I’m a sushi snob.
I’ve worked at a fish company that sold fish to sushi restaurants.
I’ve worked the line at a sushi boat restaurant in Kyoto where I was tested for a week on ensuring the rice for the nigiri I made were consistently within the 12-13g range of specification before allowing me to begin making them for customers.
I make no claims to be a master chef or a hardcore sushi geek like Jiro, but I have a certain criteria for sushi when I go out to eat it:
- Rice should not fall apart when picking it up
- Rice should not be mushed too much together like mochi, eww
- Rice should come apart in mouth
- Each grain of rice should be distinct in your mouth, and they should be firm when chewing
- There should not be too much rice
- There should not be too much fish
- Real wasabi is more flavorful than the fake horse-radish sting-your-nose kind that most restaurants carry
- If I see you drench your sushi in soy sauce, I will, unfortunately, judge you as I think you’re wasting the fish and the craft of the chef
- If the fish has been frozen, I can tell from the grainy texture, no bueno
- If the white fish is too fishy smelling, that’s no bueno
- If the cuttle fish is slimy, that’s no bueno
- If I don’t hear Japanese spoken in the kitchen, I’m going to become highly suspicious on whether I’ll be getting decent sushi or not
An unfortunate consequence of all this is that I’ve become quite picky.
So, I’ve devised a new form of food for myself so I can enjoy the all-you-can-eat (and drink) sushi buffets and take-out sushi or roll-tastic sushi joints around.
I call it: Zushi.
Zushi can be enjoyed with plenty of seaweed salad and hot sake. Mmm, spicy tuna rolls. That rice may be a bit mushy, but a little extra wasabi and a bit more soy sauce can help you make it an exciting fun time!