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!