Friday, October 22, 2010
Sushi in Vancouver
I grew up eating sushi, but I was conflicted about this. When I was a kid, I was beat up and teased for being Japanese. It wasn't easy growing up Japanese in the 1970's and 80's, as most of the visible minorities in Vancouver were either Chinese, East Indian or Vietnamese. Yes, us Japanese kids were the minorities within the minorities. One of the biggest things I was teased about was that I ate raw fish.... first of all, sushi isn't raw fish as many of you already know. That's sashimi. Sushi is about the vinegar and sugar rice. In fact, you can have vegetarian sushi if you want, like kappa maki (cucumber and seaweed and the rice). Sometimes I'd take the sashimi off and just eat the rice with a bit of wasabi and dip it in the Yamasa soy sauce.
Anyway, none of my friends ever came over to eat sushi with the family, as they all assumed eating raw fish would be disgusting. Even my best buddy in high-school tried it once (1989), but couldn't finish it, even though it was ebi and taco.....both cooked!! So I grew up, always knowing we had something amazing to share, but I had no takers. In fact, in the 70's in Vancouver, I bet there was only 3 or 4 sushi restaurants, all owned and operated by Japanese. Now, I'm guessing there's hundreds of Japanese restaurants, most of them neither owned nor operated by Japanese. Ironic eh?
But I do feel vindicated now since sushi is no longer considered exotic. Sushi is no longer really Japanese, but an international food, like pizza or butter chicken is no longer Italian or East Indian. Here are some pictures of some sushi and sashimi I've had in the past year. I think Vancouver has really good sushi. An awesome food scene, easy access to good fish, and lots of good chefs.... man oh man do I feel like sushi (and sashimi) now......