Friday, November 18, 2005

Gooey Sticky Number 3: Mekabu

Since I've already featured okra and natto, it's pretty clear that I am a fan of the savory goo. The sticky texture is so very pleasurable for me, and I love the feeling of slimy goo coating my mouth with each bite. There are three other gooey, sticky things I love. I'll tell you one of them today, and let's see if any of you can guess what the other savory gooey things I love are!

As a fan of the goo, I am a little bit embarrassed to admit that I learned about how delicious mekabu is only recently. Although I'd known about mekabu, I'd never tried it in its pure form - straight up gunkan-style.

I've been stopping by Sushi Yoshi in Newark fairly regularly on a semi-weekly basis these days, partly because I am so hooked on this mekabu gunkan-maki (battleship roll, named after its resemblance to a battleship).

Mekabu, a specific part of a type of seaweed, is not only sticky but also it has a wonderful chewiness to it. The scent of the ocean is condensed into its meat, releasing aromatic brine with each bite. Set against a backdrop of vinegared sushi rice and fragrant toasted nori, mekabu works perfectly to bring a fresh breeze from the ocean in the middle of Silicon Valley.

At Sushi Yoshi, mekabu appears in gunkan-maki alongside various partners who also contribute goo. The one pictured has okra with it. I've also had it with yamaimo. Both okra and yamaimo provide a new texture to mekabu that would otherwise lack the crunch while complimenting each other with more goo. As my mouth fills with slime, I am reminded of how unique the ingredient is and the simple method of preparation brings out a whole new realm of deliciousness. I'm not sure if other cultures appreciate this natural slime, but the Japanese (well, some of us) have cultivated goo as a distinct culinary pleasure. Interestingly, all of the slime I love come from plants, whether they are beans, vegetables, or seaweed...

And boy, do I love those lusciously slimy plants!

PS:There is a hint in this post as to what one of the other savory sticky gooey is!


The Papa Bear said...

Do I get my sushido shodan if I can guess what it is? :^) (looking for an easy promotion here...)

Anonymous said...


Chris said...

I lile Nameko that is a slimy mushroom.
The miso soup with Nameko mushuroom is very delicious!

By the way, I put my temporary e-male address on here. Please sent me e-male with your name on subject.........on Japanese(^_^;).
After that I'll sent you my male from my usual address.(ホットメール)

And please delete this address after you sent e-male to me, if you can.

Alice said...


Your shodan will be easier the traditional route...


Alas, natto was one I posted about already...


Nameko ALMOST made the cut to be in the top 5 but it didn't quite make it. I really love nameko miso soup too!

I'll send you an email right now - maybe we can go out to dinner this weekend to cheer Ted up!

Kevin said...


Alice said...


Good one! That is definitely one of them!!! I get the yamaimo vairety here, but the sticky crunchy potato is definitely one of my favorites!!!