It might sound a little insane, but I tasted sushi for the first time the other day. Now, I’ll be clear – I love vegetarian sushi and have eaten that plenty of times. But because I have just come to like cooked fish as a relatively mature adult and still steer clear of all of the really “fishy” tasting foods, I always suspected that rolls of raw fish would likely not make me go “mmmmmm.”
But when my colleagues suggested we go to an all-you-can-eat sushi place in Ottawa’s Chinatown called Yummy Sushi, I went in with an open mind. Of course, my first question was: Will they have vegetarian sushi? But of course! But while we sat there and my colleagues Kat, Tabitha and Paul explained a few of the menu items to me, I decided it was time to try a few new things. So I did.
One thing I tried was a cone-shaped rice hand roll (I think that’s what it was called). It was made up of rice, cucumber and avocado – my favourite type of sushi. I was surprised when it arrived and looked like a seaweed ice cream cone. My colleague, Kat explained I just eat it as-is. So I poured some soy sauce/wasabi mixture on it and began nibbling it like you would the edge of an ice cream cone. Totally delicious.
I tried a few other things that went down awfully nicely: tempura dipped sweet potato slices (I was surprised at how much I loved those); what had to be the best miso soup I have ever tasted; and one of the yummiest chicken fried rice dishes I have ever eaten in my life (I can see why they call the place “Yummy Sushi”). My one challenge is that I cannot figure out how people get all of the rice off the plate with chopsticks. If there is a way, I would like to know.
When a plate full of various sushi rolls showed up on the table, they pointed out the different kinds. I ate a couple of non-fish filled rolls first, after having dipped them in delicious soy sauce and wasabi. And then I got a little brave. Paul pointed out the rolls with salmon, which is not the fishiest tasting fish on the planet, so I clumsily lifted it off the plate with my chopsticks, dipped it in my soy-wasabi sauce and popped it in my mouth. I reflected as I chewed. I was surprised that my mouth wasn’t bursting with the overwhelming taste of fish, though I must admit, I did taste it. I chewed and chewed and worked on savouring the moment. I could see my co-workers watching and waiting for my final report.
I swallowed the first piece of raw fish sushi I have ever tried. “It wasn’t bad,” I reported. It was better than I imagined it would be. However, it was not only my first bite of raw fish but, for now, my last. I have decided to stick with cucumbers, avocados and sweet potatoes for the time being.