How to Eat Sushi (April 21, 2004)
WHAT is great sushi? Of course, said Seki, the chef and owner of Sushi Seki on First Avenue, great sushi needs great fish. But, he continued, great fish is not enough.
“Sushi is so simple that each element must be perfect, and all the elements must be balanced,” he said. “Like pizza.”
Like pizza, sushi can be downed as a quick lunch or dwelt upon obsessively for a lifetime. Once your sushi consciousness has been raised, it becomes a pleasure to appreciate its subtle distinctions: the rice should be warm, so that the chilled fish begins to approach body temperature before the piece goes into your mouth; nori, seaweed sheets used for rolling maki, should be thin and crisp, instead of tough and leathery; the wasabi and gari (pickled ginger) should be freshly made