Monday, November 22, 2010

day 67_sushi

Just before I left for Asia, some of my closest girlfriends had a birthday dinner at a sushi restaurant in Dallas (miss my girls!). It was fabulous. The fish, the sauces, the seasoning. We had everything from sushi rolls wrapped in rib eye to a mixed fish salad, to fried rolls, fresh rolls, the works. And even in that moment, I had the feeling I might miss sushi in Asia. Ha! Well, it's true. Just like every other food group that has found a niche in American culture, "sushi" in the US has become very Americanized... and the sushi that I dine on here is much more traditional.

In Texas, some of my favorite sushi choices included all kinds of American flare: topped with jalapenos, wrapped in steak, dressed with mayonnaise, stuffed with cream cheese, drizzled with a sweet eel sauce, lightly fried crab. The list goes on... [Jamie, that cherry blossom roll is calling my name! ;) ] But now that I live much closer to the source... I have the feeling that what is served in restaurants here is probably more true to form - actual sushi and sashimi. Why should I be surprised that Americans have found a way to make even sushi an unhealthy food? Yet so delicious.... ;)

I heard more than a few people mention before I moved that now I would be able to eat sushi whenever I want - yay! It's true. Sushi is actually traditionally Japanese food, but there are many sushi restaurants in Taipei, and lots of Japanese influences in other ways too (cultural, fashion, martial arts, food, etc.) Many of you may not know (Unless you are a history buff like my husband... or brother...I didn't learn until I started studying my guidebooks...) that Taiwan was actually under Japanese rule for 50 years, which ended relatively recently in 1945.

So - Yes! Sushi is available! But it is what I would call basic. It seems to me that most sushi restaurants here have very similar fare (as in, practically the same menu anywhere you go...), which is primarily fresh fish, served raw, frequently with white rice or raw veggies. There are typically +/- two rolls available that have sauce or are more of a mix - see below, tuna salad (left center) and crab salad (right center) - so I try to get at least one of those each time. There is not much in the way of sauces, garnishes, and the like :) For example... my feast this evening:

[Sushi from the sushi to-go shop in the MRT station... I put it on a plate to help the photo a bit...]
[Note - I bought the egg from my favorite beef noodle shop on the way home... it is not sushi ;) ]

Just thought I would educate all of you sushi lovers out there! The good news? Sushi here is very healthy, very available, and very inexpensive (above dinner was $3.50 US... including the egg...) - so I can't complain! I guess, being multicultural, I get to enjoy the best of both worlds :) Yum!


  1. I really enjoy all of the photos you include. They are so beautiful and interesting, and they make your stories come to life!

  2. Thanks Julie! Honestly, I ought to post even more photos, there are so many things to see here! :)