I was 16 years old the first time I ate sushi. My friend Mandy had a car and with our new-found freedom we did what any rebellious teenagers would do and started experimenting with eating new foods. I know, super hardcore. Each weekend we would eat at a different restaurant and one weekend we found ourselves at Bubba’s Sushi Bar. I have doubts about its authenticity (it was called Bubba’s), but it was Alabama and we had limited options.
We confidently told the waitress that we were here to eat sushi, but that confidence quickly dwindled when the waitress brought us a long list of sushi options and a little red pencil to place our order. The list was overwhelming with words like and we were confused about how the portion sizes, surely it wasn’t $3.25 for 1 tiny roll. We muddled through the order, selecting a couple of options that seemed safe. We tried to watch other people to see how the whole sushi experience worked, but no one in our vicinity seemed to be eating sushi. Despite being a “sushi bar” Bubba’s also sold burgers and barbecue, which was much more palatable to the North Alabama population.
When our sushi arrived we realized we were out of our element and had no idea how to eat it. There were all these neatly wrapped rolls, which we expected, but there was also thin, pink slices of some foreign.. vegetable.. maybe a fruit, a strange, green dollop of something, and an inexplicable, tiny, empty bowl. Mandy and I re-consulted the menu, trying to decipher the various elements and figure out how to eat it. We decided that the green blob MUST be avocado, like a guacamole for your roll. I thankfully only tasted a little, but for anyone that has ever gotten a little heavy-handed with the wasabi a little can go a long way.
We finally admitted defeat and asked the waitress how to eat sushi. She kindly explained each element, and showed us how to mix the soy sauce (THAT’S what the little bowl is for). Now I eat sushi all the time and it seems ridiculous that I didn’t know how to eat it then.
Here is a very lovely recipe for dessert sushi, frushi. It’s a nice, fresh dessert, perfect for the spring. The rice has cocoanut milk and is lightly sweetened. I found it delicious just on its own. Recipe Below.
1 cup uncooked sushi or other short-grain rice
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup coconut milk
¼ teaspoon salt
Thinly sliced fresh fruit (suggested: kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, blackberries)
¾ cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1. Bring 1 ¼ cups water and rice to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until water is almost absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 15 minutes.
2. Place rice in a large bowl; add sugar, coconut milk, and salt. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.
3. Divide rice into 20 equal portions; shape each portion into an oval. Top with fruit. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and honey. Serve as a dipping sauce with the sushi.
As always enjoy and bon appétit!