I want to share a brief note about sushi. Of course I love sushi and sashimi, and you should too. Forget the rolls – it’s all about the pure fresh fish, and, on occasion great rice, wasabi and soy sauce. But even without those other compliments, the best sushi is the freshest, no matter where you are. I have had sushi in Japan and it was amazing, specifically the tuna. But, to my surprise, I’ve had better crab and salmon sushi on the west coast of the US. To eat good sushi is to eat fresh sushi.
A seafood market is only as fresh as how ever long your fish has been hanging out at said market (alive or dead). It is always best to eat what’s local to wherever you are, but if that’s not possible, find a sushi place you know and trust (which is good advice even if the fish market is close). The places where they know your name and face will always trump the new, hip, trendy place that is trying to get you in, feed you and get you on your way. Also, farm-raised fish, while wonderfully sustainable, is almost always fattier in a bad way (fatty tuna is also more expensive than lean tuna).
How to eat sushi and sashimi: I’ve heard tips and recommendations on everything from “eat your raw fish plain or you will offend the chef” to mixing wasabi with soy sauce to only eating with your hands. With so many rules, the best ones to follow are what is comfortable for you, while being aware and respectful of the customs in the restaurant. In Japan, they tend to place the wasabi between your fish and rice so be sure to pay attention prior to adding more. There are also many different spice levels of wasabi from very mild to very very strong. In Japan, I found the wasabi to be milder, but taste much more like radish, while in the US, the wasabi is much more about the spiciness (radish? radish, who?).
No matter how you eat it, be sure to try something new each time you go out. There may be an item that seems gross on paper or in the picture, but may taste fabulous when in season (uni anyone?).
My stand-by is the Crunchy Roll, but I pick a new piece each time, just for fun. What’s your favorite? Let us know on Twitter at @MIEWfoodsLLC