Friday, July 07, 2006

Everything you need to know about

Hey folks. Since nobody read my blog on weekends, I thought I'd take my weekend posts in a new direction. At first, I consider posting the nude photographs I've been taking of Thom, but apparently that's illegal, so instead I'll go with an "everything you need to know about" theme, Q&A style. This will last approximately two weeks before I decide it's stupid. This week: Everything you need to know about sushi.

Q: What is sushi?

A: Most people think sushi refers to raw fish. It actually refers to the rice, and is classically defined as rice with vinegar, wrapped in seaweed.

Q: Is sushi gross?

A: Not to the refined.

Q: Then what is the green wrapping paper stuff?

A: That's seaweed.

Q: Gross.

A: Shut up.

Q: I want to try sushi. What should I get when I go to a sushi restaurant?

A: Good question, talking purple gorilla. The most common type of sushi is nigiri. It is an rectangular piece of fish (or other food) banded to the sushi rice with a small strip of seaweed. Sashimi refers simply to raw fish, which might be a bit much for a first-timer. Rolls, in which contents are wrapped in a seaweed are often popular. A good way to start is to get a chef's choice or sushi dinner, a pre-selected set of nigiri which usually features, tuna, salmon, mackerel and shrimp among others, as well as some sort of roll.

Q: Do I order my own plate?

A: No, unless you order an entree. Sushi is sort of a family style deal.

Q: What is sake?

A: Sake is rice wine. It is often served heated, and it can get you drunk, thus adding to the experience.

Q: I'm hungry. How do I eat sushi?

A: You're getting ahead of me, dancing midget. Sushi is traditionally eaten with chopsticks. Typically, your meal will begin with miso soup. This is usually consumed by picking up the bowl (the chopsticks won't do you much good against broth) and sort of drinking it. When the sushi arrives, you will notice a little green lump. That is wasabi, which is made from a root similar to horseradish. You will also notice a very small, square tray. Pour some soy sauce (it's in the bottle marked "soy sauce" into the tray, and stir in a small amount of wasabi. Using the chopsticks, you will dip your pieces of sushi into the mixture and enjoy.

Q: Isn't wasabi spicy?

A: Don't be a pansy, flying saxophone. Wasabi packs a kick that burns the sinuses instead of the tongue, so be careful, but the burning sensation is short lived, and not cumulative, unlike that of hot peppers.

Q: What's the pink stuff?

A: That's ginger. Ginger is to be used as a palatte cleanser as you alternate between the different flavors of fish.

Q: What's a palette cleanser?

A: Just watch your local sports programming and nevermind.

Q: Do I eat the pieces whole?

A: Yes, magic keyboard, you are expected to consume the pieces whole, even if they seem a little large.

Q: Can you eat sushi with your fingers?

A: Yes. In fact, this is preferable to making a mess out of your a piece that is difficult to handle.

Q: What is a California Roll? If I order a California roll, am I a wuss?

A: A California roll is an inside out roll featuring imitation crab and avocado. It is popular with newbies as it conceals (or excludes) seaweed, and features nothing that is raw. Any good sushi place should pirde themselves on a kncokout California, so there is no shame in ordering it. Plus, it is a cheap way to fill up.

Q: Is raw fish safe?

A: Not necessarily. Only certain fish can be qualified as "sushi grade", and it is usually treated. Realistically, the likelihood of getting food poisoning is relatively high, though not as high as foods featuring beans, nuts or shellfish.

Q: What are some of the best things to get?

A: You're just trying to get extra credit, aren't you, Bauhaus style luxury loft? Typically, I'm a fan of tuna and red snapper. Anything with eel is popular (it is served smoked, with a sort of sweet black suace known as eel sauce). Caterpillar rolls, which are wrapped in avocado instead of seaweed, are a personal fave, in addition to a couple mentioned below.

Q: I want to impress a savvy girl. What do I order?

A: Select a cold sake (instead of the house sake, which is usually served warm). They are typically of far higher quality. Order an edamame (soy bean) appetizer to snack on. Tamago (a sweet piece of egg banded to rice) is often considered an indicator of the sushi chefs abilities. As far as sushi, ask the waitress for the day's toro (an extra fatty section of tuna), or order salmon roe (eggs), which will feature the roe perched on top of rice. Extra hip sushi-goers will spring for a raw quail egg to put on top. This delicious bite will cost you about $6, but is the bentley of sushi, and you will look like a pro.

Q: What should I avoid?

A: Excellent question, oblique yet omnipresent manifestation of my own self-loathing. Unless you are in the bar area, avoid egg rolls. Spider rolls, which feature fried minaiture crab legs, are uber-expensive and popular with some because they taste like chicken fingers. Be sure to get a mix of nigiri or sashimi and rolls to keep things interesting. Order Tempura (deep fried vegetables or shrimp) and teriyaki chicken will not impress anyone. I am not particularly a fan of yellowtail or sea bass.

Q: The waitress is giving me a hot towel. Is this an invitation to sex?

A: Not likely. Many finer sushi establishments will give you a hot, moist towel to wipe your hands and face with before your meal.

Q: How much does it cost.

A: A sushi dinner and drinks will usually run about $30-$50 per person in MN. Many restaurant offer discounted sushi rolls during happy hour, which is a good way to try something new at a discount.

W: Where does the fish come from?

A: Was that a wuestion? I only answer questions. Go to hell, wuestion.

Q: What are the best sushi restaurants in town?

A: Fujiya (uptown) is everyone's favorite, and has been around, in one form or another, for many years. Nami (downtown) has some great fish, but the service is atrocious and the people are spray-tanned. Hey guy, it's 8pm in January, take of your faggy sunglasses and button up your shirt! Kikugawa (Northeast) is good for a no-frills, low-key atmosphere. Sushi Tango (Calhoun Square) is lousy, with terrible service and grocery store quality fish. Midori's floating castle (longfellow) has a nice hole-in-the-wall feel, but isn't very good (or cheap).

Thanks for playing along kids. Mechanical toaster with burn-guard, I'll get to your question next time!


Blogger renee said...

this post, with its dave berry-esque references to irrelevant and random household objects and fantasy creatures, makes me, a first time weekend blog checker, afraid to return on any of the subsequent saturdays i find myself near a computer.

also: being a vegetarian, i have only ever tried vegetarian sushi. chino latino has a dish called "the weed eater" that i enjoyed on the occasion of my 21st birthday. it was great.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Thom said...

Bummer, I was looking forward to the photos being available to the public.

I guess I have to try and find another way to make money.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

"Dave berry(sic)-esque"

ouch... Republicans have feelings too, Renee...

You should just become one of those vegetarians who justifies eating fish somehow...

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Thom said...

We all know fish are not real animals. They do not feel pain. Or they are just not smart enough to be considered real animals. I got a million reasons why it's okay to kill fish.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

Here's another.

They @#$% taste good.

(beats chest)

9:19 AM  
Blogger renee said...

1.) i like dave barry, despite the fact that i seem to be unable to spell his name. thanks for pointing this out (hangs head in shame and defeat)

2.) people who say that they are vegetarian and eat fish are confused about the term "meat." fish are my 5th biggest fear and eating them is not my idea of a good time. i shall not rape the sea!

10:35 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

Rape the sea sounds like the name of a band.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Thom said...

Isn't that a brand of tuna fish...the one with the sticker marked "Not Dolphin Safe"?

2:00 PM  

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