Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sue She

As a firm rice fan I remain perplexed, puzzled and ponderous on the subject of Sushi.

I can tell you now, cous cous isn't my bag of chips. Rice, as far as I'm concerned, is the best thing since sliced kiribath, not that I'm a huge fan of kiribath, but Sushi just flummoxes me.

It's all the rage over here. Walk into Tesco, M and S or any of the regular places where one can purchase a lunchtime sandwich and you'll also be confronted by a range of Sushi for a couple of quid, that's two of your sterling pounds to you foreign johnnies. It's packaged in a lovely little box and comes with a fish shaped miniature splash of soya sauce, some wasabi and often a couple of disposable chopsticks.

There are lovely colours seducing and tempting the customer. There's the pretty pink of the prawns, the bright orange of the salmon, the green of the cucumber, the black of that skin stuff and the gleaming whiteness of the sticky rice.

And every time I fall foul of this temptation I eat the Sushi and feel as though I'm fighting a losing battle. It reminds me of when I used to smoke and I'd partake of a cigar every now and then. I just never understood the attraction. Every single time I'd smoke a cigar I'd slightly enjoy the taste, the aroma and the sensation, then feel like a cigarette straight afterwards.

Eating Sushi makes me feel like I need a damn good rice and curry, full English breakfast or even a McDonalds, straight afterwards.

The chopsticks are a major factor. I always use them and wonder who on Earth thought they'd be a good implement to use for the eating of rice. One can use a fork, a spoon or ideally the fingers for the task but two wooden sticks with a slightly pointy end, to pick up grains of rice, is the sort of thing these fellows use in impossible games at the fairground in order to grab all our money. No wonder they have to make the rice sticky and lumpy. It's food design gone wrong.

The vinegary and mushy texture of the good grain is sacrilege. A paella or risotto is as far as I can go in terms of cooking and serving rice in ways that God didn't intend. Rice should be served fluffy and light, not weighed down by sogginess and a total lack of flavour. Of course these Japs supply soya sauce and wasabi with the food, otherwise there'd be no taste whatsover, just that faint hint of fish going on somewhere in the deepest recesses of the palate. We don't do subtleties of flavour that well, us Sri Lankans, do we?

I carry on with my attempts to like it though. A, my fifteen year old, absolutely loves Sushi and regularly takes it into school for her lunch. Trendy people go to Sushi bars and eat, using their chopsticks as if they're easy and intuitive like something designed by Apple.

On Sunday morning I ate chicken Sushi for breakfast. I say "ate" but it would be more accurate to say that I fought bravely through it like one of those jungle chaps with undergrowth, a long crescent shaped knife and some natives who'll get killed later on in the film.

I satisfied my hunger only in the way that becoming proficient and getting high scores on Rockband or Guitar Hero equips a person to deal with a lead singer who thinks a crotchet is something to do with knitting and a quaver is a slightly weird religious sect. I was left feeling quite full but wondering how the hell it had happened, as nothing with any flavour had crossed the threshold of my tastebuds.

The questions lingers in my mind. Do I persevere with the Sushi or give it up as a lost cause? I imagine JapSach virtually lives on the stuff, he probably goes back to Sri Lanka and makes his rice and curry into little rolls with a bit of bean or maldive fish inside just to deal with the withdrawal pangs.

As for you? I bet you love the stuff.

Or do you?


thekillromeoproject said...

Definitely a sushi fan! :)

JP said...

For me I neither like or dislike the stuff. But your idea of rolled up rice with piece of Maldives fish in the middle, add a gotukole and some curry as the sauce sounds like and idea that'll sell

Sach said...

Hahaha yeah, I love Sushi so much that I even my dessert consists of little bit of Sushi dipped in honey.


Really, I can sort of understand it when people go ga-ga over Jap food, it's even nice when you eat it for a change, but after a while it starts to taste like old boots. Not that I ever tried to eat boots.

By the way, chopsticks aren't that bad, you know. In fact I like them, and more effective than a fork when you eat, say, a salad. Just that you have to get the hang of it.

Lady divine said...

I looooove Sushi!!:)

and I couldn't help laughing at what you wrote about Sach in the last paragraph!!!!:)

Resident Princess said...

I hated it till very recently but I think the trick is to be exposed to good produce at the first occasion.

I used to buy those packs of Sushi with the fish shaped soy bottle in Aussie but thought nothing much of it till I tried Sushi, Sashimi and all other wonderful Jap food in Colombo. I cant get enough of it now.

I think the freshness of the Tuna, Salmon or even the vegies is vital.

Try it when you come down to SL in summer. Promise you wont regret it!

Sean said...

I do actually... but not the stuff sold at Tesco or M&S.

Sushi should preferably be made fresh when you order it... makes a huge difference IMHO.

Janith said...

I've never really tried Japanese food, and going by what you've said, I'm lucky not to have. I like my rice nice and fluffy too, thank you very much! :D

Anonymous said...

You are going to make the fellow who is really turning Japanese (Sach I wrote this before you wrote your comment but did not post as I was busy reading drummers blog) all mushy now but with the prices you mentioned, I am moving to England, I can buy the tickets, just by missing a few Sushi dinners.
If you are into rice that much, look for rice from Niigata-ken (Niigata prefecture) in your Japanese grocery store (if you have such things), cook it in SL way and see how different rice could be.
Nice blog you got here, since I found it, I have been tickled pink!

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Margerata - thanks for liking the blog. Whereabouts are you? It's always nice to get a new reader.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rhythmic, in North America (at the moment I am visiting CA,USA and soon I will be going to Ontario, Canada.)But my work (I with children) sends me all over the world, mostly southern hemisphere
Not only your blog, I also find your readers (commenters) very interesting. It is a nice little concert you got going on here here. Thx and catch you soon(er)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Magerata - Thanks again, I like my commenters too, though DD can be a bit weird sometimes!

Gypsy said...

Thank god, someone else who's not mad about sue-shi. I just don't like it. At all. As in, not that it tastes *bad* - it just doesn't do anything for me. And I'd much prefer a McDonalds instead :)

Serendib_Isle said...

LOL. I could imagine Sach with his rice rolls..!

Incidentally, we are a sushi-loving family – it is more of an acquired taste, me thinks.