As much as I love Japanese cuisine, sashimi is one of the few things that I’ve never gotten into. The thought of having raw fish was something that was hard for me to accept. I tried it once before but it ended rather horrifically.
On top of that, my experiences with salmon left much to be desired. I always found them more than a little fishy and a they have a very strong sort of flavour that I just could not enjoy. It wasn’t until I had that one lunch outing with my colleagues and my boss to a nearby fusion restaurant that I realised that salmon, when superbly fresh, doesn’t have that oily, fishy smell and the taste of the salmon isn’t very strong. However, due to the fact that the salmon has to be fresh, I don’t trust a lot of the restaurants that I go to, to serve really fresh salmon and knowing the standard of majority of the food places here, I’d rather not be disappointed.
Anyway, one Sunday while I was out with Dude and his mom, they got really fresh salmon at the supermarket and decided to make sashimi at home. I was expected to have some and no amount of begging and whining was getting me out of that. So I had to suck it up and try it.
Dude learned how to make the sashimi from his dad, who was entirely self-taught. I watched him carefully remove the skin and removing the pin bones from the fillet. Every single part of the fillet, except the pinbones, were carefully stored.
I’ve tried pan-seared salmon before, but it was a very, very thing slice. It tasted a not too bad but the texture of the raw fish was something that I needed to get used to, but I had that with lots of pickled ginger and wasabi, which I guess isn’t really the proper way to eat it since you can’t taste the fish.
So when Dude presented the plate of salmon to his mom and I, I had no choice but to eat it since according to him, this not eating raw salmon is a deal breaker. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The fish was firm without any fishiness at all. The texture of it in my mouth was not unpleasant but I wouldn’t say that it was wonderful either. I could feel the gag reflex starting but I fought it down and managed to eat another slice before I gave up.
Personally, I thought that the slices were a little too big for me but I would say that it’s an achievement for me to go from not eating sashimi at all, to eating two relatively big slices. It’s going to take me a while before I can polish off a plate like everyone else but doesn’t mean that I’m not game.