Another Thing Crossed Off My Bucket List
Every traveler has a travel bucket list of some kind. So do I. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is to have a real sushi in a local restaurant somewhere in Japan, preferably Tokyo (for those who don’t know, I’m a real sushi lover). Guess what! I have finally made this dream come true! I flew to Tokyo for the weekend, stayed at my friend’s place, went out every evening to different sushi places enjoying every bite of my favorite delicacy. By the way, I managed to survive in Tokyo for less than $25 a day :).
Delicious, light, healthy, always fresh and colorful. This is the sushi (すし, 寿司, 鮨, 鮓, 寿斗, 寿し, 壽司), probably the most famous Japanese dish in the world
- made from cold cooked rice dressed with vinegar,
- topped with raw or cooked fish,
- formed into a roll with fish, meat, egg or vegetables,
- wrapped in seaweed or stuffed in a small tofu pouch.
Why I Love Sushi
Rice is boring, especially when you live in China and eat it 3 times a day. What I love about sushi is Sushi Rice and a great variety of its fillings and toppings which make it all so different, adventurous and more delicious with each bite.
Sushi is made with a soft and short-grained rice which is mixed with a yummy dressing made of rice vinegar, sugar, salt, konbu, and sake (the Tokyo dressing I tried was pretty salty). I love its texture and how it all sticks together. I also enjoy the smell and taste of Nori – the vegetable wrappers and edible seaweed, so thick, shiny and smooth.
Fish, it’s all about the fish. I don’t consume meat on a regular basis (apart from having some chicken breast once a week as it’s a source of lean protein I need for my workout and yoga routine). Instead, I eat fish for my lunch and dinner every day, preferably smoked or grilled salmon. I just heart sushi for containing fresh, high quality raw fish which smells clean, has a vivid color, and is free from harmful parasites. Apart from smoked salmon (sake kunsei) I also enjoy tuna (maguro/toro), mackerel (saba) and red snapper (tai).
Another ingredient I just can’t live without are veggies, from which avocado, cucumber and tofu are my favourite. I also like eggs in the form of a slightly sweet, layered omelet, soy sauce, wasabi which is green paste with a sharp, horseradish-like flavor and Gari (sweet pickled ginger).
Sushi to Try in Tokyo
Uramaki (inside-out rolls)
Uramaki are medium-sized cylindrical pieces, with two or more fillings which are in the center surrounded by a liner of nori, then a layer of rice and sometimes toasted sesame seeds. I like them most as they are easy to pick up with chopsticks and I like their square shape.
Gunkanzushi (battleship roll)
A clump of rice is hand-wrapped in a strip of nori with some ingredient such as fish eggs piled on top. For me, gunkanzushi are too big and difficult to eat. I try to cut them into half with my chopsticks but then there is a mess on the table.
My favourite is tuna, sweetcorn and mayo gunkanzushi. It is so creamy and yummy.
The one I didn’t really enjoy was seaweed Gunkanzushi served with some thick sweet sauce. The ingredients mixed all together were just tasteless, but it’s only my opinion.
Futomaki (large rolls)
Futomaki are served in large cylindrical pieces, with the nori on the outside. They are usually made with two or three fillings and they are very colorful.
The Futomaki I tried were approximately two centimeters thick and four centimeters wide.
Inarizushi (stuffed sushi)
Inarizushi are small pouches and pocket filled with sushi rice. The pouch is made from deep-fried tofu (abura age), a thin omelet (fukusazushi), or cabbage leaves (kanpyo). I like having deep-fried tofu from time to time and my favourite Inarizushi is filled with egg and cucumber.
Oshizushi (pressed sushi)
A block-shaped piece formed using a wooden mold. Oshizushi have different layers filled with different toppings. My favourite one is mayo and smoked salmon.
Nigirizushi (hand-formed sushi)
Small pieces of rice usually covered with a slice of salmon and poured with mayo.
Sushi is easy to consume, but if you are not sure how to eat it, you can check out Michael’s 8 things worth knowing about eating Sushi and Jessica’s superb tips of how to eat conveyor belt Sushi.
We went to Tokyo Sushi Japanese Restaurant located at 3201 Bee Caves Rd Ste 100 Austin, TX 78746 in Tokyo where we paid 4,000 yen per table which was around $20 per person. The food was very affordable taking into account its quality and quantity. The staff were nice and we had an amazing evening!
Are you big fans of Sushi? Have you ever made it to Japan to have some?