"sushi virgin" seeks advice

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#1
IA
8,916 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
we'll be on our first cruise in the spring on Carnival Valor and am looking forward to trying sushi for the first time. What do you recommend? I do like seafood in general, but have no clue what to expect, look for, order.

thanks.
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#2
Vancouver, Canada
374 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I love sushi & in general like most types of fish sushi & sashimi like salmon, tuna (especially Toro - i.e. tuna belly) etc. dipped in wasabi soy source. Unagi (cooked eel) is also one of my favourite.The seaweed rolls, especially the cones, are also good, often with either scallops in mayonnaise, spicy tuna & cooked eel wrapped in them.

For the less adventurous, I recommend California roll (cooked crabmeat & avocadro wrapped in seaweed). Octopus & clams are also very good - they are cooked & has a subtle sweet flavour & a bouncy texture.

If you are more adventurous, you can try sea urchin roe, but they are an acquired taste for some, & personally I can't stand the texture of sweet prawn(which means raw).
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#3
Georgia
8,880 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
My understanding is that much of the sushi served aboard cruise ships (but not all) is not sushi in the strictest sense, but rather some Americanized version of sushi. In some cases, all that is available is California Rolls and vegetable maki, neither of which have any raw fish in them, and generally, anyone who has no aversion to crab and/or rice (as applicable) shouldn't have any problem eating this type of sushi.

Excepting California Rolls and vegetable maki, I'm not sure I'd use the opportunity of a cruise to experiment with sushi beyond the confines of what you've experienced before. It's just not an ideal venue and/or circumstance IMHO. Having said that, if you're a fan of salmon tartare, and don't have an aversion to rice, you should love salmon maki or samlon nigiri. If you're a fan of raw or lightly-seared tuna, then you may want to try tuna maki or tuna nigiri. Be warned, though, that while salmon quality doesn't vary very much (at least not in my experience) there is a pretty broad spectrum between good tuna sushi and not-so-good tuna sushi. The toro Gemini mentioned is the very best tuna -- I haven't had the budget for it as yet (nor uni, giant clam, which is, from what I've heard, a sushi-maven's nirvana).

A few notes about how to eat sushi. Some traditionalists say that wasabi and soy sauce are insulting -- to the fish! <grin> To be honest, I see some of that: The more I've acquired a taste for sushi, the less soy sauce and wasabi I used, because I want to enjoy the taste of the raw fish more. I find sushi more and more enjoyable as time goes on, and that does indeed map to how much less soy sauce and wasabi I'm applying to it.

And rice. Now, my favorite sushi is my sushi restaurant's sashimi platter. While they serve it with a bowl of rice, I don't bother with the rice. (White rice has an incredibly high glycemic index and glycemic load, and is pretty-readily traceable to hyperglycemia and diabetes in folks of European descent.) Sashimi is truly a celebration of the fish. I especially like the red snapper and yellow tail.

What's interesting is that the seemingly most innocuous sushi, ebi (shrimp), I actually really abhor. I want my shrimp hot and spicy, in scampi, not cold and layed over a bed of rice. YMMV.
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#4
62 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
I have had the pleasure of going out for sushi with Japanese people (from Japan) and they put their wasabi in the soyal and mixed it together and put it on their food-so I have never heard what you are referring to. Sushi is great but I do not recall the offering on the Princess cruise that I was last on-we are going in 10 days and always look forward to the days they have sushi for lunch.
Enjoy your first time eating sushi and don't put too much wasabi on and blow your brains out!
#5
Georgia
8,880 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Yeah, surprising, eh? From what I've read, too much soy sauce and/or wasabi is considered an insult to, depending on where you read it, the chef or the fish.

Here are some examples:I was trying to find the actual reference to "insult to the fish" -- I think that from some sushi book I read, not online, and perhaps was just the writer's attempt at humor.
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#6
Canada
55 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
If you have a stuffed nose and need to clear it up then wasabe is what you need. Otherwise be very careful. If you have never tried the green paste, just put as little as you can at first on your piece of sushi. You will find your tolerance level quickly.

After awhile you will find it easier if you put it in your soy sauce and then mix up the two items.
#7
1,040 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
In addition to the californai roll being great for starters in the world of raw fish... I also found another "americanized" sushi that helped me to aquire a taste for it. If you can find it... then again, I suppose its easy to make... try smoked salmon over rice cold. It looks like sushi, and somewhat tastes like it, but you're not going too far out on a limb by trying that. After you've had that a few times, raw salmon and tuna should be no sweat. Just keep moving upwards and onwards to the more daring seafoods as you go. My biggest tip is to take it at a pace you feel comfortable with.You don't want to be turned off from sushi forever because you went for eel or something else too quickly. It is an aquired taste, and it comes more easily to some than others. Also, if you just plain old don't like it, don't feel guilty about it. At least you've tried something new and exotic, and I don't think that a dislike of sushi ever hurt anyone...
#8
New York City
9,515 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
A clarification:

The term sushi means "served on vinegared rice", so sushi can be vegetable, egg or anthing, cooked or uncooked. Hence, when people say they don't like sushi because they don't like raw fish, they're wrong. Though much sushi is raw fish, much of it isn't. For example, a california roll is cooked crabmeat, avacado and cucumber....nothing exotic about it at all.

Sashami is raw fish, served without rice.

I think many of you gave some great suggestions for a first time sushi/sashami eater. However, I think I'd disagree with trying unagi on the first go aound.
#9
Lancaster, PA, USA
855 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Now I know what to look for....Thank you, Jane110!

I had my first sushi on NCL last year. I had never looked forward to trying it, but it was the only thing around while waiting to get seated for dinner; I was very hungry. But, it was rather tasty; tho, I'm sure it was VERY Americanized.

And, a little wasabi DOES go a long way.

I hope you enjoy...right now, I need to go find a California Roll recipe to make at home.
#10
New York City
9,515 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
nitnyleo,

The most difficut part of making sushi with cooked ingredients is the rice. Using the right rice and adding the perfect amount of vinegar (which gives it a sweet taste) is key. It also has to have a sticky texture and hold together. It's the reason I've never tried making any sushi at home.

Of course, if it's raw fish sushi, the most difficut part is selecting the proper fish. Eating raw fish is not something I'd trust to just anyone. To quote my DH, "It takes 7 years to learn to be a good sushi/sashimi chef. One year to learn how to make it and 6 years to learn when NOT to!".

Know thy sushi chef. (if you're going to eat the raw stuff!)
#11
Corpus Christi, TX
556 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Just a side note...my hubby and I eat sushi alot! Wasabi mixed with mayo is excellent with sushi. We are in the USA here so of course we will get the Americanized version. Don't sweat it too much...taste it in small samples, find what you like and eat it that way. What's the use in eating food in a way you hate it just to impress someone?

I like to do things as authentic as I can, but not at the expense of putting something in my mouth that I hate the taste of.
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#12
Lancaster, PA, USA
855 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
sounds good and, so easy, too.

While searching for California Roll recipes (which I found on Food.com), I came across a recipe for wasabi dressing....sounds REAL tasty.

And, tho, I thought I had a problem with buying seaweed, I found it online from the same place that I buy my sticky rice from (ethnicgrocer.com).

Now, I have something to look forward to after my cruise...experimenting with rice and vinegar and seaweed and crab and................................
#13
Russellville, AR
3,587 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
We love sushi and sashimi. If they served extensive sushi offerings in a shipboard restaurant, I would pick a cruise on that ship in a heartbeat.

Also, when you order your sushi, they sometimes decorate your plate with a green leaf (or two) of a plant called shiso. It kind of looks like mustard greens but has a taste that is kind of like licorice. Try a small taste, it is extremely intense in flavor and is unique. If you are in an American sushi bar and ask the sushi chef if they have any shiso, they will usually be very surprised that you know what it is.
Mark
#14
MASS
77 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
i love sushi, and i do drown it in the soy sauce and love spreading the wasabi all over it too. i'm sorry to insult the fish. also commonly served with the sushi is little strips of pickled ginger, and this i believe is used to clense the palate between different flavors. the celebrity summit has a good sushi bar open in the evenings. good stuff. i learned a few things from this post. interesting happy sushi eating parrothead.
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#15
New York City
9,515 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
nitnyleo,

The sheets of black seaweed can often be found in the ethnic dept in local supermarkets. Ethnic grocer is a great site. I'm sure they have the sweet vinegar for the sticky rice though you may find that in your local grocery too.
Look for the little gizmo that you use to roll the sushi in - sort of looks like a mini bamboo placemat. Put the seaweed on it, spread the rice and then put the filling in the middle. Roll it up tight, slice them in 6 pcs and voila! Sushi! <g>

We prefer to use low sodium soy sauce - I don't taste a difference between that and the regular stuff. I don't like wasabi, but practically inhale the pickled ginger.

My vegetarian friends consume vast amounts of cucumber rolls. Great to serve at parties or with cocktails because there are no ingredients that can go bad if they're sitting around for a few hours.

Jane
#16
7 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
My husband & I are going on the Costa Atlantica on 1/23/05. I know I've had sushi on Carnival & norwegian,but does anyone know if they have sushi on Costa Atlantica. We went on the Costa Victoria in 98 & I don't remember. Thanks for any replies. Chris