It's no secret that Ryan and I love sushi. One of our friends even called us sushi ambassadors, because we introduce it to all of our friends. It's our favorite celebratory dinner and my parents are really into it as well, so we eat it about once a month.
Recently, I ordered some sushi I didn't really care for and that led me to ponder the meaning of life... as it relates to sushi.
Here are 4 life lessons I've learned from eating and making sushi.
1. Two much of the same thing is bad - This is where I went wrong ordering recently. We were visiting a friend on the west coast, and he took us to a funky sushi place in Vancouver. (That's how they market themselves!) They had a bunch of really unique rolls: the Bob Marley, the Andy Warhol, the Drunken Monkey, the Godzilla, the San Francisco, etc. I really wanted to try one with mango and I also wanted to see what their pumped up Philadelphia roll tasted like, since that's one of my favorites. But it wasn't until I got my order that I realized my mistake. My entire place was full of mushy elements. Sushi is like one step away from baby food, so the crunchy elements are very important. And I didn't have any. Just cream cheese, salmon, tuna, mango, and avocado. Mush upon mush. Thankfully Ryan offered me a couple pieces from his plate, but I'll be very careful ordering from now on to make sure my two rolls aren't too similar.
2. People crave beauty - One of the things I love most about ordering sushi (other than eating it) is seeing my plate for the first time. The chefs at the local restaurant we always go to arrange the plate artistically based on which rolls you order together. It's really quite beautiful. And I think that's why so many people's instagram feeds are filled with photos of their food. (I know mine is!)
3. One small change can make a dramatic difference - We have dinner with my parents every two weeks, and since teaching them to make sushi, that's what we have for dinner the most often. But something weird was happening with the rice. Two dinners in a row we had crunchy, under-cooked rice. So to solve that problem, my parents added more water so the rice could keep cooking. And then we had mushy rice. Whether you turn up the heat too high or add more water than the directions call for, not cooking the rice correctly really messes with the textural integrity of the sushi. And as we learned, texture is everything in sushi.
4. Playing it safe to keep everyone happy means nobody is happy - When you order sushi at a restaurant, there are almost endless combinations. Everyone at the table can order something different. But the one downside to making it yourself at home is that you're limited on ingredients. It can be difficult to get sashimi-grade tuna, and we haven't found any other raw fish to be available. So we ended up with an entire tray of very similar rolls. And when you have sushi every two weeks, that gets a little boring. So after a little brainstorming and Pinterest searching, I created a menu of sushi rolls that we could make at home without adding too many additional ingredients. Five different rolls with four different proteins (crab, salmon, sashimi tuna, and shrimp). We used to just add a little of everything (cucumber, carrot, avocado, and crab or sashimi tuna) to each roll, but now we have a specific menu to follow and the result is a much more exciting and special dinner!
Want to learn how to make your own sushi? We blogged our tips!