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Did you know that sushi started off as fast food? Hundreds of years ago, sushi was served in larger pieces. The food was fresh and meant to be eaten quickly. Customers would eat with their hands and wipe them on the store’s noren curtain. Savvy travelers would look for the store with the grimiest noren, knowing that it probably served the tastiest sushi.
While dirty noren are no longer a mark of good sushi, Seattle is known for being the hallmark of good, fresh, and local fish sushi. Sushi makes me feel good all over and with the cold months ahead of us, I want to do a Sunday afternoon series starting in December.
There is a quiz when you RSVP that will determine how much you really know about sushi.
Our second stop in the series is Shima Sushi in Wallingford. Chef Tak Sasaki has seen the global sushi boom first-hand. He learned his craft in Lobe, and then came to California in 1984, when many Americans were still mildly repulsed by the idea of eating raw fish. Tak says his American customers are getting more and more knowledgeable about sushi, but they still make a few basic mistakes. First, he says, go easy on the soy sauce so as to be able to really taste the topping and the rice and the nori. Second, remember that sushi typically contains wasabi, so there’s no reason to add even more of it to your plate of soy sauce. That’s meant for sashimi too.
Toppings: Tako (Octopus) This purple and white topping is firm and chewy. A thin slice of the octopus’ leg is cooked before serving to add taste. Because of its firm consistency, it often wears a belt of nori seaweed around it to hold it in place.
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