Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My first (good) sushi experience

There's something to be said for getting the flu. It makes it a little easier to try new things. Or at least, my rationale is that I am sick anyway so it's not like I can make it any worse.

I'm also a proud and confirmed omnivore in that I'll eat anything that isn't nailed down and on fire. But there's been a couple of things I've been pretty reluctant about. Sushi is one of them. What's so appetizing about rice and raw fish? Well, scientist that I am I decided that for lunch today I was going to find out.

Since I didn't have any of my handy-dandy prepackaged homemade lunches today, I decided to go for one of the local restaurants. "Asian Buffet". Which Asian, you may ask? Who knows. Either the restaurant likes keeping their bases covered, or they realized that the average redneck around these parts has no idea that Asian cultures are quite dissimilar. But the food is good, and as I bellied-up to the bar, I noticed that they had a very attractive display of sushi. So I got adventuresome. Mr. Scientist decided to do a little 'speermint.

The first thing you do is get your soup and your sushi. They didn't have miso soup, so I settled for hot and sour. Then I picked out a handful of each type of sushi, grabbed a stack of pickled ginger and some wasabi, and grabbed some soy sauce packets and a set of chopsticks, then high-tailed it back to the office.

Once at the office, I had a little soup and mixed the wasabi and soy together. I dipped the first nori roll into the light-brown mixture, and took a big bite. That's about when my sinuses exploded. Next time, I'll remember to lay off on the wasabi--it's potent stuff.

And so I ate. There were some great finger-rolls, filled with crab, shrimp, and vegetables, dusted with tiny orange bits of caviar. There were California rolls, small and large nori rolls, and a really attractive finger roll with a slice of avocado draped across the top.

The flavor is what struck me as odd--once my taste buds had recovered from the wasabi, that is. I was expecting something like mackeral or tuna straight from the can. Instead, the flavors were complex, light, and had a strong vegetable flavor. Overall, good stuff. Even though what I got was plenty for lunch, I almost wish I had taken the hostess' advice and eaten in, so I could get more.

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