Female Chefs Combat Sexism With Sushi Restaurant Staffed Only By Women

Japan’s sushi industry is notoriously male-dominated, but a group of intrepid female chefs have begun to combat the sexism preventing women from working in the field. In Tokyo’s Akihabara district you’ll now find a restaurant called Nadeshiko Sushi — and every single employee is female.

Source: Female Chefs Combat Sexism With Sushi Restaurant Staffed Only By Women

I can tell you that sex is extremely important in food preparation. It’s not a matter of gender; it’s entirely biological. A few science facts:

  • When men cook meat, they might undercook it. When women cook meat, it is medium-well and slightly more emotional.
  • When males prepare vegetables, they are typically more angular and much heavier. Female-cooked vegetables have a soft, pink, pretty mouthfeel, but are less trustworthy.
  • Grains prepared by men are woodsier, more adventurous, but often prone to violence. Grains prepared by women are perceptive, intuitive, and have notes of melon and strawberry.

Little known fact: Men don’t use many spices on food, but will express themselves with hot sauce or butter at a much earlier age. Women get extra spices that men don’t have access to: Including turmeric and coriander. Women gain more spices until they are about 50 years old, at which point their spice rack is full.

You Can Turn A Lot of Things Into Sushi. It’s Not Always a Good Idea

Sushi literally means “ vinegar rice”. That is all that is required for it to be sushi. In fact, sushi arose out of a means to preserve food – by pickling it.  For those who think sushi only means fish, sashimi is closer to what you have in mind.

For extra credit: It is not in the strictest sense traditional to serve salmon as sushi, and especially not as sashimi. The reason is that even though salmon are ocean going fish, they spend part of their lives in fresh water, and in Japanese traditional cuisine, sushi and sashimi are not typically considered the appropriate preparation for freshwater fish. Of course in this day and age it is common to find salmon sushi in Japan, you can even find California rolls there, which are about as Japanese as fortune cookies are Chinese.

TLDR: Did you enjoy it?  Like wine, beer, etc. that is all that matters.

Make Sushi with Sriracha Instead of Seaweed for an Extra Flavor Kick

…sriracha sushi is no replacement for real sushi, but it’s a fun and playful alternative. I’ve found that I can’t make anything near restaurant-quality sushi at home, so I’d rather try something fun and different than fail at the real deal. So if you’re looking for traditional homemade sushi, this is not the tutorial for you! But if you want something that will give your taste buds a new dance, this is it.

Source: Tastes as Amazing as It Sounds: Make Sushi with Sriracha Instead of Seaweed

There isn’t any vitamin K in sriracha, but nigiri seaweed doesn’t have a lot of vitamin K either.  So I wouldn’t advocate changing for the sake of INR concern.

Wasabi/Horseradish: How Much Vitamin K?

Surprisingly, this hasn’t been searched for… yet.

1 cup of raw Wasabi root has no discernible trace of vitamin K.  If you can stomach a cup or more…  This is one of those things I don’t think anyone would consume in large enough portions to be a consideration of the dose adding up.

But what most aren’t aware of is that some North American “wasabi” is actually horseradish.  What most folks have experience with is a mixture of horseradish, mustard, starch and green food coloring that gives a similar effect…  The horseradish root – the part we actually eat – contains about 2 mcg per 100 grams (~5 mcg per cup) while the leaves contain 123 mcg per 100 grams.  Even if you are inclined to consume a cup of horseradish [root], that’d be in the region of 5-6% of your Daily Value (DV).  Depending on your vitamin K intake, that might be enough to impact your INR.

What’s happening when I eat wasabi and my sinuses “flare up”?

Your mouth, throat, nose, and ears are all interconnected at the back of your mouth, and slightly upward. Mucous membranes, which make up most of everything in the area, are extremely sensitive. When the burning starts, mucous production ramps up in an attempt to alleviate the burning.

Counteract the Burning

Capsaicin is responsible for the burning you experience with wasabi and horseradish, which is not water soluble.  You want something with casein (protein) in it – IE dairy milk.  Dairy products in general have casein.  But what about options for the lactose intolerant?   Margarine, tuna, dairy-free cheese, non-dairy coffee creamer, semisweet chocolate, cereal bars, cheese-flavored chips and snack crackers, processed meats and ghee…  The chocolate looks to be the only option for vegans, or any form of vegetarianism that omits fish and/or dairy products.

Fun fact: The distinctive pungent taste of horseradish is from the compound allyl isothiocyanate, aka CH2CHCH2NCS. It’s actually a component of the plant that has evolved as a natural defense against herbivores.

Sushi Restaurant Owners Admit Serving Endangered Whale to Customers

Brian Vidor, owner of The Hump, pled guilty along with his parent company, Typhoon Restaurant Inc., to serving Sei Whale to customers. You’d think people would’ve figured this out sooner since the second half of the restaurant’s sign (“back”) had been hastily crossed out with magic marker.

Source: Sushi Restaurant Owners Admit Serving Endangered Whale to Customers

That’s a serious breach of etiquette.

Pass the Spray-On Soy Sauce

Did you know there’s a proper way to eat sushi that doesn’t involve completely soaking the rice in soy sauce? You’re only supposed to dip the fish, which can be tricky if you’re not skilled with a set of chopsticks. So Fukuma, a Japanese soy sauce manufacturer, is now packaging the salty brown side in tiny spray bottles so you can perfectly spritz your sushi.

Source: Spray-On Soy Sauce Ensures Your Sushi Isn’t Soaked In Salt

No word on when or if it will come to North America, but what’s stopping you from filling a spritzer bottle of your own?

Sushi: 5 Ways to Roll Without a Mat

Traditionally, sushi is assembled by laying down a sheet of Nori (sushi’s seaweed wrapper) atop a bamboo mat, known as a Makisu, which helps the chef roll, compress, and form the heaping of rice, vegetables, and fish piled atop it into a familiar cylindrical shape. But seriously, who has time for that? These five devices will generate perfect Nigiri without the hassle of doing it by hand.

Source: 5 Ways to Roll Sushi Without a Mat (and Barely Have to Touch Raw Fish)

I was delighted to learn that Nori is low in vitamin K – eat without guilt, but eat in moderation.

Using a fresh [tea] towel is the best option.  While bamboo is traditional, there’s concerns with food getting trapped between the sticks and the subsequent difficulty cleaning.  A towel?  Just run it through the wash but be aware that in washing terms:

  • Hot water: 130+ F/54.4+ C
  • Warm water: 90 – 110 F/32.2 – 43.3 C
  • Cold water: 60 – 80 F / 15 – 26.7 C

That means that washing hot water is not enough to kill most germs and bacteria – you’d need 176 F/80 C at a minimum.