrease down to a 1 to 1 ratio for 6-8 month old rice (the rice absorbs water during storage). With sushi rice you want to clean the rice (unless it's a modern process brand which may not need it.) Once washed, the rice needs to sit in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and put the proper ratio of fresh cold water add a piece of konbu (dried kelp). Put on the stove and once the water is just before boiling, turn down to simmer, cover and don't touch for 20 minutes. Never lift the lid while cooking. Some say cook 10 minutes and let sit undisturbed 10 minutes.

Scoop and fluff the rice. Let cool about 10 minutes. Then add the dressing (rice wine vinegar and sugar) to the center of the rice. Move the rice with a flat spoon while fanning. Sounds strange but fanning gives a really nice shinny pearl look to the individual grains.

Rice is ready to go.

[ Parent ]

In Hong Kong we use microwaves (none / 0) (#205)
by ivory on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:49:03 AM EST

In Hong Kong when we don't want to use a rice cooker we just use the microwave.

1. Rinse raw rice in water until the water runs clear.

2. Cover the rice in a flat bottomed bowl with enough fresh water so that it is about a third to a half more than the volume of rice.

4. Cover with Glad wrap.

5. Cook on high (750W) for 8-10 minutes or until the water is foaming up and threatening to escape the bowl.

6. Continue on medium for the same length of time.

7. To cool the rice for sushi place the bowl in a sink full of water - leave it to stand until cold - about 5 minutes.

Now the cool thing is that once you mastered the proportions of rice to water you can make whole (non-sushi) meals the same way.

Wash the rice and mix the right portion of water to the rice. Then add chopped onion, veges, salami, crab sticks, a drop of olive oil, spices herbs, soy and chilli sauce to the mixture - cook the same way - 10-12 minutes on high - then 10-12 minutes on medium. Perfectly cooked rice without frying.

This is not as non-Asian as it may seem - steamed glutinous rice cakes (I had them for dinner) are not so very different.... well sort of....

[ Parent ]
Better results in a saucepan (none / 0) (#222)
by x3nophil3 on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:34:33 PM EST

High gluten rice used for sushi and risotto and things needs to be cooked slowly or you'll end with something that's very mushy and starchy.

Make sure to get talc free rice for sushi. The rice is coated with a fine powder to prevent clumping, often this is edible, but some brands use more traditional talc, which tastes pretty nasty. If you have rice coated with talc, or aren't sure, you need to rinse the rice a few times before cooking.

These directions yield pretty darn perfect rice for me:

  1. boil right quantity of water.
  2. when it boils turn heat down to very low, add rice, cover. Weight down the top of the lid with a heavy measuring cup or some other object that won't fall off.
  3. Wait ten minutes without removing the lid. The idea is you want pressure to build up so the rice steams and gets tender in the middle with a sticky outside.
  4. Take off the lid, and fluff with a fork. Replace lid and weight, and turn off the heat.
  5. Wait another ten minutes or so. Try the rice, it should be perfect. If it's still a little under-cooked (rice varies), add a few tablespoons of water, and cook on low heat, covered, for a few more minutes.


[ Parent ]
The filipino way... (none / 0) (#242)
by lpret on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 12:47:59 AM EST

when doing rice is to put however much rice you want in there, then put your pinky in the ricepot until you just touch the rice. Then fill the water until it reaches the first knuckle of your pinky. Throw in a pinch of salt and then let it cook away! Traditional filipino way to cook rice is to let the rice burn, the middle will be more dry than most foreigners expect, and the burned rice can be rolled up with some dilis (small smoked fish) in it, and you've got a great treat for kids! But I digress...


A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. - Greek proverb
[ Parent ]

For the record... (4.33 / 3) (#128)
by laudre on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:48:57 PM EST

Sushi is not about raw fish. It's simply one of the many, many ingredients that can be added to what is the definitive ingredient, the rice, and the way it's prepared.

Go to an East Asian country sometime, such as Japan (obviously) or (as I did) Singapore. You'll be able to find individually wrapped sushi in the supermarket, and in a heck of a lot more varieties than various raw fish -- as a vegetarian, I was able to choose from a wide variety, such as inari (sweet bean curd), tamago (egg), potato salad, and a number of others.

The utter lack of variety in sushi available Stateside continuallly astounds and frustrates me. But then, that's what happens when people eat sushi at first just for shock value (and thus promptly go for things like fugu), and not because it actually is a pretty good food.


"All tribal stories are true, for a given value of 'true.'" -- Terry Pratchett
Ethnic foods (none / 0) (#198)
by Mitheral on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:21:29 AM EST

The utter lack of variety in sushi available Stateside

Commercialized ethnic foods are always like that. I'd probably pay $7-10 /lb for even half way decent frozen perogies. The stores sell stuff that even Ukrainian dogs wouldn't eat. So I have to trek 700km to my mom's place and fill my coolers for the trip back instead. Even decent English food can't be had. I'd love to find a place that had a decent beef steak and kidney pie.

[ Parent ]

Perogi... (none / 0) (#229)
by gatekeep on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 04:02:55 PM EST

What city are you in? There's some incredible places in Chicago to get Perogi. But then again, we have the largest Polish population of any city in the world, next to Warsaw.. and that includes other cities in Poland.

[ Parent ]
Good perogies in Chicago? (none / 0) (#264)
by DoomHaven on Tue Apr 08, 2003 at 10:53:47 PM EST

Would you be so kind as to recommend specific places in Chicago to acquire perogies? I would love to be able to buy some.
My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
[ Parent ]
"stateside"? (none / 0) (#212)
by jbuck on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:08:29 PM EST

Oh, please. You're acting like the entire US is the same place. In San Francisco you can get world-class sushi with all the ingredients you describe. In Omaha it's harder.

[ Parent ]

Oh come on!!!1 (4.00 / 2) (#133)
by tkatchev on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:14:20 PM EST

Sushi is Japanese. You know, like Anime and Dragonball Z? How could you possibly not love Japanese food?!

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

yay DBZ!!!! (n/t) (none / 0) (#266)
by Liet on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 10:58:22 PM EST



[ Parent ]
You've missed the point entirely (4.25 / 8) (#137)
by sllort on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:26:14 PM EST

3. The horrific taste.

Well no kidding, duh! You have to remember that sushi is Japanese. You know, the culture that invented rope bondage and bukkake? Eating sushi is all about what you can bear. Ever seen Fear Factor? It's something like that. Intensely unsafe, possibly poisonous, disgusting, and to top it off we put massive amounts of ear-blowing horseradish (wusabi) on it. And you have to eat it with little sharpened pointy torture-sticks.

Basically, it's a meal during which the alpha males assert themselves, much like the American power handshake. The person with the most wasabi and the grossest fish is the alpha male at the end of the meal, and predicates the business to be conducted thenceforth.

Personally I like to eat the whole ball of wasabi raw right off the bat, followed by squid sashimi. After that, nobody fucks with me.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.

re: You've missed the point entirely (none / 0) (#268)
by iterative on Tue Apr 15, 2003 at 08:06:15 PM EST

Yes. Now, how about some nice natto maki? Who's the alpha male now?

[ Parent ]
no (5.00 / 2) (#143)
by Suppafly on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:33:45 PM EST

1. Sushi is more or less raw fish which is a nontrivially unsafe thing. Getting internal parasites and various bacteria aren't my idea of a good meal. Thats just a common, ignorant assumption. There is nothing that says sushi is more or less raw fish. Sushi is a rice dish that can be made with any number of ingrediants. The raw fish variety isn't even the most common.
---
Playstation Sucks.
Rice and Cucumber.... (3.50 / 2) (#145)
by Elkor on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:36:11 PM EST

Personally, I mix some Sugar (3tbs) and salt (1 tsp) per 1/3 cup vinegar to give it some sweetness.

Also, cucumber (either by itself or added to other rolls) is tasty and simple:
*) Peel cucumber
*) Cut cucumber in half.
*) Use spoon to scoop out seeds
*) Cut into thin strips
*) lay strips on rice, either alone or with other ingredients.

I like cucumber rolls well chilled, so will put them in the freezer for a little while (3-5 mins).

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
This works for regular rice vinegar (none / 0) (#233)
by epepke on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 05:26:41 PM EST

Rice vinegar for sushi already has the sugar and salt in it.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
japanese cucumbers work best (none / 0) (#240)
by willi on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 12:34:49 AM EST

japanese cucumbers are a little different if I recall...I know the eggplants are

[ Parent ]
Parasites (none / 0) (#148)
by bored on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:59:33 PM EST

2. Assuming that the parasites don't get you

Ignoring the troll, this article left out an important fact dealing with this problem. Most Sushi is in fact frozen, its quick frozen to kill the parasites. Making Sushi from the fish you just caught on your deap sea fishing trip is a good way to get sick. Not that its particularly dangerous. I saw an article about this a few years ago where they said that the worst parasite you could get from Sushi will only give you extreemly painful stomach cramps and the shits lasting something like a week.



The worst is pretty bad (none / 0) (#151)
by squigly on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:46:19 PM EST

The worst parasite you could get from Sushi will only give you extreemly painful stomach cramps and the shits lasting something like a week.

You'd be surprised just how long a week can be.  

But making sure that you have suitably healthy fish is probably a good idea no matter how small the risk and mild the harm it can do.  

[ Parent ]

I call "bollocks" (none / 0) (#193)
by gordonjcp on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 09:13:47 AM EST

I've been eating sushi and sashimi made from freshly-caught fish (also allowing a certain amount of "hanging time") for years. I have never, and no-one else who has eaten it, have ever become ill from it.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
FDA says.. (none / 0) (#202)
by bored on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:31:40 AM EST

First link on google for "sushi frozen parasites" returns Raw fish for sushi



[ Parent ]
Gari (5.00 / 3) (#156)
by epepke on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:21:05 PM EST

You missed one important ingredient of a sushi feast: the gari, or pickled ginger. This is used to clean the palate between bites of sushi. You can buy prepared gari. However, if such is unavailable, you can make acceptable gari. Take a finger of fresh ginger and peel it. Slice it using a potato peeler or a vegetable slicer across the grain. It's hard to get it thin enough with a knife. Put it in sushi vinegar in the refrigerator and forget about it for a week or so.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


one more... (5.00 / 1) (#186)
by bashibazouk on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 04:11:48 AM EST

What would a sushi feast be without lots of sake?

[ Parent ]
You can argue about the taste... (none / 0) (#158)
by MKalus on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:31:28 PM EST

... but you won't get a solution.

I personally love Sushi ever since I had it more than 10 years ago.

Some people don't like it, I know quite a few who would not get near it, but I personally love....

MMhh, good lunch yesterday. Need to go more often.
-- Michael

Horrific taste? (none / 0) (#169)
by bse on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:55:47 PM EST

I don't know what kind of sushi you've eaten, but I've always found sushi to taste very good.

Perhaps your sashimi was bad, had way too much wasabi, or, like one of my friends, watched way too much "Fear Factor" and expected it to taste godawful!

Or maybe you haven't even tried it...

---
"Please sir, tell me why, my life's so pitiful, but the future's so bright? When I look ahead, it burns my retinas." -- Pitchshifter - Please Sir

sushi != raw fish (5.00 / 4) (#173)
by squidinkcalligraphy on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:21:32 AM EST

Firstly, sushi is defined by the rice rather than the fish. It was originally a was of preserving things (usually fish) by surrounding them in rice, the rice would sour (turn into vinegar) and preserve whatever was inside (again, usually fish). At some point people probably got sick of waiting, or ran out of fresh fish early, and got stuck into un-preserved sushi, and liked it.

Sashimi is the raw fish without the rice. Personally I prefer my raw fish unadulterated by such things as rice and seaweed; sushi is grand, but works better with vegetables and/or tofu.

As for your comments about the fish, chefs in japan spend years upon years mastering how to cut the fish correctly. It is a true art. Strange as it may sound, the sharpness of the blade, the angle, even the speed at which the fish is cut makes a difference, often very noticable. Badly cut sashimi, or fish in sushi is jelly like. Well cut fish is firm. And it should be as close as possible to being straight out of the water; dammit you should cut the flesh from a live tuna if you possibly can. Using frozen fish is an abomination.

Some terminology:
Sashimi: raw fish pieces. Usually served with wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger.
Nori rolls/Sushi-nori: rolls consisting of rice surrounding a filling (raw fish and or vegetables, beancurd, mayonaisse), wrapped in nori (a dry sheet of seaweed).
Nigiri-sushi: Blocks of rice with some raw fish pressed on the top. More fish than you usually get with nori rolls. Nigiri means `pressed in the hand'

An identity card is better that no identity at all

jelly fish vs firm fish (none / 0) (#180)
by relief on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:27:05 AM EST

i have a hard time understanding some learned art, such as telling the difference between poorly and well cut fish. at what point do you start realizing these finer trivialities? then again there are many things i don't understand. i'm not saying i don't believe you. its just very fascinating. what do you call sushi-like food that is essentially rice and others wrapped in black sheets of seaweed? there is a korean word for it, "kim-bap", but what is the japanese kind called?

----------------------------
If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]
when I were a lad... (none / 0) (#187)
by squidinkcalligraphy on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 04:13:56 AM EST

I started noticing the difference between well cut fish and poorly cut fish after having tasted well cut fish. Actually, it was probably the other way around: I had been brought up eating well cut fish, and then noticed straight away when something was made badly. But I realise that many people do not notice this, although I would not call it a `finer triviality'. That is why there are so many dodgy sushi places about.

I call the sushi-like food you describe `sushi'. Or occasionally nori, or nori-rolls (I assume that's what ur talking about: rice, covering some things (fish, vegetables), wrapped in sheets of seaweed, often cut into discs)

What is remarkable about sushi is the speed at which it has spread through the world, having no single marketing force (unlike macdonalds, KFC, or 7-11). There seem to be as many sushi bars as there are McD's. All considering it started as small bars catering to japanese tourists wanting some familiar taste. Oh, and there's kikkoman (makers of quality fermented soy products, notably soy sauce) - they make a killing out of the sushi trade.

An identity card is better that no identity at all
[ Parent ]

Not quite. (none / 0) (#191)
by RobotSlave on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 07:48:37 AM EST

Sushi bars are new, and they started as a street-window operations in Japan itself after the war, not as ersatz embassies in popular foreign destinations for Japanese tourists. What the Japanese call Sashimi is in turn quite a bit older than the sushi bar, and Sushi is older still.

The antecedent you mention, the method of preserving fish by packing it in vinagered rice, started in China some two thousand years ago, and still isn't common in the West.

Even if we look only at the modern era, it seems Sushi, though it is indeed spreading quickly today, is at least three hundred years behind other cultural food exports— like tea, for example. This makes a certain amount of sense; a good modern sushi bar depends more on the local airport than the local fisheries.

[ Parent ]

What they're called (none / 0) (#230)
by epepke on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 04:33:23 PM EST

They're called "rolls" in English or, roughly, "maki" in Japanese.

The lore is that maki had a similar history to the sandwich in English. They were designed as finger food to eat while gambling.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Just-killed fish is not sashimi, either. (5.00 / 2) (#192)
by RobotSlave on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 08:23:04 AM EST

Well, sometimes it is, but that's the exception.

There are, famously, a few items that can be served live, but they tend not to be fish— they're shrimps, shellfish, sea urchin roe, and the like.

"you should cut the flesh from a live tuna if you possibly can"

This is the popular wisdom. It fits nicely with the foodie aura of Health and Freshness (and perhaps Expense) that sushi fans cultivate. It sounds good when you say it at parties.

And it's bunk.

Most fish, and red tuna in particular, is like beef— it has to be cured. When a fish dies, it goes through rigor mortis. This natural process changes the physical and chemical composition of the fish, i.e., the texture and flavor. If the process takes place slowly, under controlled conditions, it tenderizes the meat and brings out the flavor. Tuna, and other large fish, need additional preparation as well (bleeding, for starters). A prime Bluefin, at 900 pounds or more, will not be fit to eat until up to a week after it's caught.

This is a good thing. This is how excellent sushi-grade fish arrives at airports all over the world every day. This is what allowed Kyoto to become a center for the development of the artistry that sushi is known for. Sushi simply wouldn't be what it is today if it was best "straight out of the water."

It is, of course, possible to eat the fish immediately after it's caught, before rigor mortis sets in, and many Japanese fishermen do so on their boats as they work. The flavor, however, is quite different from what you're used to in sushi bars, and between the rolling surf and the limited time frame, there's little room left for artistry.

[ Parent ]

Lies? Or effective way? (4.00 / 1) (#174)
by Zerotime on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:36:37 AM EST

  1. Sashimi is primarily raw fish. Sushi is primarily rice, sometimes containing raw fish. Maybe America has some very relaxed standards on intestinal parasite levels in food. I don't know.
  2. I've been eating sushi here in Australia since I was nine (about eleven years now), and I've never, not once, become sick from it. Not even when I tried the octopus sashimi.
  3. There's no accounting for taste. You don't like sushi. I might not like, say, devilled kidneys.

Complaining about popularity makes you indie rock, or something.



---
"You don't even have to drink it. You just rub it on your hips and it eats its way through to your liver."
What a coincidence (3.50 / 2) (#189)
by Quila on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 07:22:29 AM EST

The Japanese wife of a coworker today brought in three trays of sushi with all sorts of fillings, complete with gari and wasabi on the side. Oh, was that a great lunch! She learned it from her mom (and so on, and so on...), so it was no surprise it was better than any restaurant sushi I've ever had.

I was going to use this tutorial to learn how to make it, but now she may teach!

Nonsense (none / 0) (#195)
by smithmc on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:07:20 AM EST

1. Sushi is more or less raw fish which is a nontrivially unsafe thing. Getting internal parasites and various bacteria aren't my idea of a good meal.

Been eating sushi for almost 20 years, and I do not plan on stopping. Ever. No nasty parasites or mysterious rotting sicknesses here.

2. Assuming that the parasites don't get you most normal people in the United States have different stomach bacteria than Asians and would likely get sick anyway.

And you base this on.... what? 'Cuz whenever I head to my favorite sushi restaurant, I've gotta tell ya, it's not as though there are dozens of people throwing up all over the place.

3. The horrific taste.

Yeah... *yours*, you mean.

Look, if you don't like sushi, that's fine. But don't make an ass of yourself by spouting off a bunch of nonsense that only demonstrates your own ignorance.

If your interested (5.00 / 2) (#220)
by x3nophil3 on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:21:32 PM EST

This article is interesting, but as someone who makes sushi on a regular basis, I guarantee that you'll need more information if you want to get good results.

As some other people pointed out, a little hygiene information is probably a good idea ... don't get fish for sushi at your local supermarket, go to a reputable fish-monger and tell them you need fish for sushi, if they don't understand that you need the absolute best grades of fish, go elsewhere. Sushi grade fish is quite expensive, the fish I generally buy is about 20$-30$ a pound, but a pound of fish will make enough to feed 4-6 people if you have some vegies and things as well, which is a good idea anyway.

A chunk of fish inside rice and nori gets boring very quickly. For a good sushi experience you need some more interesting fillings, some inside-out rolls (which are lots of fun to make), some rolls with veg, and maybe some nice crusty bits of fresh tempura batter to sprinkle about.

All pretty easily done with a little practice, and a great social thing to do at a dinner party (even the most iffy sushi eaters can be easily enticed by watching others turn out restaurant quality roles ... and a little sake).

Check out:
http://www.stickyrice.com/

for some great recipes and ideas. Also, be sure to take a look at the videos of rolling and things, since it's a little harder than this article implies, though still quite easy.

Oh, and having taught a few people to make sushi, there is a bit of a knack to it. Don't get frustrated if the first two or three rolls you make don't turn out very well, they never do. You are probably using way too much rice, the standard newbie mistake. Make the first few  with strips of cucumber or something else that's firm and a little easier to roll than mushy fish, and play with the quantity of filling and rice until you get the knack (which will happen very quickly). Don't fear, after a few gnarly looking mistakes, you'll have a meal to be proud of.

Here's hoping you enjoy as many great sushi related gatherings this summer as I will...

Hand Rolls (4.50 / 2) (#221)
by crispee on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:27:24 PM EST

Hand rolls are very easy to make. You can teach your guests in just a few minutes. Also, there is no special equipment like plastic wrap or a rolling mat required.

  1. Make sure to toast your nori (seawead). This brings out the flavor and make it more crunchy so that you don't have to worry about biting into your handroll and getting stuck on tough seawead.

  2. Cut the nori into two pieces so that it is roughly twice as wide as it is long. You can use scissors for this or just fold the nori in half a couple of times until it breaks.

  3. Using your hands, apply sushi rice to the left half of the nori. If you have a bowl of water with a tbsp of rice vinegar, it will make it much easier to get the rice off of your hands when you are done. (each guest should get their own bowl and a hand towel)

  4. Add your ingredients to the handroll. The top of the handroll will be the upper left hand corner, so be sure to position the ingredients at a 45 degree angle. Don't add too much or it will be difficult to roll. A good amount is two pieces of unagi and a couple of slices of avacado or cucumber.

  5. Place the rice side of the handroll in your left hand (rice side up ;-) with the upper left hand corner between your thumb and forefinger. Then with one quick motion roll the nori into a cone. You know that you have it right when the side of the nori which doesn't have any rice aligns to the top of the first wrap (the nori goes around the handroll twice).

When you are done, you will have, imho, something much more delicious than an ice cream cone.

Variations:

  • Sprinkle tobiko (flying fish roe) on top when you are done
  • Spread wasabi inside the handroll.
Other hints:
If the nori doen't stick after you've wrapped it up (assuming you haven't eaten it immediately), you can use some sushi rice or your vinegar water to encourage it to hold its place.

Lastly, please be careful about using raw ingredients. Avoid them if possible. Vegetables and unagi are much cheaper and very good. However, if you have access to a respectable japanese fish market, you will probably be safe if you eat the fish within 24 hours of purchase (keep it well refridgerated). Make sure to ask them if it is sushi quality. Even the japanese fish markets sell fish that shouldn't be eaten raw.

One last thing. Make sure you have a good knife. If you spent less than $80 on it then it is not a good knife. The blade should be long (8 or 9 in) and razor sharp so that you can slice each piece with one cut and without pushing hard and damaging the flesh. If you do not have a good knife, your fish will look mangled and not at all presentable for your guests.
Do you know what's better?

Biggest part of a good knife (none / 0) (#227)
by x3nophil3 on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:46:55 PM EST

Is keeping it sharp. Get a sharpening stone and even a lesser knife will do a good job. If you don't know how to sharpen a 200$ sushi knife, it won't do a thing for you.

[ Parent ]
Rice is trickier / better than what you explained (4.50 / 2) (#234)
by garuda on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 05:46:11 PM EST

Sushi rice should always be short grained.

Cook it till it is JUST done - else it will be mush. The vinegar will also soften it some

while its cooking, mix rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan over heat so sugar and salt dissolve. Adjust so that the flavors are "balanced" , then cool.

It is VERY important to cool the rice before making the sushi. If it is still hot, the heat could dramatically decrease the time it takes for the fish to "go bad"!! Dangerous! Put the rice in a big wooden bowl, and fan it until it cools down. The wooden bowl absorbs any excess moisture. While doing that, pour the vinegar / sugar / salt mixture over it and mix it up gently. when done, the rice will glisten slightly. Now you are ready to make sushi....

At least that's how I learned it 20 years ago...

You're ignorant (NT) (none / 0) (#238)
by SleepDirt on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:32:11 PM EST



"In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity." - Hunter S. Thompson
Sushi (4.00 / 2) (#256)
by Dickie Crickets on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 11:00:10 AM EST

Sushi, it's so nice,
It's raw fish and rice.
Eating sushi isn't wrong,
Eat it all day looooooooong.


--
King of Megaphone Crooners
sushi (none / 0) (#269)
by Kid Jersey on Sat May 03, 2003 at 05:08:38 PM EST

Sushi, sushi,
It makes no sense to me.
Sushi, sushi,
Me no speakee chinee,
Baby gets her laundry for freeeeee!


Thank you
[ Parent ]
Cookies (4.00 / 1) (#257)
by squigly on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 12:36:38 PM EST

might as well have got my grandmother's cookie recipie and done that as an article

So what finally convinced you to do this?

Extremely easy (2.00 / 1) (#259)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 01:34:05 PM EST

Hot pockets are extremely easy to make.
Microwave popcorn is extremely easy to make.
Sushi is not extremely easy to make.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
Have you used non-ATL COM? (1.00 / 5) (#261)
by ZeuS572 on Sat Apr 05, 2003 at 05:27:18 PM EST

You guys are so geeky! goto is immensely helpful for having a single point of exit. Anytime there's an error, set your hr and goto the point of exit. Check null pointers, and release all non-nulls. You can do the same thing with a do { } while (0) loop where you use break statements instead of gotos (and your single point of exit is outside the while loop). But it's really the same thing. Or..... use smart pointers :-)

personally (none / 0) (#267)
by Liet on Mon Apr 14, 2003 at 11:01:06 PM EST

I am too scared to try the ones with fish :P but I love the veggie or chicken ones. I found one place that has buy 2 get 1 free on the way home and they have great Sushi.

Soul (none / 0) (#270)
by limekiller on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 09:17:04 PM EST

There are two things that I eat that I do not consume to fill my stomach.  It's much closer to a spiritual refuel.  These things are sushi and water.  Both literally change my entire mood.

I'm not one argue over opinion but your post is truly stupid.  If I'm eating sushi just to look cool then apparently I'm asinine enough to try and impress myself because I've eaten sushi solo more times than I can count.  

Are there people who eat sushi just to look cool?  Sure.  You can say that about just any activity.  Kurosawa.  Atari 2600.  Kerouac.  Doesn't mean every single person who digs it is a fake.

Try and get your head out of your ass.

Regards,
Lime

How To Make Sushi | 265 comments (238 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
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