I was 22 the first time I had sushi.
I don’t remember it being so glorious because it was likely an overcooked tempura shrimp concoction with krab. Probably smothered in sweet sauce. And topped with brown avocado. To be fair, it was only $8.99 for all-you-can-eat, and that’s a steal!
Fast-forward a few years.
I let a white man I had just started dating take me to a Japanese dinner in a dumpy strip mall. Shuddering in front of a dimly lit wooden door between a printing outfit and a women’s fashion shoppe, I quickly plotted a Plan B; I figured if I ate light and filled up on edamame, I could still go home and nuke some pasta. Maybe I’d also pretend to lose this guy’s number. Why do I keep picking weirdoes?
Inside, we were seated at the bar. My chair had a short, gimpy leg. The freshly wiped counter was a bit… gooey. The floor was decorated in gray; I think it’s called “grime” in English. The frayed linens overhead? I’m still not sure where that ended and the cobwebs began.
You probably know how this story ends.
We skipped straight past the Special Roll, and zeroed in on the good stuff: Albacore so delicate you couldn’t tell which way the grain went, yellowtail so tender it melted in your mouth and scallops so sweet you didn’t kill it with soy sauce.
Cobwebs add fiber, and everyone needs fiber… right?
This week, I returned the favor. I met with a man, name withheld, who sold fish out of his dirty white van on the side of a road in a tent full of Colemans. We made eye contact; then a quick transaction using few words. I walked away with an ice-pack of salmon. He pocketed my eight Washingtons.
Less than an hour later, my date resurfaced from the garden (where he was building a chicken coop) to enjoy his sketchy lunch.
In sketch we trust.
In sketch you trust?
Salmon Sashimi with Shishito Pepper Sauce
Sashimi-grade salmon, sliced thin and dressed with a sauce of minced shishito peppers, lime, ginger, soy and cilantro. Served with a side of market greens.
~ Serves 2 ~
~ Ingredients ~
- 1 shishito pepper, minced
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½” cube ginger, juiced (by squeezing cube through a garlic press)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cilantro, minced
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ pound of sashimi-grade salmon
- 2 ounces mixed greens
~ Preparation ~
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- Make sauce: Combine the first 7 ingredients into a small glass bowl. Whisk in canola oil to combine.
- Cut sashimi: With a good sushi knife, thinly slice salmon, tweezing out any stray bones. Divide between two plates.
- Drizzle two tablespoons of sauce over each pile of salmon. Add mixed greens to remaining sauce and mix (with clean fingers). Divide mixed greens evenly onto two plates.
- Serve immediately.
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro