…is what you would say to a sushi chef when telling him he’s got full control over your sushi for the night. In other words, “I’ll leave it to you.” If you bring up Japan to anybody in the states (possibly the world), chances are one of the first things they will think of is… SUSHI! And rightly so, considering it’s the birthplace of the original wrapped rice and fish. I can’t count how many of my friends have asked, “So have you had sushi yet?” It seems to be a very popular topic!
Thus far, I’ve only had the basics like salmon, tuna, etc., but there are tons of other fish that need to be tasted! There are countless sushi bars out there (and playful ones with conveyor belts disguised as Tokyo trains), but I decided to head to Asahi Sushi. This is a plate I got from Asahi Sushi:
This was one of their sampler dishes, with many different kinds of sushi. It’s not quite as traditional as other places may serve, but it has some classics and some modern takes! I’ll just identify them from top to bottom, left to right:
Katsuo (skipjack tuna): This is your standard tuna sushi. Normally, not served with anything on top, but dropping a little shoyu (what they call soy sauce here) makes the flavors really come out of both the fish, and the little veggies!
Baked scallop: You won’t need any shoyu for this piece, as the scallop usually comes with a little sauce of its own. It’s a little chewier, but comes apart more easily because of its texture.
Anago (saltwater eel): For newbie sushi-eaters, rest assured – this eel is cooked! It’s got quite a bit of bones, and even though they’re edible, they can be a little uncomfortable to chew. Still, this is probably going to be your sauciest sushi piece and super yummy regardless!
Shrimp: Another classic – a cooked shrimp on top of rice. Personally, I find the shrimp a little less flavorful after eating the other pieces, so if they provide any citrus fruits, I recommend eating it together with the ginger for a FLAVOR EXPLOSION!!
Tai (red sea bream): This was a highly prized fish during the Edo period. Tastes very clean and very smooth!
Ikura (salmon roe): Unfortunately, this is one that I just cannot bring myself to try. If you’ve had the little poppers in bubble tea, I’ve heard the texture is quite similar – when you bite it, it pops with liquids from inside.
Giant kelp: Honestly I can’t remember if there was fish in there, but the kelp is not as slimy as you would imagine. It’s much more dense in texture and retains a lot of flavor from sauces!
Otoro (tuna): THIS WAS MY FAVORITE PIECE OF SUSHI. Apparently, this is the fattiest cut of the tuna so it’s the oiliest, but also the most savory. It is SO soft and smooth and easy in flavor – it doesn’t even need any shoyu! Honestly, this sushi changed my life.
Uni (sea urchin) on squid: Uni is usually served alone, but with the squid the ocean-y flavor is balanced out.
Akame (tuna): Since my sushi palette is still pretty undeveloped, this honestly tasted very similar to the katsuo. It was just a little thicker and heavier cut.
On the corner of the plate is a little mound of pieces of ginger. A lot of people think that they serve this with sushi just to get rid of the fishy flavor in your mouth, but they actually serve them together because ginger has a quality that destroys any possible bacteria in the fish! (Not that there would be any dirty fish – the Japanese are super thorough in their customer service and take great care to make sure the customer is satisfied!)