Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Weirdness: Avocado Sashimi

Turns out it's a thing.
I don't know about you, but when I think "interesting," I think "the history of the avocado in Japanese cuisine."

It may surprise you to learn that avocado is not native to Japan. It actually entered Japanese cuisine via California, where transplanted Japanese sushi chefs were looking for a cheap, palatable alternative to toro, or fatty tuna belly.

The Japanese, it turns out, are obsessed with toro, thanks to its rich, fatty flavor and creamy texture. But if you don't mind dropping the tuna-ish taste of toro, avocado is actually a decent approximation. Savvy chefs didn't have to think too hard about swapping out an expensive fish product with little or no distribution in the US for something that, in California, literally grows on trees. Everywhere.

Hence the California roll was born and subsequently transplanted back to Japan, where it remains the only staple of American sushi you can regularly find on the menu. Before long, the avocado took off on its own, popping up in a variety of sushi and non-sushi dishes. These days, reasonably priced avocados can be found in most grocery stores. In fact, they're typically cheaper than they are in the eastern US, and for us at least they've become an important staple as we've tried to trim our consumption of meat.

And avocado sashimi may be the single easiest recipe in the world.

  1. Slice an avocado or two.
  2. Squeeze a lemon wedge over top.
  3. Dip in soy sauce with wasabi to taste.

 Delicious and nutritions.

Today's Lesson
a-bo-ka-do sa-shi-mi shi-ma-su
avocado sashimi make
(I) make avocado sashimi.

1 comment:

  1. Too funny! Good to know for if I end up in Japan at a sushi place. And good luck on your continuing 'reduce meat' quest. We are currently trying to cut down on cooking/olive oil in my house for my fiance's high blood pressure. It's hard to learn to cook different! But good for you guys!