Kohada…a type of herring, right? How’s my English? I better practice because I plan to be around for the Olympics, hahaha. It doesn’t matter, as long as you communicate, right?
Yes, some salt, rinse it, then vinegar. It takes about 10 minutes. Lasts a few days. You want kohada sushi? These won’t be tasty yet, it’s too soon. I’ll give you some I have in the cabinet here.
I worked for six years in Shibuya, Center Gai Standing Sushi, but I started working here a few years ago. It’s good here. I’m old enough now, you know. If I don’t like the people I’m working with, I leave. That’s my philosophy. I mean, why bother, right?
I have an older brother, went to America in the 1950s. He started in sushi too. He kept saying I should go over. But I belong here. My “arm” is here, my food and my customers are here.
It’s fun at a standing sushi bar. People are lively and you hear stories. Ha, I could tell you some stories. I worked a lot of jobs. Maybe 80. I worked at Tsukiji too. I also made soba, and kaiseki. But I tell you, sushi is the hardest. People think it’s just, you just mold the rice and put some fish on it, but I tell you. It’s not easy. You gotta be old to be a good sushi-ya.
Aji? Here you go. What’s the word for aji? Horse mackerel? Different in Australia? Yellowtail? You only use it for bait?
Americans only know katsuo, bonito, because it’s Spanish or Italian right? I mean, they don’t eat it. Well it’s really good right now. It’s in-between hatsu katsuo, first bonito, and modori katsuo, returning bonito.
Here’s your three cuts of maguro. Yes, that ootoro, fatty belly meat, is very good. Where do you start? Hahaha. If you start with the akami, red meat, your mouth will be richly coated when you finish with the ootoro. So maybe you should start with the ootoro. But then again, you have the ginger to refresh your mouth, so maybe it doesn’t matter which one you start with!
Yoshihiko Takada, at Hinatomaru standing sushi, Asakusa
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