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Japanese foods--sushi/sashimi


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Kaiten sushi specifically refers to the low-cost sushi shops which have the sushi come out on a conveyor belt and the nigiri rice "fingers" are formed by machines called "sushi robots" (as opposed to being formed by hand) and then slices of fish are placed on them. The sushi plates are color coded and each color code has an appropriate fixed price. After you are finished eating they tally up the plates and you pay. These places are VERY popular in Japan but not so popular in the States.

There's only a few such restaurants in the NY metro area although they are starting to become more popular on the West Coast. There's a Kaiten place about 10 minutes from my house in northern NJ, we've been there a few times, but the quality of the place has declined and there is always the danger at a Kaiten place that particular items sit on the conveyor too long -- unlike other restaurants, you WANT to go when the place is VERY busy so there is a lot of plate turnover and they are forced to make items fresh.

Here is an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about it:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/food/124839_dine04.html

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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回転 kaiten means to revolve, to kaiten sushi refers to sushi that is served on a conveyer belt type apparatus. The word kaiten can be used with anythings that revolves/rotates, swivel chairs, revolving doors, etc here are many more

http://www.excite.co.jp/dictionary/japanes...9129&offset=522

not all kaiten places in Japan are made using robots/machines, most of the kaiten places I have been to have a couple of chefs standing at various places in the tangle of conveyer belt putting out sushi made by hand.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Kaiten sushi specifically refers to the low-cost sushi shops which have the sushi come out on a conveyor belt and the nigiri rice "fingers" are formed by machines called "sushi robots" (as opposed to being formed by hand) and then slices of fish are placed on them.

Sushi robots? I've never heard of that, and it sounds awful.

Come to think of it, the worst kaiten-zushi shop I have been to had the sushi mysteriously coming down the conveyor belt from the back kitchen (rather than being made, as is the norm, behind the counter by chefs, in full view of the customer). The place was just terrible in a number of ways, and I wouldn't be surprised if the back kitchen was full of sushi robots.

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like sashimi best, because I like eating it with hot rice. I learned that from my cousin whose food preferences tend to be very similar to mine. I like how the hot rice kind of warms up the fish so I can get more of the uh, bouquet. I'm not a big "roll" fan either, but I'll eat them anyway. Lately I've been eating a lot of California roll rounds because my SO likes them.

I had a spider roll once or twice and I really like them, but if it's a choice between sashimi and some roll, I can't help but order sashimi.

I hated ikura until I finally had some that was relatively fresh. I love uni, esp when it's sweet yet rich, like at Urasawa. Of course everyone loves toro. I love hamachi too. I love that deep orange wild salmon you can get in Vancouver. I recently learned that I love Kobe beef sushi. I really need to get a high-paying job.

Oh man I'm hungry again.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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I hated ikura until I finally had some that was relatively fresh. I love uni, esp when it's sweet yet rich, like at Urasawa. 

I too hated ikura and uni until I had some really good ones, wow! the difference is incredible isn't it? :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 1 month later...

My wife loves sushi and sashimi. Now that she's pregnant, the advice from some books is to avoid raw fish.

I'm just wondering if this is also common advice in Japan. Are Japanese women advised to avoid raw fish when pregnant?

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When my wife was pregnant, we asked the chef at our favorite sushi place the same question and he said that Japanese women eat sushi throughout pregnancy.

There is a lot of conflicting information on the topic, but the chances of having a problem if you're getting sushi from a quality provider are very, very slight. It may be a good idea to avoid fish that are more prone to parisites, like salmon and go easy on tuna because of the mercury.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Are Japanese women advised to avoid raw fish when pregnant?

nope.

But the thing is in Japan raw fish is an everyday food that is always of very high quality. I think the warnings outside of Japan make sense because depending on where you live the quality could be suspect.

If you have access to really fresh fish there shouldn't be a problem.

I am really glad I had all 3 pregnancies in Japan because I suffered from horrible morning sickness and for some reason could stand the the thought of cooked foods.....

I lived on raw fish and raw beef.... :shock:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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When my wife was pregnant in 1996 and again in 1999, we never heard of the risks of eating fish. Fortunately, we now have two healthy children.

At present, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare advise pregnant women to limit the intake of certain species of fish.

Also, you are advised to limit the intake of hijiki seaweed during pregnancy.

Odd, I'm sure that we have discussed this topic before, but I can't find the thread. Deleted?

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sorry, I merged the hijiki talk into the seaweed thread, it starts here:

dangers of hijiki

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...ndpost&p=636909

and the dangerous fish was in the middle of the Daily Nihongo thread, however the link seems to be dead now, I will try to find another one.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 2 months later...

Kanazawa Maimon Sushi has a couple branches in various areas of Japan with the main (honten) being in Kanazawa. I am lucky that one of the branches in very close to my house and I enjoyed a lunch there yestersday with some friends. This is a kaiten sushi place but has an equal amount of seats at tables and a couple private rooms, as I was with a group of 10 we choose a table over the revolving sushi bar. The have special lunch sets in the 1200 yen to 2500yen ($11 to $24) and you can also order anything from the sushi bar. We all chose sets and I had the 1600 yen ($15) one. I found this to be an incredible deal as ordering separately could have set me back 5000 yen ($45) for lunch. The set included various nigiri plus a side of tempura (shrimp, squid, eggplant and shishito pepper) as well as a wonderful chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), miso soup (with wakame seaweed and half a crab) and a dessert of annindofu (almond jelly).

Sorry for the bad picture my battery was dead and so I was unable to use the flash.

gallery_6134_549_36720.jpg

everything but the soup

gallery_6134_549_20484.jpg

a close up of the sushi

I will definitely be back, I really want to try the sushi bar next time but I know it will set me back a lot more than lunch.....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I just came accross these shiso wraps on the New York Times' website (registration required). For those unable to access the site, shiso wraps seem to be the invention of Bar Masa. They are like mini temaki (handrolls) with a shiso leaf used as the base. No nori. The are served open and topped with all sorts of pretty toppings.

I will be trying to make them soon. One thing I'm wondering about is how to dip them. The shiso is too small to make it a true wrap, so if you tried dipping top-side down all the toppings would fall off. But just dipping the bottom wouldn't be very good either. Probably the best thing to do would add a few drops of soy sauce to each wrap.

I guess I'll have to buy a soy sauce server that drips instead of pours...

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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My first encounter with Japanese food was tuna sashimi at Monterey Bay Canners -- I ate everything, save for the oyster-like shell with some green stuff that I tragically assumed to be (drumrolls, please...) -- guacamole. I don't like nor dislike guacamole, but figured I might as well finish everything, and scooped all of it up in a spoon and swallowed it. The table went silent all of a sudden, and I heard someone ask someone else, if that dude just ate that whole wad of wasabi? It was quite the out-of-body experience -- drooling, crying, and babbling to myself while this high-pitched humming sound went through my head.

Since then, I've become slightly (but only very slightly) more knowledgeable about sushi. Love maguro and hamachi in particular. The crazy, obviously non-authentic rolls are great, but there's something wonderfully intense about eating just straight sashimi. Besides, the rice can be very filling. Sashimi, and then maybe a few pieces of nigiri sushi is what I go for most often.

Some years ago, I was lucky enough to visit Japan on business, and had some great food there (and an overall fantastic experience), but my first meal a little different... I went to a small bar/restaurant with a Japanese dude (friend of a friend), run by a middle-aged woman, who served beer and little fried snacks like yakitori. I guess there's probably a name for a place like this -- it was filled with officer workers; salarimen. Well, I was eager to try some sushi, and so I asked for it.

Here's where my cultural ignorance got me into trouble -- this place obviously wasn't a sushi type place... But rather than telling me this, they tried fixing up some maguro sashimi instead. It was frozen, and partially thawed out...

Before going to Japan, I was worried about making some sort of unforgivable social faux pas -- being a bit of a socially oblivious, proverbial elephant in a china shop -- and there I was, first day in town, everyone's embarrassed, we're picking at some frozen blocks of tuna, and I'm thinking, dude, Japanese sushi sucks. :smile:

Oh well, live and learn.

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  • 2 months later...

I searched for a thread on this topic and couldn't find it but I may have missed something. If there is such a thread, kindly point me in that direction. Otherwise, what say you good folks of the Japan forum? In the many years I lived in Japan our family in Kamakura & Hakodate always drank beer with sushi but here in Hawaii many people drink sake. Does it matter? Is it just personal preference?

"Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." TMJ Jr. R.I.P.

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I prefer sparkling riesling with my sushi. But that's just me.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I'm so glad you asked this question! I have no expertise in sushi or Japanese food customs, but through my sushi bar travels I've heard that traditionalists look with disfavor on sake with sushi because they're both rice based. I've always wondered if that's really true. Anybody have the definitive word on this?

Myself, I go pretty much on "what am I in the mood for?" Sometimes, especially if I'm really thirsty, I'll have a beer. But more often than not, I order sake with my sushi because I like the taste combination, especially with sashimi, which I usually start with. (And I end with miso soup. I think it's a perfect ending for a sushi meal. But for some reason, all Japanese restaurants I've encountered in the US want to serve miso at the beginning. But that's another topic.)

SusieQ

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