What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Comparing sushi in Japan and America

Millan31

Kouhai
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Hey everyone,

I've recently came back from a family trip overseas and we had a day of layover in Tokyo, Japan. I managed to try some of their sushi (went to Ariso Sushi in Haneda Airport as well as supermarket sushi in Aeon Mall in Narita Japan). I think the experience seems to be much better than the sushi in America. I live in a small city and while the sushi there is good, it still pales in comparison when comparing to the homeland Japan. Even the supermarket sushi (which is considered lower quality than good restaurants in Tokyo) is better than most of the higher end sushi restaurants in America.
So I've come to this conclusion, and if possible, could you guys confirm or correct me if I'm wrong?

"The real difference in sushi from Japan and the US is mostly the kind of rice used, the way it is prepared (temperature, process, aging, amount of seasoning- salt, vinegar, etc.) and kind of rice used.
Also, the fish used is of higher quality (tastes better- less fishy taste) and more fresh than the US (since it usually arrives from the fisherman's catch and then immediately to the market)."


If there are other differences or if I still didn't get decent sushi, let me know so that in the future if I ever visit Japan, then I would make sure to make the very best of it.

Finally, I have a picture of a supermarket sushi box, with red outlines. Are those red snapper (tai) and yellowtail, or something else? http://puu.sh/jOkjN.jpg
Also, I have other pictures of the sushi I tried there, but I think is quite a long read already.

-Henry
 

WonkoTheSane

先輩
Joined
12 May 2013
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
303
Have you eaten at most of the higher end sushi restaurants in America?

I frankly couldn't imagine they would stay in business long if they served sushi which was not as good as that found in Japanese grocery stores. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Japanese grocery stores, I'm just noting that sushi sitting in a plastic container for hours prior to being purchased for a few hundred yen probably doesn't compare favorably with sushi which is made freshly by a renowned chef at the moment you order it. I'd imagine that Nakazawa san, the head chef at Sushi Nakazawa probably makes at least a slightly more palatable meal than Aeon.
 

Lacota

後輩
Joined
3 Aug 2015
Messages
194
Reaction score
25
See, I am happy with shop bought sushi. But that is because I don't know any better. :D
 

Millan31

Kouhai
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
@WonkoTheSane ,

No I don't think so. The best sushi place I've eaten at so far is the ones in the bigger cities in North Carolina. Before going to Japan I was thinking that I got the real deal, but then (not railing against most sushi restaurants in America) it seems like once I've been there, a lot of sushi places in America just seems off-putting (except for a few that is still palatable).
I also been to Ariso Sushi (kaiten sushi for dinner, but sit-down during lunch) which was in Haneda Airport, and I could provide some pictures if that helps.

Speaking of chef Nakazawa, I'm sure he has way better than sushi than the lowest end in Japan, and no I haven't been there. (Maybe someday when I have enough money to try some of the courses there or when I visit New York.)

Finally, could you please respond to the assertion that I made in bold in the original post? That was the main question I had regarding sushi.

@Lacota
I used to be like that years ago until I went to a sushi restaurant, let alone going to Japan. I mean it's not bad but I think I'd rather save my money for decent sushi, or at least when I want to get some quick sushi- at a high end Japanese grocery store (in Japan preferably). Nothing against people who buy those.
 

WonkoTheSane

先輩
Joined
12 May 2013
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
303
I use tapatalk forum software and I don't see bolted text, sorry.

My recommendation would be to try higher end in both countries before making a judgment about them. That doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive, but it generally does mean restaurants which are in direct competition with other top end sushi restaurants. Though North Carolina is a lovely state, it's not exactly the place I'd think of first when looking for a cosmopolitan culinary experience. Certainly Raleigh is not on par with Tokyo.

Don't discount the taste of excitement due to being in a foreign country. Often food, drinks, and other earthly pleasures are all the more delightful with that additional spice.
 

Millan31

Kouhai
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
So here is bolded statement:
The real difference in sushi from Japan and the US is mostly the kind of rice used, the way it is prepared (temperature, process, aging, amount of seasoning- salt, vinegar, etc.) and kind of rice used.
Also, the fish used is of higher quality (tastes better- less fishy taste) and more fresh than the US (since it usually arrives from the fisherman's catch and then immediately to the market)
Anyone else reading if you can confirm whether this is true or if there are other differences that I've missed, let me know.


Also, yes I will try to enjoy the local cuisines and not let me great experiences from a foreign place spoil the local delights :p
 

johnnyG

先輩
Joined
23 Dec 2010
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
456
"The real difference in sushi from Japan and the US is mostly the kind of rice used, the way it is prepared (temperature, process, aging, amount of seasoning- salt, vinegar, etc.) and kind of rice used.
Also, the fish used is of higher quality (tastes better- less fishy taste) and more fresh than the US (since it usually arrives from the fisherman's catch and then immediately to the market)."


There are regional varieties of rice in Japan, and, given where we are, we virtually always eat 'koshi-hikari'. Also, I have at least heard of restaurants in other parts of the country that make a thing out of using this variety of rice.

A second important variable is the water used when cooking it. You can take koshi-hikari to Tokyo/Osaka, but if then use local water....yuk! The sea of Japan side--Niigata/Hokuriku--is blessed with some pretty nice-tasting water, in addition to good fish.
 

Lacota

後輩
Joined
3 Aug 2015
Messages
194
Reaction score
25
@Lacota
I used to be like that years ago until I went to a sushi restaurant, let alone going to Japan. I mean it's not bad but I think I'd rather save my money for decent sushi, or at least when I want to get some quick sushi- at a high end Japanese grocery store (in Japan preferably). Nothing against people who buy those.
Considering some sushi masters train for 10 years to make sushi, the decent thing would be to try it properly. :)

"The real difference in sushi from Japan and the US is mostly the kind of rice used, the way it is prepared (temperature, process, aging, amount of seasoning- salt, vinegar, etc.) and kind of rice used.
Also, the fish used is of higher quality (tastes better- less fishy taste) and more fresh than the US (since it usually arrives from the fisherman's catch and then immediately to the market)."


There are regional varieties of rice in Japan, and, given where we are, we virtually always eat 'koshi-hikari'. Also, I have at least heard of restaurants in other parts of the country that make a thing out of using this variety of rice.

A second important variable is the water used when cooking it. You can take koshi-hikari to Tokyo/Osaka, but if then use local water....yuk! The sea of Japan side--Niigata/Hokuriku--is blessed with some pretty nice-tasting water, in addition to good fish.
Ha. I didn't even consider that water could have any significance. Very intriguing.
 

Millan31

Kouhai
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
"The real difference in sushi from Japan and the US is mostly the kind of rice used, the way it is prepared (temperature, process, aging, amount of seasoning- salt, vinegar, etc.) and kind of rice used.
Also, the fish used is of higher quality (tastes better- less fishy taste) and more fresh than the US (since it usually arrives from the fisherman's catch and then immediately to the market)."


There are regional varieties of rice in Japan, and, given where we are, we virtually always eat 'koshi-hikari'. Also, I have at least heard of restaurants in other parts of the country that make a thing out of using this variety of rice.

A second important variable is the water used when cooking it. You can take koshi-hikari to Tokyo/Osaka, but if then use local water....yuk! The sea of Japan side--Niigata/Hokuriku--is blessed with some pretty nice-tasting water, in addition to good fish.
Ah so that means my assessment in comparing the sushi I had in America vs the ones I had in Japan must be correct then? (Rice is most distinguishable, then fish is sometimes the same kind, but generally fresher)
 

WonkoTheSane

先輩
Joined
12 May 2013
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
303
Why would you assume the fish is fresher?

Major port cities such as New York have fish markets where freshly caught fish is sold to restauranteers and other large consumers.
 

cocoichi

後輩
Joined
28 Jul 2015
Messages
377
Reaction score
108
I find it always very hard to compare food, especially since you often do not have the items at the same time. How can you remember all the subtle elements of the taste? I can remember hating or liking something, I can vaguely remember the particular taste, but it would be too hard to describe the whole meal (or piece of sushi in this case) in detail.


Ha. I didn't even consider that water could have any significance. Very intriguing.
This makes sense. That's why, for example, Guinness is made in Dublin.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Moderator
Donor
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
5,625
Reaction score
780
I find the premise of being able to compare the sushi of one country to another almost as repugnant as trying to compare their women. The differences between individual restaurants are already so vast, even when just comparing nigiri to nigiri. Supermarket sushi in Japan better than high-end restaurants in the states? That sounds like an unrefined palate to me.

If you're talking about the different cuisine styles of American vs. Japanese sushi, that's a situation where I would be more comfortable comparing the two in general terms. There is definitely a difference in the approach to sushi both as a dish and as a business, as it has been adapted to better suit the American market. Also, apparently there is a new trend of "Mexican sushi" that shows how sushi has been adapted for Mexican cuisine, and it's coming to America as well:

Mexican Sushi Is Making Its Way Into America - Flama
Mexican Sushi Los Angeles Food Trend
 

Millan31

Kouhai
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
@johnnyG
That's pretty interesting to know, the kind of water is important as well as the kind of rice. So how does "koshi-hikari" compare to the rice used in restaurants across America?

@WonkoTheSane
Perhaps I asked the wrong question. I meant to ask about whether or not the fish used in the "good, high end" sushi restaurants in America (New York, Seattle, Florida, California, Maine, etc.) are the same as the one in Japan? If they do source the same fish, then the only differences would be just timing (when they receive it) and how it is prepared (time aging, the ingredients, style, etc.).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but for example, if I get red snapper in Japan (Tai) vs getting Red Snapper in an American sushi restaurant, I think I am getting a different kind of red snapper (or maybe not even a snapper, but something that resembles it.)?

@cocoichi
I still remember most of the taste of the fish I had in America and Japan, though not 100%, but at least 70-80% to be able to tell the difference. Like for example, when I tasted the rice in Ariso sushi, it had more flavor to it as well as the texture is not too stiff, stale, and sorta compact but melts in my mouth and temperature is about body temperature (warm) and not cold.

@nice gaijin
Perhaps I do have a unrefined palate, but I have been to many sushi restaurants in my state, especially in North Carolina. I think I should have been more specific and say that "supermarket sushi in Aeon mall is still better than the worst sushi restaurants in the US." What if I compared one restaurant's sushi to another's would that be a better comparison? (e.g. Ariso sushi compared to a local sushi restaurant in NC.)

The American sushi and Japanese sushi, I believe I already know most of the major differences (not to toot my horn too much), so I'm not going in that perspective, instead, I'm going for the authentic/tradition/purist perspective. (Of course if one were to take it even further, they could claim that the purist form is 8th century sushi which is eating fermented fish - without the rice, which would just be "fermented fish") Bottom line is, I just want to know the differences in the sushi I had in Japan (Ariso sushi restaurant Haneda airport sushi and Aeon mall supermarket sushi) versus the ones I had in America (local sushi restaurants). The difference in the fish and rice (preparation, source, ingredients, etc.)

Finally, speaking of other cuisines and fusions, I like the idea of new things don't get me wrong, but if I was searching for what the original, pure, and authentic sushi is (not adapted by other countries - Americas, Europe, etc.), then the new things are going to be counter productive to my quest for the "real" Japanese sushi.
 

johnnyG

先輩
Joined
23 Dec 2010
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
456
I guess it must have been on hand, and ready. We had a sliced up avocado with our otherwise very typical temaki fixings last night.
 

nice gaijin

Resident Realist
Moderator
Donor
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
5,625
Reaction score
780
@Millan31, I didn't mean to sound like I'm coming down on you; your focus on the concept of "authenticity" in a sushi restaurant reminded me a lot of an assignment I had back in a Japanese sociology class in college long ago... We were tasked with going to an American sushi restaurant and writing about the "authenticity" of the experience...I thought I had an edge because I had been to Japan before and spent several months enjoying all kinds of dishes, including sushi in a variety of venues, so I came down hard on the local Californian restaurant, citing all the differences I experienced from my "authentic" experience in Japan.

To this day, the teacher's comments on my paper stick in my mind; she totally burst my bubble and helped show me how no one experience is more or less "authentic" than the other; it's all authentic, and relative to our perspective and our surroundings. Restaurants use different recipes and methods from one another, and may even have different theories on the cuisine they serve and how they provide their services, but that doesn't make one more better or more authentic than the next, just different. Koshihikari is grown in California, does that make it any less authentic?

The subjective experience is the sum of the objective differences. An excellent chef simply shows more consideration to the gestalt of his customer's dining experience: The alkalinity of the water used, the type of rice, how many times it's washed and even how it's washed, how long it's cooked for and at what temperature (and in what kind of cooking apparatus), the kind and origin of the vinegar, how you prepare the nori, whether you're using real or artificial wasabi, how you acquire and prepare ALL the ingredients of your dishes, how you pace the meal, etc etc etc. There's no end to the amount of consideration one chef can put into all this in the pursuit of perfection.

If you haven't seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I highly recommend it. Here's a trailer:

If your curiosity is piqued, it seems that the entire documentary is available on youtube (but only at low res. I highly recommend a good copy as it's a beautiful film):
 

Millan31

Kouhai
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
@nice gaijin
Thanks, that is quite an interesting response from your Japanese sociology teacher. I guess you mean that the sushi I had in American restaurants (which used different types of rice, different water, different preparations, ingredients, etc.) is authentic, but to the location. I mean from my experience, now that I've been to Japan, I still prefer the rice there (maybe because they put more vinegar and other ingredients to it, and the way it is aged.) than the one I had in America.

In other words, I guess I could say that American sushi is authentic American sushi to the locality in where it is produced? I mean it's not bad, the chefs did a good job with the ingredients that they have, I still find it ok, just not "amazing" or something like the one I had in Japan.

Also, yes I will watch Jiro's documentary.
 

WonkoTheSane

先輩
Joined
12 May 2013
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
303
You might note that Nakazawa San, as referenced above, was taught by Ono San (Jiro).

This was a bit of my point before, that it's rather ridiculous to state that supermarket sushi in Japan compares favorably to the best sushi in the United States. It's frankly myopic to think that a man who studied under a master sushi chef in Japan for over 10 years would somehow be willing to churn out substandard fare just because he's located in a different country. It's also rather disrespectful to the mans craft, without even having sampled it, to assume its quality cannot equal the quality of another restaurant based solely on location. It's elitist and snobbish. I find it offensive when people are dismissive of ones hard work without even having the basic integrity to experience that work.

Perhaps what you should take away from this is that:

1. You haven't had very good, nor a wide variety of, sushi in either country.
2. You preferred the sushi you had in Japan for a variety of reasons, probably at least as many parts subjective as objective.
 

Millan31

Kouhai
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
@WonkoTheSane Yeah I've been busy the last week and this week so I haven't been on to see the responses to my topic. Anyways, yes I am aware that Nakazawa San is taught by (Jiro) Ono San and I never in my responses stated that the best sushi in America is bad, let alone about supermarket sushi being better than the best ones in America. What I'm trying to get at is that even though the fish is still prepared to very very high standards, of course the ingredients are going to be different (the fish is not from Japan, different species and location, does not mean that it would be bad fish, just different from the fish in Japan. Also, the rice may be different, brown rice, white rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, etc. Again, I'm not saying that different rice would mean it's substandard, nor that it tastes bad- but I just want it to be similar or close to the good sushi in Japan.)

Here is part of the first post:
Even the supermarket sushi (which is considered lower quality than good restaurants in Tokyo) is better than most of the higher end sushi restaurants in America.
I'm slighted at the fact that you misinterpreted and exaggerated my meaning when I intend to just ask a simple question. What I said was that there are really good sushi in other countries and most of the sushi in Japan from restaurants and average supermarket sushi on an "overall scale" is still better than most of the average/higher than average (not the highest end or the ones in the fancy restaurants.) "overall" sushi from America.

Also I think @nice gaijin has answered my question and elaborated well and you as well (though you could probably do it without insulting me :p).

Finally, I will say that your last two points are true. The first one is true because I only been to Japan for 2 days at most (layovers mostly) and the areas I've tried are only in Tokyo and not other cities or the rural towns. The second one, well it is hard to compare with what I have, but I try to be objective by focusing on specific characteristics such as taste, texture, temperature, presentation, and ingredients used, but of course even then, it is still kinda subjective (everyone's taste buds are different) to some extent...
 
Last edited:

Millan31

Kouhai
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
After a few weeks of thinking over this topic, reading over other food blogs (especially about sushi) over the internet, and reorganizing my purpose of going after traditional sushi, I've decided to revive this topic again.

Before anyone accuses me of being an elitist or snobbish, I am a believer of purist food, which by that I mean food that is traditionally in that particular country/place, in this case, the 'Japanese palate'. I just want to establish that point. Also, I'm not saying that I wouldn't eat sushi that is not traditional, I would still eat ordinary sushi though I just won't really enjoy it as much.

Anyways, onto my purpose. So the real purpose that I'm going after sushi is trying to understand the difference between the traditional Japanese sushi and the sushi that is Americanized. In regards to the great sushi restaurants in America (NY, Seattle, Chicago, LA, SF, etc.), I will say that they would be good, however, there are still two flaws (both of which are not the chef's fault) which are that the ingredients aren't the same ones in Japan (fish and rice) and that the taste would be closer to what the American palate is. I'm not saying that their sushi would be bad, but it just wouldn't be the answer I seek (Japanese palate). Furthermore, I will say that I can sympathize with the fact that some ingredients are just simply not available or cost prohibitive to import from Japan to America.
(e.g. A sushi restaurant in New York would be more localized to the palate of Americans and the locals there than that of Tokyo Japan or Japan itself.)

Those that have mentioned before about me not having the best sushi in both America and Japan is correct. The sushi I had there is probably mediocre (Ariso Sushi), but not high end sushi. Which leads me to the other question for those who have lived or visited Japan.
For all those that have lived or visited Japan and tried an array of sushi, could you tell me the differences between the Kaitenzushi (conveyer belt sushi), normal sushi bar (sit down restaurant at the sushi bar), and a high end sushi bar (similar to Sukiyabashi Jiro, but other similar places)? By this I mean in terms of the rice/rice preparation, the fish, and other factors that you may list that separates all three of these kinds of restaurants.

With that said, perhaps that will clear up any additional misunderstandings prior to that and also maybe now I would have a more accurate response.
 

Majestic

先輩
Joined
12 Oct 2013
Messages
1,924
Reaction score
919
Hard to say what the definitive thing is, but the chain stores need a huge volume of consistent-tasting fish. It doesn't need to be fabulous fish, it just needs to be reasonable and the supply needs to be constant. They probably keep a lot of it frozen somewhere, out of necessity. They can live with the low-end of the fish market, coming from a commercial fishing fleet, or maybe a wholesaler. The high-end sushi shops most likely have a direct relationship with a fisherman, or with a merchant at Tsukiji, and they get supplied with the best of whatever comes in that morning. They can pay outrageous prices, because they charge outrageous prices.

Another thing might be rice. The chain stores might use the cheapest rice available, again from a supplier that can guarantee them huge, consistent quantities. High-end sushi shops will rely on their own individual rice preparation method - I read where they use year-old rice of the sasanishiki or nipponbare variety because of the way it reacts with the water and the oil of the fish, and wikipedia is telling me it has the right firmness and non-stickiness for sushi. So...if you are trying to recreate your sushi experience from Japan you might have to find someone who has a supply of year-old sasanishiki rice.

But who knows what "pure" is... the perfect sushi in Tokyo might not suit the tastes of people in the Kansai. Hokkaido people have a good supply of fresh fish year round, and I've heard people say that once you've had Hokkaido sushi, your concept of sushi changes.
Also, it should go without saying that sushi in the States, particularly in California, use a lot of ingredients that aren't traditionally used in Japan: avocado, soft-shell crab are two that spring to mind. (But I know a lot of Japanese people find these new ingredients very tasty).
 

Millan31

Kouhai
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
I'm thinking that if I want to "recreate" this experience in America (without flying over to Japan), based on what you said, then: the rice would have be imported from Sendai, Japan; have the same fish used in those high end restaurants be imported from Japan; and finally, have a sushi chef capable of creating it to same standards/specifics as that in Japan. Perhaps this would be one solution if flying back to Japan isn't feasible or is it cheaper to fly there in the future and try it myself?
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,066
Reaction score
730
I'd actually argue with that sociology teacher. authentic means faithful to some standard or original.
It doesn't mean the non-authentic stuff you find in Ohio or Mexico or wherever is bad. But that doesn't make it authentic.

I can't really answer your question in detail but I believe the sushi chains rely on machines and procedures to achieve a certain level of consistency and quality. It's not like they can all afford to hire real sushi chefs. And if they are competing on price, they can't afford to use the highest grade ingredients. It comes down to the differences you state -- the freshness and quality of the ingredients -- and the skill of preparation.
 

WonkoTheSane

先輩
Joined
12 May 2013
Messages
1,335
Reaction score
303
I'm slighted at the fact that you misinterpreted and exaggerated my meaning when I intend to just ask a simple question. What I said was that there are really good sushi in other countries and most of the sushi in Japan from restaurants and average supermarket sushi on an "overall scale" is still better than most of the average/higher than average (not the highest end or the ones in the fancy restaurants.) "overall" sushi from America.
No, what you said was:
Even the supermarket sushi (which is considered lower quality than good restaurants in Tokyo) is better than most of the higher end sushi restaurants in America.
I don't see the word average in there one time. Nor do I see mention of anything related to restaurants in Japan.

I consider the place I mentioned a higher end restaurant, and it's certainly in the US. How exactly is it a misinterpretation to point out that said higher end restaurant is, in fact, better than some supermarket sushi which was defrosted by Toshi Schmoe in the back of Aeon for minimum wage and then left to sit for who knows how long in a minimally chilled case next to similarly prepared yakisoba?

Second, you're aware that fish swim, right?

Tagged Tuna Reveal Migration Secrets

Pacific bluefin tuna - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Bluefins - The Fish Project

Those same magical tuna nestled lovingly on a bed of rice gently massaged into place in their high grade plastic containers amid beautiful rows of faux grass in the carefully monitored, temperature controlled chilling cases at Aeon are brothers, mothers, sisters and childhood pals of the slashed up bits of fish slapped onto rice and tossed on a plate in the US.

Third, approximately 80% of the fish coming into Tsukiji fish market is frozen and comes from somewhere else in the world: The Little Black Book of Sushi: The Essential Guide to the World of Sushi - Day Zschock - Google Books

Fourth, a lot of fish used in sushi, both in the US and Japan, is frozen before use:


In the US it's regulated in order to kill parasites, and in Japan it's used for cost savings as well as food safety.

取扱い商品 | 商品紹介 | 東洋冷蔵株式会社

プロダクト事業について|凍結・解凍機器製造・販売事業|プロトングループ

石川県白山市 冷凍寿司製造・販売 株式会社ポーラスター/作業工程

As to rice and other ingredients, well... It's not impossible to ship them across the ocean. So the only difference which would be hard to overcome is the water (mostly because, really, who the hell would bother to ship water for cooking rice?), which may or may not make a difference. Even if it does I'd be a bit hesitant to have much confidence that you can, in a blind taste test, correctly identify 100% of the time which water was used to make a particular serving of rice. Especially since Japanese people themselves cannot reliably tell whether fish for sushi was even frozen before eating it: Is the Quality of Sushi Ruined by Freezing Raw Fish and Squid? A Randomized Double-Blind Trial With Sensory Evaluation Using Discrimination Testing

Finally, many restaurants make a specific point of, and cater to customers who are specifically interested in, authentic foods from other countries. To assume that higher end restaurants in the US, staffed by well prepared sushi chefs and with access to the kinds of funds which allow them to purchase the finest ingredients, are all 'dumbing down' their several hundred dollar meals to suit American tastes is a bit of a stretch. No offense, Henry, but you're not unique in this regard. Lots of people in the US want 'authentic' sushi, and lots of places cater to those people.

Yet all this is academic. You've eaten sushi twice in Japan (once at the airport and once after buying it at Aeon), and never noted eating sushi anywhere in the US except some "bigger cities" in North Carolina. Before you get into the minutia of different waters used, shouldn't you at least try tasting the various possibilities?

I don't even know how much sushi I've eaten in Japan at a variety of price points, and I frankly couldn't honestly reliably rate it any more accurately than crappy, ok, tasty, and delicious. Granted, a lot was delicious, but then there's not much which isn't delicious with warm sake and a good company.

Now bagels, on the other hand, are undeniably better in the US than in Japan. Because of the New York water!!! ;-)

I'm thinking that if I want to "recreate" this experience in America (without flying over to Japan), based on what you said, then: the rice would have be imported from Sendai, Japan; have the same fish used in those high end restaurants be imported from Japan; and finally, have a sushi chef capable of creating it to same standards/specifics as that in Japan. Perhaps this would be one solution if flying back to Japan isn't feasible or is it cheaper to fly there in the future and try it myself?
Or you could go to an excellent sushi restaurant in the USA where they've thought of, and instituted, these measures.
 
Last edited:

Millan31

Kouhai
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
@mdchachi
Yeah I would agree with your definition of "authentic" more than the sociology teacher. That definition would be more universal and close to what I am referring to. :)

@WonkoTheSane
I actually rescinded from my first post and changed my stance recently, which is why in my recent post, post #19, I've redefined and re-clarified what I was going for in sushi taste. If I could modify my original post, I would but since I couldn't, I only posted a new post yesterday.

In response to the points that you have listed, I would say the first one is true, so supermarket sushi isn't as good as one found in a high end restaurant, and of course if comparing Aeon sushi to some sushi found in grocery stores in America (Walgreens, 7-Eleven, Trader Joe's, etc.) then Aeon still surpasses them for the most part because their ingredients are better. I have actually had prepackaged sushi before (prior to coming to Japan), which while edible is pretty crappy compared to Aeon.

Onto your other points, yes fish do swim and I assume you are trying to say that a fish in the Pacific ocean could swim towards the Atlantic ocean or migrate there? If that is true, perhaps the shellfish, white fish, tuna, and other species may end up on the West coast or better yet, the East coast (Atlantic). Thus that means Japanese native fish could end up on the US sushi restaurant.

On the point about Tsukiji fish market, wow, that is indeed interesting, which means that most of the fish consumed in Japan must also come from all over the world! In regards to frozen fish, I've read the study and based on the study, then that would mean the frozen fish itself would have very little impact on the taste and quality of the fish, thus that means the taste of the fish in the US would not be much different (negligible at best). As far as the rice is concerned, I would say maybe the water wouldn't be too critical as long as it's not dirty :p and also (for the purpose of this discussion) I will presume that it is imported from Japan. After this, all that is left is the preparation of the fish and rice, which means if there is a chef that can take these ingredients and prepare them to the same/very close specifications as those in mainland Tokyo, Japan, then I believe it would very well be in the realm of possibility to have traditional Japanese sushi (Japanese palate) in America.

On your last point, I suppose I could try that. I will need to look into great detail as well as find many sources to confirm said restaurant. Also, I will do more reading on the links that you have posted because it looks like a wealth of really good information.
 

johnnyG

先輩
Joined
23 Dec 2010
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
456
You folks talk/think too much.


The little bit on the blue plate upper mid right is leftover sashimi from the night before, done up with some garlic. The tofu has a roasted eggplant puree on it (also involving garlic). The empty plates are for the broccoli dish.

Plus one of my all time favs, buri-kama.
 
Last edited:

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Top Bottom