Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pseudo Sushi & the Avocado



I don't understand why there is even a debate about a substitute for traditional Sushi ingredients when we already have the avocado. Since Ichiro Mashita the Sushi Chef at The Tokyo Kaikan tried substituting avocados for Toro, the avocado has become standard fare for Sushi...outside Japan.

Since the basic premise for Japanese cuisine is using the freshest ingredients in season - why even think about eating raw fish in inland areas faraway from the ocean? During my days as a production coordinator for television commercials I remember how the Japanese staff from Tokyo would cringe at the thought of eating Sushi deep in the mountains somewhere in some rural town. I guess the American crew just thought they should be eating Sushi since they were in Japan because it was the vogue in those days to do this, but well....fresh saltwater fish deep in the mountains where the hotel didn't even have decent toilet paper? Then after not heeding the advice of the Japanese coordinators that it wasn't a good idea to eat Sushi at all, the American crew would invariably complain that the Sushi wasn't good as the Sushi in New York.

I'm sure it wasn't and they put way too much sugar in the rice and I thought it was disgusting.

People from Tokyo are awfully proud of their Sushi, but if you ask the fishermen in the small fishing villages, they'll turn their noses up in disgust because the fish is 'half-rotten' according to them. These people are used to fish as fresh as can be you see.

Anyhow what you see in the photograph is not Sushi because the rice needs to have vinegar in it to be called Sushi and I don't like vinegar. It's just glorified rice balls rolled in toasted sesame seeds, garnished with a slice of ripe melt in your mouth avocado marinated in lemon juice and drizzled with a mixture of Wasabi and soy sauce. The green stuff you see on top of the avocado are chives.

I often eat what the Japanese call Temaki Zushi (which is pretty much DIY Sushi at the table), and I just use freshly cooked rice. Avocado, wasabi, soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds is a golden combination that makes an excellent substitute for real Sushi and this is how I get my Sushi and Sashimi fix when I need it.

16 comments:

Anncoo said...

This is just like a piece of Art..so beautifully done.

Babs said...

Never ate raw fish, I'm scared I get sick by eating it, but I'll try it one time. But not when I make it myself lol.

Babs

Lori said...

I love sushi and sashimi. While I can see the people point and your point about eating so far from the sea, I still like to eat it here. Of course most of the time it is California Roll, sometimes we do head out to a Japanese restaurant for the real stuff (albeit not terribly fresh).

Now what you have here is just one beautiful creation. I would happily eat those.

♥peachkins♥ said...

Sushi or not it looks and sounds delish!!
I'll gobble it up anytime!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Anncoo: Thanks!

Babs: You should be OK so long as it's a reputable Sushi bar but what's the point of eating raw fish if it scares you? lol

Lori: If you enjoy it eat it by all means...and this fake avocado Sushi is really easy to make - you can make them yourself at home. :)

Peachkins: Thank you :)

Elra said...

How beautiful. I love sushi like this.

Palidor said...

These rice balls look perfect and delicious. I tried to make onigiri once, but I washed too much starch from the rice before cooking, so they didn't stick together very well. :-P

I hear what you're saying about using the freshest ingredients possible. But when you live in a land-locked area (like Ontario, Canada), you make do with what you have. I know it's not authentic sushi (more the Americanized maki rolls), but I like it. :)

Babs said...

Depends which part you mean ;-)

Natashya said...

Sounds like the name of a rock band!
Pseudo Sushi & the Avocado.
I make maki at home, we love it. My daughter is mostly veggie so we do the California style, sans mock crab. Yum!
There is a seasoned rice vinegar here in Canada that I like, President's Choice, it has just the balance of flavours that I like in my sushi rice.

mommythecook said...

I love to eat Sushi / Sashimi, and pick the restaurant so carefully here, but i'm sure in tokyo freshness and hygene is a given....either way...if i'm eating anything raw it better be v.v.v.clean.

I've never actually tried cooking Japanese before ...your version sounds easy and wholesome... I will surely try it out.

Sadao said...

Beautiful presentation! I've never seen anything like that and it looks great!

Anncoo said...

Cheers !! You have got an award for your lovely food blog. Pick it from my blog

Lori said...

I looked for you email but I didnt see anything. I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Murasaki, Happy Birthday to you. (an English diddy-). Just want to wish you a Happy Birthday- a day to celebrate you! I certainly am glad you are around, I love to read your comments and your blog. Have a great day.

Justin said...

how funny, i just realized we both wrote about sushi at almost the same time...

Dorte said...

This looks so great - I will try this ... I love sushi, but I have not found a place around here that I would like to try!

Taste of Beirut said...

Very interesting post!