Thursday, August 7, 2008

Karen, meet sushi

My relationship with sushi has been a rocky one. It started in the second grade when my friend Christine Yuan invited me to her church potluck. It was like no potluck I had seen before. The congregation was made up of many Asian families, so the food was beautiful! Lots of colorful little rolls just begging to be tried. Before we even prayed, I was so tempted that I snuck one of those rolls and took a small bite... and it was awful! So awful, I put it right back on the platter and ran. I remember ending up in a stairwell.

Since then, I've avoided seaweed and all things raw. To be fair, about 8 years ago I tried it again - seaweed that is. Still gross.

So I have to ask myself why, every time I pass the sushi stand at the grocery store, do I longingly crave one of those delightful plastic boxes of rolled up color? And the answer? um... well... Because it's cool. As in trendy. Like somehow I would elevate to a new level of don't-you-wish-you-were-me statis. And I fully accept this shallowness. In fact, wanting to cash in on this need for coolness, I bought a box of edamame once from said sushi stand. It was not a successful purchase. Not knowing what to do with them, I just ate them... and didn't like it.

(Of course, all coolness went out the window when a year later I shared the above story with my sister-in-law who asked how I prepared it. Turns out you're supposed to eat just the inside soybeans, not the pod. Oops.)

So fastforward to a few weeks ago when I stepped into my first sushi bar/restarant. I played it safe and ordered a more traditional beef-and-broccoli type meal. Which, of course, looked completely lame next to the sushi my in-laws ordered. In one last ditch effort to fit in I reluctantly grabbed my chopsticks (because that's cool, too) and tried a piece of Mango Roll. I couldn't believe how good it was. Like, really good. I wanted more! And it was then that I discovered the secret... the soy wrap. Remove seaweed from the equation, and viola! Oh, and the raw fish, too. I don't eat that yet. But as it turns out, lots of sushi comes fish-free.

So I don't know if that really makes me a sushi-eater, but at least I can hang with the cool crowd now. Last weekend my MIL asked me to pick up some sushi for dinner. Um. Immediately I was stressed. How could you ask a newbie such a thing? Off I went, ordered a few things, and sat completely entertained for the next 20 minutes as I watched the chefs (is that what they're called?) do they're thing. As it turned out I did alright, as evidenced by the picture below.
So if you want to be as trendy and enviable as me, spend the extra dollar and ask for the soy wrap. Seriously, it's worth it. If just for the bragging rights.


LifeatTheCircus said...

You are so cool! Seriously, way cooler than me. I have yet to attempt any form of sushi. Soy wraps...will keep it in mind if I decide to try and elevate my status.

Andrea said...

It's okay Karen. I don't think anyone can truly appreciate sushi until they've tasted what is served in the Motherland. I had never liked seafood until we moved to Japan and now I can't get enough of it, raw fish, seaweed and all. I still prefer the salmon since it doesn't taste as "fishy". We don't eat it for status but convenience. I'm not a fan of handling raw meat and I'm lazy. Sushi meets my needs and wants by being prepared food that is also good for us!

Muthering Heights said...

And you look...Oh. So. Cool.

Mom said...

OK, perhaps you can get me to try some - withOUT the seaweed, of course.
How do you say "Bon App├ętit" in Japanese ?