Monday, February 7, 2011


On Saturday my friends Ben and Carolyn Andersen had a baby shower and then afterwards we went out for dinner. Leann couldn't come because she had to work.[1] But when she found out that we had sushi, she didn't feel quite so bad. We went to Tepanyaki Grill, a Utah-based Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar. They are known for cooking the food at your table and putting on a show.[2] Leann and I have gone once before and enjoyed it, though we didn't try the sushi. This time I did.

Popular misconceptions aside, not all sushi is raw fish. Sushi (壽司) simply refers to any Japanese dish made with vinegared rice. However, most sushi includes seafood, often raw (hence the misconception). Raw fish by itself is called sashimi (刺身). At the waiter's recommendation, we got the Caterpillar Roll (also called the Dragon Roll). It was vinegared rice, nori [3], unagi [4], cucumber, avocado, and tobiko.[5] It came with shōyu [6], wasabi, and gari.[7] It was arranged to look like a sinuous caterpillar (see the photo above). It even had bean sprouts on one end to look like antennae! Since three of us split the roll, I only had a few slices but they were surprisingly good. With that positive experience under my belt, I'm actually curious, now, to try other sushi rolls! Any recommendations?


[1] Everyone in her lab went to the 2011 SRM Meeting in Billings, Montana. So she has to take care of their ongoing experiments.

[2] This includes juggling an egg on a spatula and creating a flaming volcano out of onion rings. They also toss cooked shrimp into the air for you to catch in your mouth, if you're willing to participate. Sometimes their aim isn't so great, though.

[3] 海苔, the dried seaweed used to wrap the sushi.

[4] うなぎ, freshwater eel. It was also dressed with an eel sauce. I figured that as long as I was trying sushi I might as well go all-out and try eel, too.

[5] 飛子, flying fish roe. It tasted slightly fishy and was a little bit crunchy.

[6] 醤油, Japanese soy sauce.

[7] ガリ, thinly sliced, pickled ginger. You use it to cleanse your palate between dishes. It was surprisingly intense, but not unpleasantly so.

Image attributions:


  1. well...I went to a sushi restaurant here in Logan and I had some of their eel sushi and their deep-fried sushi is absolutely divine! I don't know their technical names but they are really good!

  2. I'm sorry, but I just don't think I could put that in my mouth. I'm really a wimp when it comes to strange food (especially sea food).

    Mike likes most of the kinds of sushi he's tried at Chinese buffets, but he doesn't know the names of any of them to tell you.