While North Americans appreciate regular sushi rolls and Temaki Sushi, a special branch of sushi has spread its popularity in East and Southeast Asia: Nigiri Sushi. Fortunately, I had a chance to try such delicate I during the summer of 2010. After shopping in the city, my friends and I went to the “Little Tokyo” in Taipei.
“You are going to see the most epic food,” said one of my friends; and left me wondering, “What else can it be? It’s just sushi!”
While approaching the restaurant, I saw a line starting from the entrance of the restaurant to the end of the block. We waited for two hours outside of the restaurant just to get a table. I was surprised because we were assigned with a chef who will make all the sushi for us. After few seconds, the first nigiri was made and my friends insisted that I have the first one.
“This is not just sushi,” while I put the ball of rice in my mouth. The softness, the freshness, and the spiciness were all at the level of perfection.
The friends laughed loudly just looking at my expression, not to mention I had the next five nigiri served to us. While eating, the chef introduced the qualities of nigiri. Basically, the chef needs to shape the rice into a sphere, and put on fresh fish (Sashimi).
“It may sound easy, but it took my just five years to learn,” said the chef.
From choosing the correct rice, fresh fish, correct sauce to actually making the nigiri, every steps must be monitored carefully. The experience of the chef is especially important. With such precision, no doubt nigiri can rise as the most popular dish in East Asia. It represents delicacy and precision when making the food.
It was the only food I kept thinking while on the flight back to Canada.
“I am coming back for this,” I said to myself.