Some sushi I made the other day

I work for an open-source software house, Index Data, which is the world’s smallest multinational: although there are only twelve of us, we represent seven nationalities (Danish, American, Polish, German, Finnish, English and Canadian) and work out of eight different locations in five countries.

Last week, one of the American-based guys was in Copenhagen, so there were six of them all together, which is a bit of an event for us.  Purely to spite me, they all went out for sushi, and sent me a photo of the empties stacked up.

Living in the wilds of rural Gloucestershire as I do, there is no sushi to be had for love nor money for many miles in any direction, so I had to make my own.  And here it is:

Hmm, it looks sort of messier in a photo than it does in real life.  I’ll have to see what I can do about keeping the rolls rounder.  A sharper knife would help.

  • On the right: salmon nigiri, of course; half of them with thin slices of avocado on top, an addition that I am very fond of.
  • To the left of that, a crabstick and walrut roll.  The walnut is my own crazy idea, and I think it works really well: the flavour is unobtrusive, and the texture is a good complement for the crabstick.
  • To the left of that, your common-or-garden king prawn, avocado and daikon roll.
  • At top, your common-or-garden king prawn, avocado and daikon inside-out roll, with sesame seeds and ground chili flakes on the outside.
  • Finally, at the bottom, an inside-out roll made with lightly cooked salmon and lots of avocado.

I am an advocate of culturally inauthentic Californian sushi rather than the relatively staid Real Thing: I’m more than happy to use avocado all over the place and add sweet mayonnaise to all the rolls.  I’d go further if I had the equipment: the best sushi I’ve eaten in my life was a deep-fried inside-out roll (more about that another time, though sadly no photos).

In praise of daikon

Daikon is a large, mild radish, often thought of as Japanese although it didn’t originate there.  In Japanese cooking, it is pickled, which gives it a very distinctive and somewhat fermented flavour.  Alone, it’s pretty unpleasant; but cut into thin strips and used inside sushi rolls, it’s sensational.

Somehow it gives a subtle but significant extra kick to everything you use it with: it adds another layer of complexity to the flavours.  Do yourself a favour, if you make your own sushi, and order some.  Because it’s preserved, it travels well, so you can get it by mail-order.  (I won’t list any suppliers so no-one thinks this post is an advert; you can find one easily enough if you want to.)

That’s all for today — back to programming next time!

12 responses to “Some sushi I made the other day

  1. Jeff McNutt

    How does a guy born in 1968 manage to look so friggin’ old in 2010?

  2. Dude, that’s not me! That’s Brian Kernighan!

    (There’s a picture of me on the About page.)

  3. Michael Lampert


  4. According to Google’s translator, this means “Mas!!” in English, which, er, seems a tad opaque.

    Would you care to provide a better translation?

  5. “Mas!!” means More!! in Spanish. Its also a French word meaning Farm!! So the poster is either asking for more of the same (sushi? posts?) or thinks you should probably be put out to pasture.

  6. Pingback: Train Wreck: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief « The Reinvigorated Programmer

  7. Well, the Bing Translator says that is “trout” in Japanese, which makes lots of sense in the context of this post.

    Also, a Google Image Search shows up lots of pictures of fish, as does this Wikipedia article:

  8. Maybe I’m strange, but I just don’t *get* sushi. Maybe I’ve not had *good* sushi, but whenever I’ve had it the best bit seemed to be the wasabi, the soy sauce and the pickled ginger. The actual rice and fish etc was fairly tasteless.

    Anyway, I’m going to spend 6 days in Japan in June. So maybe I will finally see the light. Any suggestions about what I should eat while I’m there to change my mind?

  9. Chris R., I am actually nothing like an expert on sushi, just a very amateur enthusiast. All I can advise is that straightforward salmon nigiri has a classic, austere elegance — it’s the K&R of sushi in fact — and that there are lots of different directions to jump off in from that base.

    Maybe the best advice is to put yourself in the hands of your hosts, or failing that, the sushi chef. Just explain that you are a novice, that you don’t get it, but that you want to — I’m sure they’ll look after you.

    Oh, and by the way … feel my jealousy!

  10. Pingback: Breakfast | The Reinvigorated Programmer

  11. i love sushi love it

  12. Pingback: Making sushi for my son’s birthday | The Reinvigorated Programmer

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