I first ate sushi when I was in kindergarten at the house of one of my dad's coworkers in the Bronx. How I would love to walk into the house of with the smell of fresh sushi ready to eat today. Whatever happened that day, I don't remember. I do remember that the result was for years I thought I didn't like sushi.
That was one extreme until I reached another. On my commute home from work in New York, I would sometimes secretly wish that the train was late. As any good commuter, I grumbled when it was but then I would quickly run to the small take out restaurant in the corner of Penn Station and grab a box of sushi that was calling my name. Sure, I got a sick few times perhaps but never enough to not keep going back. Besides, it could have been the lunch from the street trucks that made me sick or the peanuts basking in the dust and smoke of the streets or the peeled mango covered in chili that might have been sitting around all day waiting for me on Broadway. I never blamed the sushi that seems to be available in seemingly identical packaging everywhere.
A few months ago as I had dinner at another volunteer's house, someone casually mentions, they knew how to make sushi. He used to work at a sushi restaurant. Incredible. And yesterday, the maestro invited me to have dinner and to learn how to make sushi. Turns out, sushi, while it can take a lifetime to master, isn't that complicated to make and actually it leaves you wondering why it's so expensive at restaurants. In short, it's partially associated with the quality of fish and the skilled labor. At what point do exotic meals transform to everyday affairs?
Yesterday's roll, was a fusion of Japanese, Chinese, and Indian and shared in the company of people born in India, Ireland, US, and Mexico. We started with the basics by creating a bed of rice over the nori which sat on the bamboo mat. From there, we added a mix of soft and crunchy materials, including shrimp, cucumber, avocado, and crushed chapli kebabs. And the soy sauce, was made in China.
How good can the homemade roll get will have to explored further. I'm quite happy with this first outing. I never thought I'd come to Mexico and learn how to make sushi.