Is Sushi Sacred?
If you’re one of the millions of people who watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi (and loved it), you’ll know that sushi is serious, s-e-r-i-o-u-s business in Japan. I mean, 10 years before you’re even allowed to cook omelette? Preparing sushi has to be something you devote your whole life to – almost like becoming a monk, or a nun, or a priest.
Sushi, like some other Japanese foods, has a holier-than-thou image. Every single component – hell, every grain of rice – has to be absolutely perfect. Read a few reviews of Sukiyabashi Jiro or any other high-end sushi restaurant in Tokyo, and you’ll probably find more than a couple references to worship. Eating amazing sushi can be an out of body experience, so it makes sense that we treat sushi with the reverence it deserves.
But what about less-than-divine iterations of sushi? I’ve eaten more than my fair share of supermarket sashimi and sushi, so I know what I’m talking about. If Jiro is the pope of sushi making, what does that make a California roll, or a Shiok Maki?
Given Singapore’s obsession with both ‘authenticity’ and Japanese food, this is a slightly controversial opinion: I believe that as long as it tastes good, anything goes. And yes, fresh, raw fish is incredible, but I’d argue that as long as you’ve got some good sushi rice ready, the possibilities are endless. If you’re about to disagree, I’d like to stuff a piece of Shiok Maki – or any similar mayonnaise, mentaiko, furikake drenched sushi – in your mouth and watch your eyes roll back into your head in pleasure.
Proper, clean sushi may be like going to church or to temple, but ’creative’ sushi, with its out-there sauces and toppings, is like getting dirty, and downright orgasmic. And I think we both know which we would rather do regularly, right? That’s not to say that I don’t draw a line. Don’t even talk to me about Pinterest-worthy ‘fruit sushi’ wrapped in a Vietnamese rice paper roll, or frickin’ CHOCOLATE SUSHI (WHYYY???). But give me a delicious Torched Mentai sushi, or this lovely Hawaii Maki, and we’re good. So sacred sushi divinity be damned, make your own crazy sushi, and enjoy it – we'd love to hear what crazy concoctions you're thinking of, so tell us in the comments!