Sunday, September 24, 2006

No Freshwater Sashimi

A few years ago, I had a part time gig on the Eastside (shudder) and I had several friends who were born and raised in Nebraska. One of my friends often asked me cultural advice; she lived and worked on the Eastside and was terrified of the "wierd people" in the city.

You know what she's talking about. Nouveau-mohawks. Lesbians. Bikers. Metrosexuals.

I told her, newsflash: the "wierd people" in Seattle are not from here. They came here from all over All Over America to escape, well, you. And to a certain degree, so did most of us. But let's be clear; the "wierd people" you speak of came from rural and suburban White America. And no, we do not fear them. Like them, we fear you.

Anyway, another thing she asked me once.... she was very curious about sushi. Curious and skeptical. How do you know its fresh? How do you know if it's gonna make you sick? What about parasites?

I told her, you can tell when fish is fresh. Its something you learn. A good indicator is if there are Japanese customers in the restaurant.

She was skeptical. Yes, JP, but how can you be sure?

I don't know, sweetheart. How do you know if the hamburger and fries you order is not gonna make you sick? And don't say "because it's cooked" because a whole bunch of people got sick in Seattle in 1993 from cooked hamburgers. How do you know that any of your food is safe?

Oh, guess I never thought of that.

Well, the reason I flashed back to this conversation is because today for breakfast I went to a Tony's Deli and ate something delicious. Some delicate, wide noodle with ground pork folded into them, topped with toasted garlic, fresh herbs and sprouts, and then drizzled with that orange fish sauce. Topped with three thin slices of some Vietnamese deli meat, it was the bomb.

Of course I don't know what it was called, so I googled it and got this lame... maybe "lame" is too strong, I got this pedestrian review from a food blog in LA. You know, I'm sure asian food is just not her strength, and I don't fault her for it, it's a big world, and knowledge is a journey....

So no matter where you are on the spectrum of sushi knowledge, I want all of you to know what some of us just thought was common sense: NO FRESHWATER SASHIMI.

In English: if it came from a river or a lake, COOK IT.

Seriously, kids, diversity is a safety issue. We'll talk later about eating foods on a dare. Hmph.


Anonymous said...

that dish sounds a lot like some fresh vietnamese salads I get here in Los Angeles all the time. Forgive me if I'm talking about the completely wrong thing, but these salads have cold rice noodle, topped with sprouts, carrot shavings, cucumber shavings, ground pork or shrimp or eggrolls, and served with that fish sauce. That is my favorite summer food.

john patrick said...

Mmm, sounds like Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò, which is number 32 on the Pho Hoa menu.

I do love those cold noodle salads, but it wasn't what I had for breakfast yesterday.

I had soft, white noodles that where 5 inches wide, kind of like a steamed rice crepe. And they were still warm. And the ground pork bits were rolled into the wide noodle.

Dammit, I'm hungry. Thanks for stopping by!

greg said...

That's too weird. Here is Austin there is a restaurant called Pho Huong, and their number 32 is almost identical to the 32 on the Pho Huo menu. Is there some secret Vietnamese code I don't know about? On the other had, the one at Pho Huong is served warm. Still....