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mamster

wasabi

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Today I had lunch at a Japanese restaurant in Seattle and got a sushi plate with six assorted nigiri pieces, a tuna roll, and some egg.  The fish and rice were good, but on the nigiri pieces, the dot of wasabi affixing the fish to the rice was more than a dot--it was an exclamation point.  I was actually in pain a couple of times.  Obviously this was an error, but would it be reasonable to ask them to go light on the wasabi if I go back to this place?  It would have been a perfectly good lunch without the seared nostrils.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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I certainly would.

This sounds like incompetance, though. The wasabi is used as a glue to afix the fish to the rice during the pressing. One certainly does not need much unless one's technique is flawed.

Or perhaps the clientele really like wasabi and the restaurant is responding to that? The heat of the wasabi, even in the shoyu dipping sauce, should be just enough to highlight the flavours of the fish. Too much and these are overtaken or even overpowered. I've noticed many people who believe they like sushi are just getting off on a wasabi rush.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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It was a strange thing, Jinmyo.  I hadn't been to this place before, but I've had it recommended by people I trust, and both the fish and rice were great.  Just this one little nostril-incinerating problem....


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Were you sitting at the counter? If so, easy enough to ask the chef. Or, as it so often happens to be these days, the 22 year old "sushi guy".

In any case, I'm sure a comment or request will suffice.

I'm curious though. What I might do is order a single, try it, and see how it was. If the wasabi was overdone, I'd say so. If not, I'd try another. Perhaps it was just a fluke.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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No, I was sitting at a table and got a platter-type arrangement.  I now realize this was silly--I'm kind of a sushi newbie, as I'm sure you can tell.


Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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As someone newish to sushi you have tremendous and glorious experiences ahead. Congratulations.

Ordering an assortment or platter is a great way to taste fish you've never had or had this way before. Once you have some sense of what you really like, you can order those and a few you don't know or aren't so sure of.

My advice is to keep drinks simple: Perhaps a small tokuri of sake while looking over the menu and talking with the chef about what's fresh or recommended. Then tea or water with the sushi to keep the palate clear. (An old Japanese friend was suprised to hear that someone would be allowed to drink any sake while eating sushi as the restaurants he frequents are very traditional.) A bowl of rice or miso shiru after and sake or coffee or whatever after that.

In Seattle you should be able to get some very nice, fresh fish.

My favourite is saba (mackerel), considered a very low class fish as it is oily and Japanese are sensitive to odours. So what do I know.  ;)


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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ok mamster....where was the sushi place?  Mashiko? (where the sushi chef is really a sushi gal about age 22?  Ha, you thought you could sneak this one in on the Japan board and not be spotted, eh?  I'm curious now to hear where you went!

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No ! No !, many years ago, make it decades; I was observing (ethnographically speaking)

a few of my friends eating at a place near TokyoU, being a novice in the rituals, I noted

that a certain group preffer a dash-more of wasabi in their fish; not only that - I was made

to believe that experts taste the wasabi of the house before adjusting their usage of wasabi

during the course of the meal...... Natives please chime in .


anil

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Nice to see this thread back up.

anil, I am sure that many young Japanese might like lotsa wasabi. Like they like hot dogs. But the old folk like the taste of the fish, rice, and the subtleties therein. And surely most people would

taste the wasabi of the house before adjusting their usage of wasabi during the course of the meal

or else not be interested in what they were tasting. Otherwise, it's like salting your meal before tasting it.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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love it?

hate it?

any unusual uses for it?


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Of course, I love it.

In mayonaisse, in mashed potatoes, with shoyu etc etc.

Define "unusual"? :blink:


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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.

Define "unusual"? :blink:

oh say,

wasabi and peanut butter

(from the thread on foods that don't go together but taste good, sorry forgot the exact name of the thread)


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Love it most of the time -- Only once, a beautiful distraction made me pick wasabi instead of hamachi (sp?) without looking down at my bowl -- My head still spins at the thought of what it felt - Never trust those salarymen after a few drinks :smile:


Edited by anil (log)

anil

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As someone who has only recently starting enjoying REAL wasabi, I can say with alacrity that once you start using the real thing and not the powdered horseradish paste stuff most sushi restaurants give you, you don't want to go back. Torakris is lucky she lives in Japan and has access to actual Wasabi rhizomes.

I recently got some of the fresh wasabi paste from http://www.freshwasabi.com/, its much more mellow and complex a flavor than what most people are used to from the green horseradish paste.

See:

http://www.report.ca/archive/report/200204...0ai020415f.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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Wasabi ice cream. Had it at some wasabi festival somewhere in Japan, can't remember now. Lots of freshly picked wasabi made into all sorts of treats, but the ice cream was the hit. Really smooth, mellow flavor. Fresh tasting, not at all heavy.

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It's funny. I still occasionally like the nose-clearing power of a horseradish paste, but real wasabi seems to be a lot more versatile.

Conclusion: I'm going to wind up using them both, maybe for different things.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I make a great wasabi mashed potatoes that I serve with miso glazed Chilean Sea Bass...its really awesome... :smile:

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Always loved wasabi with sushi. One sushi chef mentioned to me it's not the real thing to have wasabi with sushi. Honestly I loveed it, but the sushi chef said no way ????

Everytime I have sushi I always have it with wasabi.

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Torakris is lucky she lives in Japan and has access to actual Wasabi rhizomes.

yes, I am! :biggrin:

A friend once mixed it with ketchup (instead of regular horseradich) for a shrimp cocktail and it was really good.

My husband eats his yakitori (salt only, no sauce) with a smear of wasabi and squeeze of lemon.

One udon shop that I occasionally frequent, serves the noodes with the entire rhizome and a grater and you can great your own for either the noodle or sashimi.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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One udon shop that I occasionally frequent, serves the noodes with the entire rhizome and a grater and you can great your own for either the noodle or sashimi.

My God, that is sinful.

But then again, theres things in the US which are easily accessible that are obscenely expensive in Japan... I guess there has to be some balance in the world.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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

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One udon shop that I occasionally frequent, serves the noodes with the entire rhizome and a grater and you can great your own for either the noodle or sashimi.

My God, that is sinful.

But then again, theres things in the US which are easily accessible that are obscenely expensive in Japan... I guess there has to be some balance in the world.

Yes $5 for one small yellow zucchini is extremely sinful!


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Don't love it, don't hate it.

My husband can't eat it so we always order sushi without wasabi- and that's just fine with me! I think most fish tastes better without it, or with a bit of grated ginger or sliced negi instead.

As for udon or soba, I enjoy it when they bring the fresh wasabi and grater. Except for at this one place that had a real shark-scale grater, which is supposed to be the best way to grate wasabi, and it took FOREVER to grate- my noodles were cold and soggy by the time I was finished grating!

But otherwise I'll take shichimi over wasabi any day.


My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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I make a great wasabi mashed potatoes that I serve with miso glazed Chilean Sea Bass...its really awesome... :smile:

Are you using the real stuff or the horseradish?

I'd imagine that potatoes are one of the cases where the stronger, less subtle horseradish would probably be better, whereas the Sea Bass would benefit more from the subtlety of the real wasabi.


Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I like it in cole slaw.

The cocktail sauce variation is a great idea.

My first experience with sushi was picking up a tray of california rolls (hey -- it was alaska and more than ten years ago) from the supermarket deli and taking it back to my dorm room. I'm eternally grateful I was alone because I saw a blob of avocado that had fallen out and popped it in my mouth.

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