Friday, June 8, 2012

Sushi Love

Sushi is one of my favourite foods. Luckily for me, countless great sushi operations have opened all over Halifax in the past few years, so there are lots of ways for me to feed my addiction.

The boy and I eat sushi fairly regularly and it just so happens that we have had some cool sushi-related experiences lately that I wanted to share with you:
* Last month we went to see the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi at the Oxford Theatre. The film follows 85-year-old Jiro Ono, who runs a tiny, hole-in-the-wall sushi restaurant 'Sukiyabashi Jiro' in a non-discrept Tokyo subway station and has devoted his life entirely to creating top quality sushi - so much so that the restaurant was the first of its kind to be awarded 3 Michelin stars. The film is beautifully shot, extremely lyrical, and is a testament to qualities that are all too often forgotten in today's hurried and self-actualizing society - dedication, humility, simplicity, and patience.

* As part of the continued attempts to explore my new neighbourhood (Clayton Park), the boy and I recently ventured out to Happy Sushi - an All-You-Can-Eat sushi restaurant about 2 minutes from our apartment. Yes, you read that right - ALL. YOU. CAN. EAT. SUSHI. TWO. MINUTES. AWAY.

I'll just give you a minute to let the awesomeness of that sink in...

The concept is certainly an interesting one - you are given a 'menu' that lists every item they have available, and you figure out what things you want to order and write the quantity in a little square next to the item, the waitress collects it and they bring you the dishes one at a time. You can do this as many times as you want, at a flat cost (I think $25 for dinner, $17 for lunch) and it includes non-sushi add-ons such as soup, dumplings, pop and ice cream (I had the green tea flavour and it was delish). The only catch is that if you order anything and don't eat it, you get charged full price for it! So you definitely don't want your eyes to be bigger than your stomach! The strategy we used was to just order small amounts at a time - maybe two or three options - eat those, then if we still had room, order two or three more and continue on that way until we were full. Well, I think we ate something like 50 pieces between us, plus dumplings and ice cream so we certainly fulfilled the AYCE expectation.

* Backtrack to New Year's Eve 2011 - we wanted to have at least a somewhat special meal but who wants to order takeout or try to get a table at a restaurant on NYE? Too. Hectic. We decided eating in would be best, but we wanted to try something new and prepare something we could make together.

So? We decided to make homemade sushi!

Luckily, our local grocery stores now have a pretty good selection of Asian products, so we were able to pick up sushi rice, seaweed wrappers, and bamboo rolling mats with minimal searching. The one downer was that we couldn't find fresh tuna anywhere, and the boy was really counting on it, but we made do with salmon (easily my favourite fish). I was a bit worried the supplies would be costly, but in the end it was a moot point because we ended up with a TON of rolls. You would be surprised how many you can get out of one small fillet of fish (see above)!

And it was so easy - now, we used a very basic technique (we could have gone more fancy with it, I suppose, but it was our first time and we preferred to eat earlier than midnight). We simply laid the seaweed on the rolling mat, pressed cooked rice in a thin layer on one-half of the wrapper, added slivers of fish and whatever other fillings we wanted, then rolled those babies up! A couple of things you have to remember are to wet your hands before handling the rice because it can get pretty sticky, and to not add too many fillings or make the filling layers too thick (otherwise the roll will be way too thick to roll up and cut properly. A lesson we learned the hard way).

Happy New Year, indeed. And now I will leave you with this hilarious lesson about the importance of Unagi:

Ahhhhh, salmon skin roll.

Have you tried sushi? Are you a fan or not? Is there a particular food you are addicted to?


Sarah said...

I think this is my first comment on your blog! I'm not a sushi fan. I don't like seafood, and I tried the vegetarian ones and didn't like those either. It must be the seaweed!!

Kim Humes said...

Yes I think it is too! :)
I can understand why people don't like sushi - it's sort of a 'weird' food. I find it is an acquired taste though...I thought it was gross at one time too, but somewhere along the way started to really enjoy it.

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