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Old 12-30-2011, 11:55 AM   #11
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Skittle, the raw fish won't gross you out because you'll be using fish so fresh that it has virtually no smell or anything else gross.

Skittle, PPT, Timothy, thanks for the feedback on the roll bite size. I've never been to Japan so I just thought this was how rolls are made. I had no idea they were just "American style." That's really a bummer that I've been putting up with this all this time, mostly just trying to enjoy oversized bites and guessing that's how Japanese people do it.

I make my rolls much smaller in diameter and by the time I slice them they're about half the weight. Instead of being twice the bite size I want to eat they're exactly the bite size that's comfortable for me, and I get twice as many bites! This is a big benefit of making your own sushi.

I had always thought I was the only one who didn't like the huge bite size on the rolls.
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Old 12-30-2011, 03:03 PM   #12
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I'm glad I joined this discussion! I always blamed myself for not liking the oversized slices my rolls came in. I would have never known that it wasn't my problem, it's the sushi chef's problem!

Has anybody else ever encountered tempura fried sushi rolls?
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Old 12-30-2011, 04:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I'm glad I joined this discussion! I always blamed myself for not liking the over-sized slices my rolls came in. I would have never known that it wasn't my problem, it's the sushi chef's problem!

Has anybody else ever encountered tempura fried sushi rolls?
One of my favorite sushi places has individual pieces of rolls that are tempura battered and fried. Very good stuff!

Sometimes I wonder if sushi chefs don't sometimes find humor in the large pieces ("Lets see what happens when someone eats *this*!) I mean, anyone with eyes can see that some pieces are WAY too large.

RE: something I've said; if you ask a sushi chef for a knife to cut your sushi into proper bite sizes, it's considered an insult to the chef. I don't care when I do it, as it's an insult to me as a paying customer, to be served pieces of sushi that are so large that I would have to stuff them into my mouth to eat them.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:36 PM   #14
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One problem with insulting a sushi chef is if you intend to order additional sushi. My philosophy is to never ever annoy anybody that has contact with your food. I guess when the sushi chef is across the counter the risk isn't that great, but any food going to a kitchen is subject to spit, dropping on the floor, etc.

I'm really glad we had this discussion. As I said I had thought it was just me. I've been trying to bite half a roll slice and enjoy it, have a little pickled ginger and maybe a sip of wine, and then eat the other half. That's one of the reasons I started making my own sushi, so I could have it the way I want it instead of being forced to have it the way the chef makes it.

I'm amused at the tempura fried rolls. I had thought of it 4-5 years ago, when I was in an experimental mood snacking on a roll I had just made and was frying some shrimp and vegetable tempura, and I thought WTH let's drop a piece of the California roll in the batter and fry it. It was only a few weeks ago in a sushi bar I hadn't been to before when I saw the tempura fried rolls on the menu. At least my idea was original to me even if it wasn't original in the world.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:07 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg
One problem with insulting a sushi chef is if you intend to order additional sushi. My philosophy is to never ever annoy anybody that has contact with your food. I guess when the sushi chef is across the counter the risk isn't that great, but any food going to a kitchen is subject to spit, dropping on the floor, etc.

I'm really glad we had this discussion. As I said I had thought it was just me. I've been trying to bite half a roll slice and enjoy it, have a little pickled ginger and maybe a sip of wine, and then eat the other half. That's one of the reasons I started making my own sushi, so I could have it the way I want it instead of being forced to have it the way the chef makes it.

I'm amused at the tempura fried rolls. I had thought of it 4-5 years ago, when I was in an experimental mood snacking on a roll I had just made and was frying some shrimp and vegetable tempura, and I thought WTH let's drop a piece of the California roll in the batter and fry it. It was only a few weeks ago in a sushi bar I hadn't been to before when I saw the tempura fried rolls on the menu. At least my idea was original to me even if it wasn't original in the world.
I work in a restaurant, and I'd like to think sabotaging food is an extremely rare occurrence. I would NEVER do such a thing, and I don't personally know of anyone who has. I've heard lots of talk about wanting to, but someone with that kind of personality shouldn't be working with food. If someone isn't happy, it's your job to do what you can to fix the problem.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:24 PM   #16
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I work in a restaurant, and I'd like to think sabotaging food is an extremely rare occurrence. I would NEVER do such a thing, and I don't personally know of anyone who has. I've heard lots of talk about wanting to, but someone with that kind of personality shouldn't be working with food. If someone isn't happy, it's your job to do what you can to fix the problem.
Thanks Skittle! It's good to hear what you've said.

I think most of the stories of food "payback" are nothing more than fantasy. It takes a very mean person to actually sabotage someones food over words spoken.

Greg, the same level of insult to a sushi chef is given each time more wasabi is added to a bite of sushi. It says in essence: "You don't know how to make sushi with enough wasabi, so I had to fix it".

Sushi chefs aren't that touchy. Only one in a very, very high end sushi house would ever really take literal insult to cutting a bite of sushi. Most would have the class to make any further pieces smaller in an attempt to satisfy a customer.

One can always tell a server ahead of an order that they would like smaller than normal pieces of sushi. The server will relay that request to the chef, with no insult taken.
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:40 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Timothy
Thanks Skittle! It's good to hear what you've said.

I think most of the stories of food "payback" are nothing more than fantasy. It takes a very mean person to actually sabotage someones food over words spoken.

Greg, the same level of insult to a sushi chef is given each time more wasabi is added to a bite of sushi. It says in essence: "You don't know how to make sushi with enough wasabi, so I had to fix it".

Sushi chefs aren't that touchy. Only one in a very, very high end sushi house would ever really take literal insult to cutting a bite of sushi. Most would have the class to make any further pieces smaller in an attempt to satisfy a customer.

One can always tell a server ahead of an order that they would like smaller than normal pieces of sushi. The server will relay that request to the chef, with no insult taken.
Now THAT is a good suggestion. I imagine just about everyone would ask for them to be cut smaller if they thought of it as an option
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Old 12-31-2011, 01:58 PM   #18
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I question what "everybody" would want, even if they knew it was an option, let alone that there could be any way to inform people. Do sushi chefs super-size their roll bite sizes because Americans want big bites, or do they super-size because they believe Americans want big bites?

Another complaint I have is that most sushi bars put too much rice in their rolls. I've never been to Japan so I don't have any idea what is traditional, but I often find way too much rice in my super-sized bite, and sometimes I poke it with a chopstick and knock out some rice before eating it. And, oh yeah, I add some extra wasabe. Maybe sushi chefs think Americans don't like spicy food too.

What are the economics of making them bigger? I doubt the additional nori costs much, and rice is dirt cheap, so you can make a bigger roll and pad it out with rice and get a really big serving size, while at the same time not using much more (expensive) filling, if any more at all.

I make my rolls smaller diameter and use a much thinner layer of rice.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
I question what "everybody" would want, even if they knew it was an option, let alone that there could be any way to inform people. Do sushi chefs super-size their roll bite sizes because Americans want big bites, or do they super-size because they believe Americans want big bites?

Another complaint I have is that most sushi bars put too much rice in their rolls. I've never been to Japan so I don't have any idea what is traditional, but I often find way too much rice in my super-sized bite, and sometimes I poke it with a chopstick and knock out some rice before eating it. And, oh yeah, I add some extra wasabi. Maybe sushi chefs think Americans don't like spicy food too.

What are the economics of making them bigger? I doubt the additional nori costs much, and rice is dirt cheap, so you can make a bigger roll and pad it out with rice and get a really big serving size, while at the same time not using much more (expensive) filling, if any more at all.

I make my rolls smaller diameter and use a much thinner layer of rice.
The flavors of the individual parts of sushi are meant to blend into each other with balance. No single element overpowering any other. If wasabi is added to the sushi, then it is added in an amount that will blend it's flavor into the other flavors making up the entire piece of sushi.

Of course, no two people have the same tastes. Neither do they have the same sized mouths. The sushi chef is *supposed* to look at you, evaluate how large of a bite would be comfortable for you and listen to the cross talk among the customers for key phrases like "I love wasabi!" or "I hate wasabi" and make the sushi accordingly.

Sadly, in today's world, the need for more sushi chefs outnumbers the places where proper training takes place.

Generally speaking, if you go somewhere where the sushi chef is an older man of 60+, you'll have better sushi than you will if the chef is 20 something.

Experience is the great teacher.

The common size for the "Neta" (the topping on nigiri), is one ounce of meat.

Then, the rice ball should be of a size that melds well with that much meat.

The rice should fall apart *in* your mouth, not before entering it and should not feel like a solid lump before chewing.

Proper sushi making is an art. It can be done by a machine, but never as well as an experienced sushi chef will make it for you.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:29 PM   #20
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I mostly order sushi take-out at a Japanese restaurant or sushi bar, then take it home and eat it there. Alas, none of my friends are sushi lovers, although there's always the hope that a new friend will like it.

One thing that's really gross, supermarket sushi. I've watched sushi chefs in supermarkets making it and it's probably okay at the time they assembled it, but refrigeration IMO just ruins the rice. For supermarket sushi to have any chance for tasting right it has to be left on the counter until the rice achieves room temperature, and that raises the possibility of spoilage of the fish or other ingredients.

Maybe I'm wrong but I think sushi rice should be room temperature or nearly room temperature, but definitely NOT refrigerated. That's why I get mine take-out at a sushi bar, where at least it's custom prepared and not refrigerated.
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