Sushi (壽司)

One thing I’ve always felt painfully aware of is the inadequacy of Rhode Island sushi as compared to actual sushi made in Asia. This is inevitable. It would make sense that sushi closer to the source would be much more authentic, and depending on the standards of each Japanese restaurant, quality can differ quite greatly. For one thing, Rhode Island sushi is not the best, according to many of the people I know who are sushi enthusiasts. (Depending on your standards, you get familiar with the sushi after a while, and therefore don’t mind eating it at all, though… I do have a soft spot for Haruki’s shrimp tempura sushi, to be honest. By the way, supermarket sushi doesn’t count.)

This may be  disheartening when one craves good sushi and wishes to eat it, though one must remember that Rhode Island isn’t Japan, and so one can lower their standards after a while. It’s just like my perspective on bubble tea. Rhode Island has only one bubble tea place, Bubble Tea House, that is considered decent, and more often than not their bubbles are squishy and melting. It also costs 3.50 a cup, and is really hard to get to. But since it’s one of the only bubble tea places in Providence that comes a step closer to Asian standards, one tends to be more tolerant. And then one goes to Taiwan or even New York, and the bubble tea is in a whole different world.

During previous visits to Taiwan, I’d never had a chance to eat real sushi made of raw fish. I was pretty young then, and hadn’t even thought of eating raw fish because my mother was concerned it would make me sick. My dad gets very very ill whenever he eats it, so that didn’t help either. It was only in the years afterwards that I acquired a taste for it.

On the second to last day of my visit in Taiwan, my aunt ordered a huge platter of sushi from “Sushi Express.” The name Sushi Express may conjure impressions of mediocre sushi made out of frozen raw fish that had been thawed and may or may not have bits of ice in it. However, I realized that Sushi Expresses in Taiwan may be of a different level than American Sushi Expresses. These people take their sushi pretty seriously. I can only imagine what a more sit-down, expensive Japanese restaurant’s sushi would taste like.

This platter had shrimp, salmon, tuna, yellowtail, and some other stuff I didn’t know. One thing to note was the general absence of roll sushi (ala California roll, etc). Those seaweed wrapped sushi on the right are not roll sushi, and consist of rice wrapped around with seaweed and topped with various types of fish, cooked and uncooked. One had a type of creamed corn. These were all nigiri style sushi, more or less.

My grandfather, for whom the sushi was ordered, had first pick of his favorites. I had the chance to try the salmon (my personal favorite), tuna, and a white fish whose name I don’t remember (shame on me). The taste is very delicate, and felt quite fresh compared to that in the States, at least to someone as unfamiliar with good sushi as I am. You don’t even think about squishy raw fish when you eat it, if that grosses you out. Salmon was my favorite.

Add this to the list of things I will miss when I’m home…

One Response to “Sushi (壽司)”
  1. sarapolton says:

    Your pics are amazing.

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