Tuesday, March 02, 2010

remembering grandpa

shouzan9, Originally uploaded by Kat

Growing up in Hawaii, we would have sashimi only during special occasions. In our family, sashimi and sushi would fall under the category of "gochisoo" or foods for special occasions.

In Japanese, sashimi means sliced raw fish but in our family this meant only one kind of fish, maguro (tuna).

Another thing that we do differently in our family is how we eat it. We didn't eat it with wasabi (Japanese horseradish), we ate our sashimi with mustard. Coleman's mustard.

I remember having to get a jigger, placing some dry mustard in it and then adding some water to get the consistency right. (Though I could never get the consistency right!)

I am not sure why we ate it with mustard and not with wasabi, but I have a feeling, back then, wasabi was expensive and/or hard to get.

Needless to say, I never used the mustard, just shoyu (soy sauce). To this day, I think this is why whenever I eat sashimi I only use the shoyu.

My grandpa used to always buy us sashimi when we visited him on the Big Island. He would go down early to Suisan, where they held the local fish auctions and pick up the freshest piece he could buy. He would come home with the piece wrapped in pink butcher paper, enough to fill a large round platter.

Even during New Years when the price of tuna skyrockets, he would always make sure that we were able to enjoy sashimi.

When I moved to Japan, several friends and family in Japan asked me if I ate sashimi.

I replied "yes" but was shocked when out came a large platter filled with assorted raw sliced fish.

It wasn't just maguro and there was no mustard.

Though you can find sashimi and sushi everyday in the markets here, it is still "gochisoo" to me.

I can't believe 10 years have passed...missing you Grandpa!


Anonymous said...

Nice rememberance of your Grandpa. We used shoyu/mustard growing up also. I don't even remember having wasabi at all as a kid. Now shoyu/mustard is pretty much just for Chinese food or Manapua.

Alan from Makiki

KirkK said...

Hey Kat - I grew exactly like you.... on the rare occasions we had sashimi, it wasn't even maguro(too expensive)... but Aku (katsuo). We never had wasabi, it was Coleman's with shoyu.

K and S said...

Anon, Can you believe that the lady at 7-eleven was going to give me a chinese mustard packet for my corn dog? I scrunched my nose at her and said, no thanks!

Hmm Kirk, I guess wasabi was just too expensive for our families.

Take care you two.

Rowena said...

The visual that you drew of your grandpa, him bringing home that piece of fish wrapped in pink butcher paper...that was priceless. Cool flashback. And on a totally different note about wasabi...MotH has some friends who ADORE the stuff! They love it so much, they put it (the paste) on their rice, with no soy sauce. I was like, whaaaa?!

K and S said...

Thanks Rowena! Can you get fresh wasabi? That stuff is EXPENSIVE, even here! I think when I was in Hawaii I saw it for $79 a pound! MotH's friends should add some fish for massive sushi :)

Take care.

Deb in Hawaii said...

What a nice memory to have of your grandpa. ;-)

K and S said...

Thanks Debinhawaii, he was the best :)

Take care.

Jenster said...

What a nice remembrance of your grandpa, Kat. Funny how, for many of us, our memories revolve around food and the role it played at family events.

Growing up in Honolulu, I refused to eat sashimi because I just couldn't stand the thought of eating raw fish. I would go to parties where large beautiful platters of it would be served and I would refrain. Ironically, after I moved to Seattle, I finally tried some good sashimi and now it's one of my favorite foods! Wish I had taken advantage of all those party platters back home. ;)

K and S said...

That is true Jenster, I think a lot of "foodies" have great food memories with family and friends. That is too bad that you didn't like it as a child, but at least now you do :)

Take care.