Sushi Love Affair

Sushi is most definitely an acquired taste.  Or at least I think that it is.  There are so many new things going on, the seaweed, the rice vinegar, everything dipped in soy sauce.  It’s a party and takes some time getting used to all those big flavors.  The first time I had sushi I hated it.  I spit it out and passed my portion on to Scott who gobbled it up like it was his last meal.  For me it was a horrible experience.

I was seriously bummed out that I can’t even begin to describe that feeling.

I wanted to like sushi, I really did!  There are so many different ways it’s made that you can literally get anything you want wrapped up in a little roll with some rice.  I wanted to be one of those people who said, “Hey wanna go out for sushi?” and mean it.  Maybe it sounds odd to want something like that out of life but it’s one of those things I’ve always sort of daydreamed about.  Sushi seems very grown-up to me.  Very sophisticated.  It’s the Japanese version of upscale finger foods.  At least in my mind it is.  With sushi being so totally versatile, I knew it was possible for me to find something that I enjoyed.

First I had to find out what I didn’t like.  Every time Scott got sushi, I would pick at his portion here and there.  I would taste some rice.  I would taste the wrap.  I tasted the fish.  Dipped in soy sauce.  No soy sauce.  You get the idea.  Three things I discovered:

1. The rice vinegar in the sushi was sweet and tart but not in a good way on my tongue.  I had to get used to that.

2. Seaweed is weird.

3. Raw fish has a texture that will make me gag.

Slowly over time I got used to the rice being a little bit sweeter and soon I really started liking it.  The seaweed took me a bit longer to enjoy.  I can’t really explain the taste of seaweed as it’s like nothing I’ve eaten before.  It’s not salty or briny but it also doesn’t taste like a green.  Seaweed is its own thing and hard for me to describe.

Acquiring a taste for raw fish will not be happening anytime soon.  Which is okay because there are so many different kinds of sushi that my bases are totally covered.

After picking at Scott’s rice for a long time, I was finally ready to try a piece myself.  We were out to dinner and I got a veggie roll.

I hated it.

*sigh*

It tasted really bad.  Ugh!  And I brought the rest home for Scott to eat.  I did discover that I do not like sushi dipped in soy sauce.  I like soy sauce just fine but not straight up hardcore like that.

I did not let this deter me and I continued to pick at Scott’s rice whenever he got sushi.

Then one glorious day at Whole Foods I saw that they had a vegan sushi roll.  It had a vegan nugget in it, lettuce, and lots of veggies.  With more veggies on top!  And it came with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.

This was a turning point for me.  I loved everything about this roll!  Tons of veggies, brown rice, and a sauce that wasn’t soy sauce.  Hooray!

A few times I had this with lunch and I could only handle eating about 3 pieces total before having to call it quits.  Otherwise I got a little bloaty feeling.

I loved this roll and it showed me that I can love sushi but it’s got to be on my terms.

Eventually Whole Foods stopped carrying that roll and when I asked for it, the ladies would make it for me but totally begrudgingly.  I started picking up their veggie rolls with brown rice instead.

But what to dip it in?  Enter my new best friend.

This stuff is awesome.  Despite it’s name, it really isn’t spicy.  It is a nice blend of sesame and peanut flavors.  I wouldn’t be able to use it as an actual dressing but for dipping it is off the hook.  Interestingly enough the resident Thai doesn’t care for it much.  More for me!

Dipping veggie sushi into this sauce is a total winner.  Hooray!  I was still only having sushi for lunch though.  It never occurred to me to have it for dinner and I have no idea why.

A few weeks ago, Scott and I were out on a Friday night grocery shopping.  We love to party it up on Friday nights and what better way to do that than comparing organic produce prices at your local Kroger.  Am I right?  I was hungry for dinner but not starving.  Scott was having leftovers of some sort that I didn’t want so on a whim I grabbed a veggie sushi container and took it home with me.

This is where I fell in love with sushi 100%.  Let me state for the record that my Kroger gets huge props in the sushi department.  Their sushi is good and you get 12 pieces for 5 bucks.  Tuna is only 6 bucks.  I know it!

I poured a little bowl of dressing and proceed to plow through that entire container of sushi.  And then I wanted more but sadly I didn’t pick up an extra box.  This was my first time ever getting past 3 pieces of sushi and not feeling like a bloated balloon.  I was in heaven!  It made for the perfect light refreshing dinner (you know how I love my raw veggies).  The only downside being that I was out of sushi!

Ever since that moment I have been wanting more sushi.  Rightnow, please.  Scott, excited by this change of events, had promised to take me to get some the following Friday evening.  Then a winter storm hit and we got snowed in.

Cue major bummage.

But eventually I did get some more sushi in my bellah.

Who cares if it’s just some basic sushi from my local Kroger.  That doesn’t mean it’s not good and it doesn’t mean that I can’t fancy it up with a pretty plate and a nice set of chopsticks.   That plate was my grandmother’s and doesn’t it just scream fashionable 1940s flair?  It is the perfect sushi plate!  Big enough to hold all your sushi and catch your droppings if that so happens, with a design to wrap it all up making it and you feel special.

I think Friday Night Sushi just might start making more appearances in our lives.  Are you a sushi lover or hater?

Andrea

About Andrea Ratulowski

Andrea Ratulowski is the proprietor of Food Embrace. She eats and cooks with real foods. She feels that cheese is always acceptable and that beer is the right answer.

Comments

  1. says

    HAHA! This post made me laugh because when I first tried sushi, I was too freaked out to eat raw fish, so I had a california roll. Those things are BEYOND DISGUSTING and I was so disillusioned that it took me a long time to try sushi again! Now, I love it :)

    • says

      Jenny, isn’t that funny! I was disillusioned at first too! So many people just love it and love it from the first bite. I just assumed that would be the case for me. So wrong! Thankfully both of us realized what works for us! YaY! :)

  2. says

    lol The first time I ate sushi I also spat it out. Then randomly a year later I decided I wanted some and have been indulging ever since!!!

    Honestly I eat it multiple times a week. In fact I’m heading to a Japanese restaurant for lunch in a few minutes. My mission for the day is to stay away from the tuna – yes I love it but mercury is bad for me.

  3. says

    Great to know that Kroger’s sushi is good! I’ve been curious, but wary of it lately. And my love affair with sushi has definitely been a work in progress…and I’m still working on some aspects of it. It’s fun though!

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