Shiro Across the Sea The owners of Maneki agree to build Shiro a proper sushi bar—no more preparing omakase hidden in a kitchen. Seattle in 1969 is swarming with Japanese businessmen here to do deals—shipping, lumber, imports, Boeing. And they want to seal those deals the best way they know how: at a sushi bar. But first, the liquor board needs convincing that a sushi bar is merely a counter where the chef stands, making food and presenting it directly to diners.
"It was Asian enough for my immigrant parents and American enough for my sister and me." In the PBS feature documentary, Off The Menu, filmmaker Grace Lee traverses the US into the kitchens, factories, temples and farm of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving communities. Food Republic spoke with Jonathan Wu and Wilson Tang, whose NYC restaurant, Fung Tu, is featured in the film.
Bismark, North Dakota, 1905: Typical menu for a ladies' church group luncheon: Tcha, kashi, sushi. Yes, that kind of sushi: Eccentric Culinary investigates the culinary history of America's love affair with Japan in Part 1 of The Great Sushi Craze of 1905.
Takayo Kiyota turns rolled sushi into another kind of art. When cut, what looks at first like lumps of rice covered in seaweed becomes faces, fetuses (in different stages of development, depending on where you cut the roll), and iPhones . Also, blue poop with flies. The artist's page (in Japanese). [some sushi-rice based nudity, which is a sentence I never thought I would write].
"Why yes, we do have a female sushi chef. She also happens to be Caucasian. Her name is Mariah Kmitta, and we are blessed to have her behind our sushi bar." Sushi chef Hajime Sato of Mashiko in Seattle responds to customers who find a non-Japanese sushi chef distasteful with "An Open Letter to Bigot Diners". The opinion is not universally accepted. Slate author LV Anderson wonders, "does raising your eyebrows at a white sushi chef really make you a bigot?" [more inside]
Nekozushi is one of the strangest videos I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their sushi, or why. [more inside]
The most astonishing automated sushi roller commercial you'll see today.
"North Korea is a mythically strange land, an Absurdistan, where almost nothing is known about the people or, more important, their missile-launching leaders. There is, however, one man—a humble sushi chef from Japan—who infiltrated the inner sanctum, becoming the Dear Leader's cook, confidant, and court jester. What is life like serving Kim Jong-il and his heir? A strange and dangerous gig where the food and drink never stop, the girls are all virgins, and you're never really safe." (via @stevesilberman)
Tireless eaters Jenne and Miko set out to try every restaurant along San Diego's Convoy Street. (via Projects) [more inside]
Fish Filleting: A short Youtube series of demonstrations by fish mongers with sharp knives [more inside]
It was the time, when I was eating sashimi at a bar, fiddling with my iPad. A slice of Tuna accidentally dropped on the iPad. At that time, I hurriedly got rid of the sashimi, wiped it off, Later I found that suddenly. In the first place, If iPad were a dish, there are no problem
Insect Sushi Shoichi Uchiyama makes sushi of a different kind. Academic studies have shown insects are rich in nutrition and many are even more nutritionally balanced than meat or fish... In addition, they grow much faster and require less feed than animals and fish, and leftover vegetables are enough to farm many kinds of bugs. They grow in small spaces and don't compete with human beings over food... Recipes inside. (via Scribal Terror) [more inside]
Zombie Sushi Bar: A clip from the 1998 Hong Kong Horror-Comedy classic "Bio Zombie" (Sun faa Sau si) shows our intrepid heroine trying to blend in at a Undead Sushi Bar with delightfully disgusting results. NSFS (Not Safe For Squeamish) [more inside]
Sushi Go Round - a sushi serving game.
Sushi art. Weird sushi art. Sushi ASCII art. Sushi soap. Sushi jewelry. Sushi candles. Wind-up sushi. And finally, sushi made of chocolate!
Fugu, derived from fuku (to blow), is one of the more infamous meals you can order, celebrated in haiku and pop culture. It's popular enough, however, that there are "farms" raising 10,000 tons of blowfish the Japanese consume each year. Adam Platt, the latest American to document the dish, dines out on fugu six ways: fugu sashimi, fried fugu ribs, hot fugu porridge, smoked fugu fins, and two variations of "white babies". [more inside]
Sushi Science and Hamburger Science: I had always regarded science as universal and believed there are no differences in science at all between countries. But I was wrong. People with different cultures think in different ways, and therefore their science also may well be different. In this essay, I will describe differences I have observed between Western science and Eastern science. Let me start with a parable......
Sheets of kombu (kelp) covered with herring roe; big white sacs of octopus roe. Among a biochromatic wealth of mysterious mollusks and other sea invertebrates of unknown nature, I see the weirdest creature I've ever seen. Now, that's a fucking organism. Tom Asakawa looks at it awhile, too. Hoya, or sea pineapple. "Sea pineapple," he says. "Attaches to rocks in the ocean. Tastes something like iodine. Sendai people like it." It looks nothing like a pineapple. It looks like something that could exist only in a purely hallucinatory eco-system. It looks like, I don't know, maybe an otherworldly marital aid of inscrutable purpose for the brides of Satan. "I need to eat that," I say. "I'll see what I can do," Tom says.Nick Tosches visits Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market for Vanity Fair. [previously on mefi]
Ichiro Hattori makes the finest knives in the world. Chef knives (gyuto KD series) start at $860 USD and top out at $1175. This hunting knife is priced at $2150. These are not collector knives. They are made for everyday use. Text and images of the process and a YouTube vid of same (23:40 mostly in English).
Someone puts a video camera on a Japanese sushi bar conveyor belt. You can tell it's in Japan because it doesn't get stolen as it travels around the bar. Via b3ta.
Comedy duo, Ramenz (ラーメンズ), aka Kobayashi Kentaro and Katagiri Jin, also known as the Japanese versions of Mac and PC, have recently done a number of shorts collectively called "The Japanese Tradition." Apparently, these tongue-in-cheek pseudo-instructional vids about famous aspects of Japanese culture (Tea, Chopsticks, Sushi, Origami, Apology, Onigiri, and Relationships) have been fooling a lot of non-natives into thinking they are actual guides. (YouTube, each approx 4-6 min).
Moonie Sushi? The Chicago Tribune reports on the Unification Church's control of True World Foods, a distributor that supplies the majority of sushi restaurants in the U.S. Also on their project list: The Washington Times, UPI, George W. Bush.
Sushifinder helps you find sushi restaurants in selected US cities. The site has editorial reviews, as well as user reviews and ratings. One helpful feature allows you to type in a street corner (e.g. 3rd and Main) and it will find the sushi joints nearest to that location.
Sushi Encyclopedism covers everything from history to ettiquette to comics to the difference between 鯉 and 鮪.
Inkjet sushi - Some argue the kind of molecular gastronomy created by chefs like Moto's Homaro Cantu sucks the soul out of gourmet dining. Others turn it into better cooking for the unwashed masses, while still others turn it into a science project for the kids.
Learn to make sushi with online videos. Chef Hyday, professional sushi chef, & amateur tv personality will guide you through step by step. You will learn everything from how to prepare the raw fish, proper manners, different types of sushi, (win media links) and of course how to make rolled sushi. He covers it all, from the California roll to the complicated rainbow roll, he'll guide you through every step. I almost feel guilty watching it, it’s almost like revealing the secrets to a magic trick. An invaluable resource for anyone who might be interested in learning to roll their own sushi at home.
Silk and Sushi : Chocolate Silk for Breakfast, Sushi for Lunch, Sushi for Dinner -- everyday for a month. It is probably more healthy then eating nothing but McDonalds.
Love sushi? Love race cars? Wish there was some way to combine the two? Supaa Sushi Races. Like Wacky Races, but with joy of driving sushi. Flash, possibly NSFW if you think a cartoon woman with her top off would be a bit much.
The Sushi Seal Family are simultaneously sushi and seals. Actually, judging by the sample movie and the episode guide, it seems more like "Barbapapa" meets Zen koans. But it's big in Japan, apparently. (Via Geegaw.)
Apparently I live in the most diverse city in the United States. Synagogue arsons, propane-tank-bomb-plotting and suburban hate crime aside, Sacramento is a pretty neat place, especially since my wife (Korean-American) and I (Jewish) can afford to own a house on our meager incomes and still go out to eat Pho (Vietnamese), Kitfo (Ethiopian), Som Tum (Thai), Kalbi (Korean) all within a short drive. It's not San Francisco, but neither is the cost of living. Do you notice the tension caused by resistance to diversity in your town, or are you too busy eating the sushi to notice?
Need to know where to find sushi when you travel? Sushiref.com has worldwide listings as well as a plethora of other sushi info that is updated regularly.