Going Out: Hanko Sushi Vantaa

This was my second sushi experience during our weekend in the Helsinki greater metropolitan area last July. This was also my second sushi experience with this particular Finnish restaurant chain, Hanko Sushi. I use the term “restaurant” loosely because I would classify this more as fast-food sushi, really. Except for the not so fast part. But wait, let’s start at the beginning. So the day before, I’d taken the bus out to Espoo to visit a friend and have an awesome lunch at LN-Sushi Art. Wanting to sleep in late and knowing that we were leaving that afternoon, I stayed …

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Going Out: LN-Sushi Art

Last summer, I accompanied the hubby on a series of weekend trips to various cities around the country for his RC car competitions. In the process, I took what was basically the abbreviated Sushi Tour of Finland. Such as it is. Finland doesn’t have a huge number of sushi joints, so there are usually only a couple per city at best, unless it’s a particularly large one like Helsinki. Then they might have, like, ten or so. Sadly, I do not exaggerate. And most of them probably opened in the recent past, because there were considerably fewer when I first …

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The one with the dumplings.

This gallery contains 23 photos.

Wow, look what I found lurking in my old to-post folder! The last batch of photos from my London work trip back in spring of 2011. Yeah, the one where it became my mission in life to order steamed dumplings from every place within delivery range that made them. Seriously, I’ve got the pictures to prove it. It was an obsession. Just thinking about the woeful lack of delivery dumplings here makes me sad. It’s almost criminal. Why do you hate me so, Finland?

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Lobsteriffic!

Anybody who has been around me for the past several months has probably heard me bemoan at some point or another the scarcity of shellfish in our vicinity. There’s nothing fresh and alive, most certainly — which has made it difficult to continue with my “Food That Moves” column for the foreseeable future. However, more frozen options have been appearing over the past few years, so we’re not entirely high and dry. The frozen mussels are pretty decent, frozen squid is readily available for calamari-makers, and lately there have been beautiful raw frozen tiger shrimp showing up that have made …

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The Library: The Story of Sushi

That Trevor Corson, he’s pretty fly for a white guy. Continuing on with my food history kick, I just finished reading his book The Story of Sushi. This book definitely had a fast foody, summer movie slant to it, but in an enjoyable and somewhat edifying way — sort of like the feeling you get from eating baked potato chips, or watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Or eating California rolls at your typical American sushi place, come to think of it. I’m pretty certain this is intentional. I tore through the book in a few sittings — the …

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The generosity of friends, and Tokyokan too!

Yesterday, we set out for Helsinki bright and early. It’s a little less than a 3 hour drive to get there, and we were trying to avoid traffic both ways. The weather was ridiculously humid and warm in a Floridian sort of way. Luckily the boy’s mother had loaned us her car with functional air conditioning. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this today because we’d be little melted puddles on the side of the road. No, seriously, somebody did not get the memo about us being in the sub-Arctic, yo. This might just result in some vicious balancing of weather …

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Frozen sushi from the frozen north.

You know how it’s usually suggested that you give raw fish being used for sushi a quick freeze to kill any possible parasites before use? This isn’t exactly what they meant. Spotted at the local supermarket earlier this month, a 10-piece sushi meal. Frozen. Microwave and serve! Looks like everything but the salmon is cooked, but still, I shudder to think what that rice must taste like. At the same time, props to whichever guy in corporate thought that there’d be enough of an audience to put sushi in with the frozen dinners, right next to the fried fish sticks …

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Salmon and Scallop Inarizushi

The boy and I went out to sushi fairly frequently back in OC because we had a stellar local restaurant with an excellent selection of everything we could possible ask for. When I was growing up, though, going out wasn’t as common and my mother would often make her own interpretations of sushi, both with nori and with sweet fried tofu pouches called inari. Inari is great because it’s super fast to prep and doesn’t require as much effort as properly rolled nori does. Plus, if made with durable toppings like shredded dried fish, you can just stuff a few …

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Going Out: Sushi Murasaki

A little over two years ago, the boy and I were driving to the supermarket when we noticed a new sushi place had sprung up across the street from it. The slot used to be a quiet little Japanese lunch place, but apparently it underwent a change of ownership and reopened as a cute little sushi place decorated with bamboo and tasteful swatches of purple fabric. We like Japanese food of all persuasions, and were still looking for a local restaurant to frequent, so in we went. They haven’t been able to get rid of us since 🙂 The unassuming …

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