- Supermarket sushi is usually far from gourmet.
- But when I sampled all the fresh food at the new Wegmans supermarket in Brooklyn, the sushi absolutely blew me away.
- With its generous cuts of fresh, high-quality fish for supermarket prices, I’d go back to Wegmans again and again, just for its sushi.
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One doesn’t expect much from a box of supermarket sushi.
Along with gas stations and convenience stores, supermarkets don’t inspire much confidence when it comes to the quality of their raw fish.
But Wegmans is all about shattering expectations of what a supermarket can offer. I’m no sushi expert, but I do love a nice hunk of raw fish on some vinegary rice now and then. Maybe slap on some seaweed. My price range is cheap to medium-cheap sushi, so it’s not like I’ve had the of top-of-the-line stuff. This is the review of a sushi lover who can’t really afford to love sushi.
I recently made my first sojourn to the family-owned supermarket chain Wegmans, a New England cult favourite that opened its first New York location in September. After traipsing through aisles filled with affordable quality goods, I ended my trip with a five-course food court fiesta culminating in, of course, sushi.
The sushi fridge was filled with rolls, nigiri, sashimi, and even tataki — a high-end touch. Chefs will make you fresh sushi if you ask, but I was impatient.
I grabbed a sushi deluxe set for $US21, which is a lot more than I’d normally pay for a supermarket sushi set.
But this one had a couple of certified stunners, like a piece of uni, or sea urchin — one of the most highly prized sushi.
The quality of the fish also looked incredible. Each piece was shiny and smooth, and it looked quite fresh.
Real wasabi is so expensive it’s almost never served at American sushi restaurants. Wegmans clearly takes pride that it does serve it.
At most American sushi restaurants, the “wasabi” isn’t made out of Japanese horseradish. It’s usually made with cheaper kinds of horseradish and green dye.
This is in line with Wegmans’ ethos, which is very focused on local and sustainable food. Its Japanese culinary team is stacked with Japanese culinary talent.
Source: Wegmans website
And I could taste the difference. The fish roe were not at all fishy. They were fresh.
I’d only had uni once before at a Japanese restaurant, and it tasted like trash water. But this uni was delicate, subtle, and reminiscent of sea foam.
Every single piece of fish was fresh, butter-soft, and completely sinew-free. The sushi beds were compact, and the rice was perfectly seasoned.
There was fatty tuna, lean maguro, wild salmon, farmed salmon, squid, and many other fish I couldn’t identify. They were all perfect.
I cleaned my plate. At $US21, it wasn’t cheap. But it was incredible value for the calibre of sushi I was getting. Next time when I crave some raw fish, I might skip the restaurants and just head to my local Wegmans.
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