wake up little sushi!


Ohayo gozaimasu (Good morning)!

O genki desu ka (How are you)?

Say this very fast: Sushi Chef Sushi Chef Sushi Chef!

Quite a mouthful! And so is sushi, one of my favorite Japanese foods. It’s a snack, a side dish, a main dish, a work of art, and an international sensation. From its humble beginnings as a way to preserve fish over a thousand years ago, to its modern day form originating in the 18th century (Edo period), sushi is king (or should I say, emperor), a veritable calling card for Japanese cuisine.

We gotta get something straight, though. There are people (not you) who think sushi means raw fish. The term, sushi (“it’s sour”), refers to the vinegared rice. Raw fish by itself is called sashimi. Moving on . . .

Confession time: rumor has it that I’m Korean. But I prefer Japanese food. Probably because of its emphasis on fish. Koreans are into hot and spicy and red meat, quite the carnivores. Anyway, I remember many a potluck and holiday dinner in Hawai’i with its requisite platter of sushi — alongside Chinese noodles and roast pork, three kinds of kimchee, ham, turkey, Korean kalbi, namul and taegu.

                 Futomaki with vegetable filling is my favorite!

Another confession: I only like cooked toppings or fillings with my sushi. Nothing raw for me. I’m a makizushi girl all the way. I’ll take futomaki (large rolls with 3 toppings) or hosomaki (smaller rolls), with cucumber, avocado, or carrots. I guess I find the nori and rolls comforting somehow. And I like to know my fish isn’t going to swim away before I bite into it.


Hungry yet?

I know (gasp), that some of you out there don’t like/won’t eat/haven’t tried/won’t try sushi. I sense my brother-in-law in New Hampshire might fit this description. 

                              No way!

Don’t worry. I’m not here to convince you otherwise. Instead, I’ve prepared a special sushi platter today to cater to all tastes. The goal is to learn a little, have fun, and celebrate the wonder of sushi in a virtual way. So nibble on a few pieces, or devour the entire platter.

Douzo meshiagare (Enjoy your meal)!


 First, test your general sushi knowledge with this IQ quiz.

To find out what type of sushi you are, click here!

If you’re a sucker for games, try Sushi Go Round. (It drove me crazy.)

An excellent primer featuring a little history and how to make sushi from Good Eats’ Alton Brown: Part I and Part II. Very interesting!!

Just for fun: 
                                                    Sushi candles

       Decorative Sushi                    Something for big appetites

And finally, For the Kids, the best sushi picture book ever (review coming next week):

                HIROMI’S HANDS by Lynne Barasch
                (Lee and Low, 2007), ages 4-8

And a great wooden sushi toy, that just happens to be on sale:
                        Purchase here.


What is your favorite?

Domo arigato gozaimasu (Thank you very much)!


43 thoughts on “wake up little sushi!

  1. This is so weird. I dreamed about sushi last night! I dreamed that I was in a store where there were large pieces of fresh fish and a huge pile of vinegared rice, and we were all expected to roll our own creations to take out. I wanted to, but I was afraid my rolls would fall apart!!! (No Freudian analysis, please…)
    My favorite is spicy tuna rolls. I’m a raw girl all the way, although I struggle with anything too soft. And I really prefer brown rice.


  2. When it comes to sushi, I’m also a cooked ingredients kind of gal.
    Sushi’s always so beautifully presented, just like your posts.
    *bowing to you and your guests*


  3. Dang, Jama – you did it again…made me HUNGRY! I love, love love sushi. My favorite is hamachi. I also love spicy tuna or hamachi rolls with the yummy crunchy panko crumbs – but there is almost NO sushi I won’t eat and love.


  4. Great post!
    Now I am VERY hungry!
    My favorite thing to order is a rainbow roll and maybe some sea eel (I can’t remember the name but it has a sweet sauce on top) for dessert!
    My husband was the first person who made the sushi experience fun and not intimidating for me. One of the many reasons why I married him.
    Sushi toy = very cute! I bought a wind up sushi 20 years ago!


  5. My sister and husband love sushi–I love it, too, but I’m with you–I opt for the vegetable sushi. I just can’t do the fish, raw or cooked.
    Great post!


  6. I am SO not a sushi person but I loved this post. Thank you for all the effort you put into them with all the photos. The photo one I did last week of my dog was so time consuming I don’t know how you do it so often.


  7. Okay, I’m with Sara on the spicy tuna roll. I also like sushi with cucumber and avocado. I prefer my rice on the outside, thank you very much. I must dissolve a huge heap of wasabi in soy and then dunk (drown?) my sushi in it. YUM! Is it lunch yet?


  8. Strange dream, sounds like revision anxiety to me.
    I’m impressed with your rawness — must be part of your poet/bohemian/yoga tendencies. We eat more brown rice at home than white.


  9. Re: I’ve always wondered what “Q” stands for.
    That would be Beatrice, aka Beezus. I LOVE Ramona Quimby. My brother says I even look like her!
    If you want to call me “Q”, then it’ll stand for “Queen.” 🙂


  10. Did you say sea eel? ACCKKK! ARRGGHHH!
    For dessert, no less?
    I do like to say, “unagi,” though. There was a “Friends” episode where Ross kept saying it.


  11. this one’s for YOU!
    Little Queenie
    I got lumps in my throat
    When I saw her comin down the aisle
    I got the wiggles in my knees
    When she looked at me and sweetly smiled
    Well there she is again
    Standin over by the record machine
    Well she looks like a model
    On the cover of a magazine
    But she’s too cute
    To be a minute over seventeen
    Meanwhile I was thinkin’
    Well if she’s in the mood
    No need to break it
    I got the chance and I oughta take it
    If she can dance we can make it
    C’mon queenie let’s shake it
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    Won’t someone tell me
    Who’s the queen standin over by the record machine
    Well she looks like a model
    On the cover of a magazine
    But she’s too cute
    To be a minute over seventeen
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    Meanwhile, I was still thinkin, hmmmm,
    Well if it’s a slow one
    We’ll omit it
    If it’s a rocker, then we’ll get it
    If it’s a good one, she’ll admit it
    C’mon queenie, let’s get with it
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    I said go, go, go, little queenie
    I said go, go, go, little queenie…
    (Words and Music by Chuck Berry)


  12. Thanks so much, Susan. A lot of times images give me ideas for posts. I’m so used to including them, that words by themselves look bare to me now. (I guess that’s my picture book gene kicking in.)
    Photobucket’s new sizing software has made things much easier, too.


  13. The sushi itself is the same, but it is served on the naked body of a man or woman. Apparently this is the latest craze for those with money to burn. It can cost over $1000/head. If you’re curious, there are some youtube videos — type in “naked sushi.”


  14. I’m thinking you poet types are closet cannibals! Rice on the outside frustrates me, because the rolls are flimsier. Cucumber and avocado are your saving grace :).


  15. Re: this one’s for YOU!
    Oooh!! Thanks! Chuck Berry did a concert in Hawaii once. He only played for 30 minutes! We were furious. Apparently, Hawaii was a stopover for him, so he decided to make a fast buck. Later, we saw him rushing through the airport to catch his plane.


  16. He only played for 30 minutes!
    Such is that fame thing!
    The Beatles use to play 30 minute shows at their peak. And they’d try to play the songs as fast as possible to see if they could “do it in 20 minutes!”


  17. I’m not a big fan of the seaweed wrapper, so “hiding” it on the inside somehow makes it more palatable!
    And just for the record, spicy tuna is the ONLY raw sushi I eat. Once I get past tuna, it’s veggie all the way!


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