A few years back, when I lived in North America, every once in a while I would get random cravings for Asian food.

I am usually not a big fan of fish roe, but once, I really wanted to eat ikura gunkan.

Gunkan is a style of sushi you'd wrap nori around sushi rice and spoon in the topping. Commonly done with roe's such as ikura (salmon roe), uni (sea urchin roe), etc.

I went to one of those upscale deli's and bought two overpriced pieces of ikura gunkan. That was only two mouthfuls.

Unsatisfied, a few days later, I went to an Asian grocery store and bought some ikura, prepared sushi rice with lovely genuine nori my forks sent from Japan, and made myself big six pieces of ikura gunkan.

It was lovely. I should have done that before giving the deli a chance.

Making sushi rice was in a snap, because there is such a thing as sushinoko (by the way the product description's Japangrish is worth a peep):
(this image is from the manufacturer Tamanoi's website)

It is dried ready-to-mix vinegar powder. Just add a spoonful or two to a bowl of just-cooked short-grain janonica rice, and voila!

I stopped eating sushinoko when for a while I was eating very macrobiotically correct and omitting instant food and refined sugar from my diet.

Before then, though, it was one of those things I'd stock up so I can easily please the crowd by bringing sushi rolls to parties.

One day I had a phone call from a post office at freaking 5am in the morning, and they demanded that I report to their office, because there was a suspicious package sent from Japan addressed to me.

It was a half dozen sushinoko pouches my forks sent to me, and because they also included some plastic laundry hangers (you know how families send some strange things to forks overseas), one of the sushinoko pouches broke.

The result is a mysterious package from Japan gushing out sour-smelling white powder, which freaked out all the postal workers at the time where anthrax threat was still remembered in the country.


    ha, that's funny. and very topical with last week's events!


    Last week's event? What happened? I am behind the world news...


    wow you must be psychic!
    last week they finally linked the strain of anthrax to a specific flask in a specific laboratory. it may never be clear whether Bruce E Ivins was behind the anthrax attacks you mentioned (he committed suicide a short time before they found a crucial piece of evidence)


    ooooh. that is a bit spooky timely. I saw the wikipedia description about B. Ivins after I made my post but read it too quickly. wow that is recent.


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