Why do you love sushi? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Kaz Matsune, Private Sushi Chef, Sustainable Fish Director of Breakthrough Sushi, on Quora:
I love making Sushi more than eating it.
I love it because when I started being a Sushi chef seventeen years ago, I had no idea how to make Sushi Rice, how to cut Maguro, fillet Kanpachi, make a California Roll, Dragon Roll, Shrimp Tempura roll, or to make Sashimi and Nigiri. I enjoyed every step in learning all the techniques associated with making Sushi. I love it because I have met so many great Sushi Chefs who taught me what I know today. I am ever so grateful. Many of them told me about the mise en place of Sushi, how to take care of my tools like knives, how to be efficient in the kitchen, and most importantly, how to work cleanly at the Sushi Bar. I was a very messy worker when I started.
I enjoy filleting fish like Tai Snapper when I place my knife and slide through its bones to separate the meat. I get excited every time I go pick up the fish from our fish supplier, and they tell me, "Kaz, we got a nice local King Salmon in today, and they are really beautiful." I love it when I pick up that Salmon take it back to the kitchen, cure it in sugar and salt, as it changes the color. I love finding out new fish like Scallops from Viking Village, which I think are the sweetest scallops I've ever tasted. It's so sweet that it requires nothing more than little lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
I love the smell of Sushi Vinegar evaporating as I pour it over steaming hot short grain rice in Hangiri, a wooden sushi rice-mixing tub. I love it when it cools down and starts to taste good after several hours.
I love curing Saba, Mackerel in vinegar for two to three hours, always guessing how long to marinate, taking out, tasting it, and putting it back, taking out again to figure out the perfect marinating time. I love it more when Saba tastes even better the following day after its marinated.
When working at a Sushi Bar, I love the interaction with the Sushi Bar Customers. I love getting to know the regulars, finding out their likes so that I can save some special fish for them when they arrive. I love watching regulars smiling, being happy eating the Sushi I make. I love when they say 'thank you' at the end of the meal.
I love the simplicity of a Nigiri and its complexity, its depth and its difficulty in making it. I love Nigiri because there is nothing to hide. I love "slicing" Sashimi because it's so simple and yet so hard to do it right.
As a business owner and a chef, I love it when our clients send us nice Holiday Cards every year. I love when some of the clients call us back to hire us for their Sushi Dinner. I love when I see their happy faces when I say, "It's nice to see you again."
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