Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rethinking My Taste for Japanese Food, One Shocking Dish at a Time

The night before Nathan got underway, we went out for a pre-deployment feast. "Let's go all out!" I declared. "Let's try new things!" We've fallen into a routine, always ordering the same four or five things, so we decided to get a little bit culinarily adventurous. Here is where I should note two things about our ordering decisions:
  1. We usually order veggie tempura, but I've gotten a bit New Englandy & discovered a like (I wouldn't call it a love yet) of crab & lobster, so I suggested we go with the soft-shell crab tempura this time. He agreed.

  2. Nathan became excited about the idea of knocking something off of his 101 in 1,001 List (see mine here), which was "Eat an animal I've never tried before." Because I told him trout didn't count, he went with sea urchin sushi. When the waiter asked if he'd like egg atop it, he expected tamago, a sweet egg made with suga - so he said yes.
When our appetizer showed up, it looked like this:

Yeah, that's not what I had in mind. While I blubbered on & on about OH MY GOD, THAT IS AN ENTIRE DEEP-FRIED CRAB all while doing my best not to make A Huge Scene (capital letters required because this was a feat), Nathan bravely ripped off & ingested a leg. And then another. He eventually convinced me to - very hesitantly - do the same, though I neither of us could bring ourselves to eat very much of it, & we were so, so relieved when the busboy finally whisked it away.

Except then our meal came:

Yes, ABOMINATION. That's the sea urchin nigiri with raw quail eggs atop it - because sea urchin alone wasn't bad enough. Remember the time Nathan drank a Longshoreman? Yeah, it's sort of like he has a salmonella death wish. Hey, did you want a close-up of that sushi disaster? I thought you might:

 

I'll wait while you struggle to keep your last meal down. And in case you were wondering whether this little gem of a dish went down smoothly (uh, the answer is obviously that it didn't), I caught it on tape for you...

...except that I felt so bad for him that I turned the camera off after only a few seconds. And he dry heaved half of the way home.

Yes, it seems I got a little too big for my britches when I bragged in this post that I'd dramatically expanded my palate. Perhaps I'll stick to good old grilled cheese for a bit while I recover from this one.
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