Sunday, 11 March 2012

Challenge #1: Sarah vs. Sushi

I'm not the biggest fan of fish or eating dead things that aren't cooked, so I wasn't really looking forward to the task ahead. Shoving the thought that I may end up spending the next 24 hours curled in the foetal position on my bathroom floor, following a violent bout of sickness, to the back of my mind, I headed to Leicester's Yo Sushi with my good friend Dina Thanki. I had selected a close friend to accompany me on this challenge safe in the knowledge that if it came down to it she would happily (well, begrudgingly maybe) volunteer for hair holding back and chin wiping duties in the event of a hurl situation.

 I believe this is what's called putting on a brave face

 Sushi spaceships go whizzing by...

Being a newcomer to the sushi way of things I was grateful when Dina took charge of the situation. "You wanna make some notes woman" she commanded, before thrusting a menu I couldn't not understand beneath my nose.

While it was a perfect opportunity to trick me into eating something profoundly minging, it is a testament to our friendship that my illustrator pal carefully handpicked every dish so as to minimise my torture discomfort. She could have easily tricked me into eating a squid's testicle (yes, they do, I Googled it) for all I knew, but instead chose a selection that included back-up dishes to take away any nasty taste. Good plan. The only strategy I was bringing to the table was to chew fast and swallow faster. My whole game plan was based around eating as fast as possible and getting out safely.

The menu we went with: 
  • Vegetable gyoza – deep fried veg – sounds safe, looks appetising
  • Spicy pepper squid – looks really good, sounds dangerous
  • Hairy prawns – basically battered prawns – sounds bad, but looks good
  • Assorted nigiri – raw salmon and tuna – very risky, those lumps of dead fish are actually pretty big
  • Assorted fish maki – raw salmon, tuna and prawn medley wrapped in seaweed – not so risky, dead bits are smaller
  • Crunchy tofu salad – with mustard, vinegar and miso sauce – very safe, confident about this one
  • Tamago – a mix of sweet omelette and rice – cold and therefore possibly weird


Assorted fish maki 

Left: Looking for an escape route 
to avoid trying the assorted nigiri

Right: Chomping on the salmon,
disguised with a large dose of soy sauce
Note the use of child chopsticks to ensure
some food made it to my mouth

Not a fan

Please don't make me do this again


OK, so the experience wasn't as traumatic as I feared - despite the look on my face - and some of it was actually pretty good. Although I'm referring to the cooked stuff when I say that.

We kicked off with the assorted nigiri, aiming to get the worst over and done with, and Dina kindly held my hand throughout by going halves on everything. I'm surprised to admit that the taste wasn't all that bad, thanks to the soy sauce and rice disguise, and it didn't really taste very fishy. It was the texture that was the worst part, coupled with the thought of what I was eating.

The assorted fish maki, on the other hand, was not good. I thought the whole seaweed thing would act as a good distraction from the fish and as there was less fish to it, I thought it would be plain sailing - so wrong. Not only did it taste bad, but it was ridiculously chewy. As if to prolong my discomfort, the sushi gods had created something that just didn't want to go down; as I contemplated spitting or swallowing, I thought it would be failure to bail out, so I swallowed. Luckily it didn't come back up.

On a positive note, the hairy prawns, vegetable gyoza and crunchy tofu were all good and I would definitely have again. As for the squid, although it was very chewy, it wasn't as dangerous as I feared and the batter was really nice.

Some yummy stuff: vegetable gyoza, spicy pepper squid and hairy prawns

Verdict: Win

I'm proud to have ticked my first challenge successfully off my list of things to do before I'm 30 and that I managed to behave so well despite the circumstances. And my reward for completing the sushi challenge? I had a Choc Dip on the way home.


  1. Ahahahahahahaha! I LOVE THIS! See, I am a good friend :) I'm glad the whole experience wasn't too bad and that you actually liked most of it my new hairy prawn buddy. I guess this sets you off for your next challenge...good luck and see you soon for some Velcro Jumping maybe?

  2. Thanks chick. Just looking into the velcro jumping, we can hire one from £195, which seems a bit much. Maybe we could make one?? We are only little after all so won't need too much velcro...

  3. See, you survived your sushi ordeal - not sure how that Velcro Jumping's going to play out, but I'm rooting for you.

    Fun post! is the link to a video showing how to Disable Word Verification Disable Word Verification - I hope it's helpful.

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    1. Hi Jenny,

      Thanks for your comment and your help. Just watched the video and it's really easy to understand, so it's a big help, cheers.

      Glad you like the post. Looking forward to reading your A to Z!

  4. Good for you! though I would not do it. I only tried it a little bit and have since avoided sushi altogether.

    visiting from Dina's blog.

    1. Ahh Lissa, I'm sure if you came with me we would find something you would like :) I guess it's one of those love it or hate it things.

      I'm glad you came to visit, Sarah does write some funny things.

    2. Hey Lissa, thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I wouldn't recommend the raw stuff, but the cooked stuff was really good. Luckily Dina knew what she was doing otherwise it could have been a whole different story!

  5. Hhaha love your face reactions! liked it then? i will have to try Sushi soon now! :p xx

    1. Yeah, we will have to go together so I can take photos of you trying it! The veggie stuff was nom nom nom, but the raw fish was no no no.