Sushi from the grocery store gets an extra touch of class thanks to one tiny tweak.
If you’re in Tokyo, the obvious places to try sushi are at a restaurant or one of the city’s seafood markets (yes, the city has more than one). But there’s another place where you can get your hands on tasty morsels of Japan’s brightest culinary star, and that’s at the supermarket.
Japanese supermarkets are stocked with packs of sushi and sashimi that’re sliced and ready-to-be-eaten. They come with little packets of wasabi, and you can also ask the staff for soy sauce packets and disposable chopsticks. The quality of the fish is remarkably high, and the value is unbelievable, especially if you go at night when many supermarkets discount their sushi to half price.
▼ This beautiful buri (yellowtail) cost me just 225 yen (US$2) at the grocery store a block away from my apartment.
If you’re living in Japan, supermarket sushi can be a great way to stretch your food budget, and even if you’re a tourist, it’s an amazingly cheap meal that’s great for when you don’t have time for a sit-down meal but still want to experience part of what makes Japan awesome.
There is one thing that keeps supermarket sushi from being the ultimate quick, self-contained meal, though. While you can eat off the tray, it takes something away from the experience when you don’t have a dish to hold the mixture of soy sauce and wasabi into which you dip the sushi. Thankfully, one supermarket chain has solved this problem, as shown in this photo from Japanese Twitter user @chibannf.
chiba (@chibannf) April 08, 2017
After picking up a pack of sushi from supermarket chain Summit, @chibannf flipped the lid over and discovered an indentation in the plastic, positioned specifically to create a soy sauce dipping section!
Granted, you could pour the soy sauce into an upturned, non-indented tray too. Speaking from experience, though, that makes it difficult to properly mix in your preferred amount of wasabi, and even if you’re passing on the spicy green condiment altogether, a tray with no indention spreads the soy so thin across its surface area that you end up having to smear the soy onto the sushi instead of dipping the piece and eating it like sushi is meant to be. Squirting the soy sauce directly onto the sushi causes its own set of problems, as it tends to make a mess and it’s difficult to regulate just how much soy you’re squirting out.
“THIS! This is what I’ve been wanting for so long,” @chibannf tweeted excitedly, and if you’d like to experience this Japanese innovation for yourself, a list of Summit’s central Tokyo locations can be found here.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s tempted to run off to the grocery store sushi corner right now.