This post is to remind those people privileged enough to have easy access to quality sushi and bento boxes, particularly in Japan, how good they have it. In the past 10 years or so, increasing numbers of gourmet markets in the U.S. as well as even regular supermarkets started carrying sushi. In many food courts like the one in Union station, you can find small sushi bars mainly for take-out. Some gourmet markets even have a small sushi bar in the store. Some cafeterias may even offer a box of sushi (mostly rolls). The quality of the sushi served in these places, however, often leaves much to be desired. If we like to have take-out sushi for a party, our best bet is to place a take-out order in our favorite sushi bar for pick up just before the party.
This one was bought from the near-by gourmet market. It is made on the premises, but not to order, the plastic sushi boxes are placed in the cold case. So, sometimes these sushi boxes may be sitting in the cold case for quite some time. I served the sushi on a plate with my asazuke and real wasabi to make it more presentable. I also made a tofu and nameko (small slimy Japanese mushroom) miso soup with a garnish of chopped scallion and myouga.
While the fish, luckily was fairly fresh if somewhat spongy, in general the quality of the sushi was dismal. As you can see in the picture the California roll barely held together. The rice balls were huge (in the U.S. big is better) and unless we practically choked ourselves stuffing them into our mouth in one bite they quickly fell apart while trying for a more manageable two bites. The rice was especially disappointing. It turned out to be dry and hard without much vinegar flavor. Although sushi means vinegared rice for some reason much of the sushi sold this way seems to leave it out–(saving costs? Americans won’t notice?) So why did we even bother buying this stuff? It’s better than nothing when you need a sushi fix for lunch. Desperate times call for desperate measures (Due to recent demands at work and other factors we did not have a chance to visit our sushi bar much this summer). At least, the miso soup was excellent (because I made it). We have to hit the sushi bar soon!!