The myth: Sushi is all about the fish
The truth: “Sushi is not about the topping. It isn't about the fish, that's completely secondary. It's about the quality of the rice. They inevitably write about all the toppings, but a sushi connoisseur cares about the rice. If the rice isn't right, it doesn't matter how fresh or special the fish is. American sushi chefs have a ways to go on that. Anybody can get really fresh fish these days if you're willing to pay for it, but it's the ability to manipulate the rice that makes the difference.”
The myth: Only eat at sushi restaurants on certain days
The truth: “In the old days, maybe that was true because you got shipments on certain days. You weren't getting any shipments on Sunday, so therefore you'd be eating fish from the Friday before. But nowadays, given international trade, many restaurants are getting fish any day of the week.”
The myth: Frozen fish is inferior
The truth: “What's happening now is a lot of these fish that are harvested, they're freezing them on the boat. They're frozen hours or even minutes within getting caught. So most of the fish you're gonna get in a sushi place is frozen. Very, very few sushi restaurants in the states would sell tuna that would never have been frozen -- that would be pretty rare. Frankly, most people wouldn't like it. Freezing allows the meat to firm up and it tastes a little better. I've had completely fresh tuna and most Americans wouldn't like it; it has a strong gamey taste.”
The myth: Wild-caught fish is superior
The truth: “Wild-caught fish are going to have greater variability [in quality]. What a salmon may be eating in one part of the world, it isn't eating in another. There's a variability there. You don't have that in farmed fish -- you have a certain consistency. A lot of the tuna in a more affordable sushi place is farmed; more upscale restaurants offer wild- or line-caught. But a lot of stuff like abalone is going to be farmed either way."