Thursday, January 26, 2012

Strange but True!

SUSHI is not raw fish!

SUSHI actually refers to the vinegared rice that is served in a variety of forms with different ingredients, raw and cooked. "Su"= vinegar"; "shi"= thing/food. The items that ride along with the rice may be from the farm, the field or the sea. Nigiri sushi (above) is the bitesize rice ball topped with something tasty, and maki sushi (below) is the roll with raw/cooked or vegetarian ingredients inside. Then there's chirashi sushi, inari sushi, oshiizushi etc. etc. etc!

SASHIMI is not the same. There's no rice involved, and sashimi is most often slices of raw seafood, although cooked edibles are not unheard of.

Of course, fresh is best. Is your seafood still moving? It's not necessarily all the sake you've been drinking. If you are actually in Japan, it could be you are experiencing "ikizukuri"; not impaired vision. Live fish, shrimp or lobster are sliced up and served reassembled, vital organs intact and heart still beating away....

Every so often a fish gets revenge. "FUGU" or pufferfish, are highly toxic and deadly if improperly prepared.

Sushi Chefs in Japan must be specially licensed to serve fugu. Even so, several deaths a year are reported from fugu poisoning. Usually they're the result of over ambitious homecooks falling victim to their own handiwork. And they probably can't make it look as pretty. Traditionally, fugu sashimi is sliced so thin you can see the design of the plate on which it's presented...

The sashimi has a light, delicate, slightly sweet taste. Is it worth the "risk"? Death by fugu poisoning is not the most pleasant way to make your final exit. Fugu's neurotoxin is 1000 times more powerful than cyanide. It shuts down your nervous system and paralyzes you but you remain conscious and alert. Eventually your lungs shut down and you suffocate. The process can take many hours. I'd spend the extra bucks and stick with a licensed Japanese Chef.

On a lighter note....

KAWAII! (ka wai ee!=Cute!)
And the Queen of Cute is Hello Kitty. Born "Kitty White" on November 1st, 1974 in London, England, she's got a twin sister Mimmy and fans all over the world. They earn her parent company Sanrio over a billion dollars a year. With her own line of diamond jewellery, an EvaAir Hello Kitty airbus and a maternity hospital in Taiwan, this girl deserves a blog of her own. I shall so enjoy researching and writing it. Stay tuned Kitty loving kids....

KAMIKAZE translates as "Divine Wind". Kublai Khan led Mongolian invasions of Japan in the 1200s. Not just once, but twice, massive typhoons drove the Mongols from Japan's shores, and destroyed hundreds of their ships. It was believed that the Japanese Gods had created the storms to protect the Japanese people from the foreign devils. Most non-Japanese understand kamikaze to refer to the WW2 pilots who led suicide attacks on Allied ships.

Modern day vodka drinkers think "kamikaze" and picture a tasty citrus shooter....

And on that happy note! "Kanpai"! (Cheers!)

Sanbiki hopes to see you soon!

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