Erin, Carrie, and I went for sushi on Saturday. Simply Sushi. Only 15$ for an all you can eat lunch. YUM!
As there were just the three of us, they sat us at the sushi bar. We ate and laughed and talked and just had a good time. As we were eating, a lone male was seated next to me. He minded his own business for a while, ordering all sorts of nigiri, but eventually he began talking to us.
Sometime later, this kid ordered a rainbow roll, and then casually stated that he had observed that none of the three of us had ordered anything raw. I had just had an Alaskan roll, which by the way, was a few kinds of raw, but I sensed a challenge. I felt that I had something to prove.
In order to show that I can eat raw and so as not to out done by this American-born Vietnamese, I ordered a rainbow hand roll after he gave his order for a rainbow long roll. (Hand rolls are smaller and have a better seaweed to rice ratio). We were going to eat the rainbow together.
Now, I'm ok with raw fish. I can eat raw tuna, raw yellow tail, raw salmon, and it's all okay if it's in a long roll wrapped with rice and seaweed that's been sliced. It's just that large chunks of raw fish are a little harder to chew. Yet, as I took my roll from the chef, I was reminded that this was not the first time I had chosen to take on an eating challenge with uncooked sea dwellers. Why do I let myself get talked (psyched) into these things?
Comparing my hand roll to the kid's long roll, I think he got the better end of the deal. His fish was sliced thin and place atop the rice. My fish was chunky, with 4 different species stuffed into a small seaweed wrap. White. Pink. Red. Orange. Where do I begin?
I scoped out the wrap, decided on a technique, and tentatively took my first bite. A little fishy, a little chewy, but not terrible. I took a second bite and counted only four bites left. I could do that, I could do four more bites of raw.
The kid encouraged me on. "Put some ginger and some wasabi on it. It's good."
Ginger. I'd forgotten about the ginger. And I love ginger. Once I laced the roll up with the pickled goodness, I had no trouble getting the last four bites down. In fact, it was pretty good.
I didn't die, I didn't get sick, but it is safe to say I probably won't be ordering a rainbow roll again anytime too soon. It wasn't gross; I just prefer other things.
But I passed. I passed the challenge and ate the rainbow. And I did relearn a lesson that I hadn't remembered for a long time: Never go up against an Asian when raw fish is on the line.
Get it? "Fish on the line"? Ha!