Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sushi Magic... What's Your Going Away Food?

16th August, 2010 - There's one thing that we all enjoy at T-chan's home... great takeaway sushi. Of course, there's great sushi every where in Japan (and I suppose a few dodgy ones as well), but Hokkaido is home of fresh seafood... something for which I'm eternally grateful. 

T-chan's parents always manage to organise a good meal of osushi, and especially before we head back home. Always a huge selection... but you can bet there's not much if anything left on the plate after we've finished eating. But the one sad thing about having sushi for dinner (whether take-away or eating out), is that it often signifies the end of our trip. And therefore, each mouthful comes with a slight bittersweet taste of tears to perfectly complement the sweet taste of well as deliciousness.

I thought I'd throw up some totally self-indulgent sushi photos.... hmmmm, I can't be sure that I've got all the fish names in the right place, or that I haven't missed anything out.... but at the end of the day... who cares. Bring on the Sushi! It's hard to pick a favourite - but I think it's hard to go past a good maguro (tuna)... but the aburi (seared) salmon is delicious too... and the ikura (roe) is just devine. I love 'em all!
Front/right: ikura (salmon roe), middle: ebi (prawn), right: saba (mackerel). top/left:,  engawa (dorsal fin muscle from the halibut), top middle: kani (crab).

Bottom: Another otoro sake (salmon belly), ebi , maguro (tuna), and uni (urchin)

Bottom left: kani, centre: salmon (yum), top: toro tuna.

Right: toro (underbelly) tuna, left: sake, salmon, top/middle: unagi (eel), top left: engawa  and very top left: hotate (scallops).

Left: aburi sake (seared salmon), right: tuna, tuna, tuna!

Now of course, if you've been living in a cave for the last thousand years, you may not know the deliciousness of good sushi... and unfortunately, a lot of the sushi you buy in your local shopping strip just doesn't quite cut it. Actually - to be honest, 10 years ago, I most probably wouldn't know good sushi from a wet sock... I was such a culturally and gastronomically challenged lad. So I don't think it's particularly bad if you don't eat sushi, and the thought of raw fish turns your stomach... I'm a very good example of someone that (given the right push along) can become quite a fan!

Though it is difficult to find really good sushi here... perhaps because it's hard to get the same range of fresh ingredients, and I think difficult to find sushi chefs with the authentic technique. I guess that's one of the reasons we always fill up before coming home. Of course, this is take away sushi ... so I suppose it's fitting as a parting gift before leaving Sapporo... If only we could pack every spare inch of our suitcases with sushi, but I suspect we might not like the welcome home when we arrived back in Adelaide.

What's your favourite sushi, and what dish (if any) symbolises the end of journey to Japan? Or do you have other food for other favourite destinations?


  1. My fave sushi is Katsuo tataki, with negi to shoga of course!

    As I live in Japan, the dish that symbolizes the end of a journey (to Australia) may very well be found at Hungry Jack's, I 'spose.

    1. Hi Kyushudan... thanks for your pick! I've had bonito sashimi and it's quite nice... not sure I've had seared bonito (Katsuo tataki though). Something to try out next time we're there.

      I love the Hungry Jack's like however... very Australian (and for those non-Australians reading this, think Burger King). No body said that going-away-food had to be exotic! Cheers.

  2. It is fun to have take-out sushi at home with family and friends. The freshness is hardly ruined, either.

    The reason Katya and I do not take out sushi often is for tasting broiled sushi, whose surface is lightly burnt right before served. When we once took it out, the taste and the warmness was not satisfactory.

    In Russia, I enjoy Russian breads and kvas, which are hardly found in Japan (and Katya misses them).

    1. Muravej, it's definitely a different experience having take-out (and for us, we do it normally to have a more family-centric meal... especially with L-kun).

      I love the seared fish sushi... and yes, best eaten fresh.

      I have to say, I'm quite a fan of Japanese breads... it's funny that Australia being such a wheat-centric country, we haven't really been that experimental with bread. There are some very traditional breads here however that are worth eating.

  3. It's not even lunch time yet and I'm getting hungry!

    I love ootoro. But my wallet might feel differently. =P

    1. Jenny... it's rare that I post something to get your taste juices going, but I can imagine how annoying it can be before lunchtime. How's the quality of sushi in Canada?

    2. Poor in comparison. I can find really great salmon, but not good tuna. That's why I always have to eat my fill when I'm in Japan. =P