Bringing the Sea Closer To You
A Fresh and Cheap Do-It-Yourself Sushi PartyBy Ruby Lam
212 Northern Avenue
Boston MA 02210
I am a big sushi fan and have always wanted to host my very own sushi party at home. Yet, the sushi grade tuna that I can find in the Japanese grocery store at Porter Square is often very expensive. And there is a reason for it: fish are graded and only the fish with grade A or above can be used for sashimi and sushi. So, don’t try to get the $4.99/lb pink salmon from Costco and try to make sushi out of it!
Over the summer, my new classmate from Japan told me about this fish wholesaler near the pier in Boston. If you know where the No Name Restaurant is, this place is right next to it. It is nothing fancy. It looks like a loading dock from the outside.
When I walked in, I felt like I walked into a huge refrigerator. I didn’t quite know what to do because it definitely doesn’t look like a grocery store. But if you step into the inner room at the back (a fridge inside a fridge!), you will discover a sushi-fan heaven. You can basically find any possible fish and other edible sea creatures on most sushi menu.
The basics are tuna (maguro), salmon (sake), yellowtail (hamachi), and flounder (hirame). For a premium, you can find fatty tuna too (toro), which is usually listed under market price on most sushi menus.
The selection of fish roe (tobiko) is indeed impressive. The most common one you see in sushi restaurants is the orange (salmon) one. Here, you can find orange, gold and even black tobiko! Next to the tobiko, you can also find a wide selection of Japanese salads, sesame seaweed, octopus and sesame jellyfish. For parties, you can order their temaki set (assorted fish selections in advance for pick up). For $10 per person, you will get a good selection of tuna, salmon, and white fish, and occasionally, salmon roe if you order for at least 4-5 people.
There is a catch though. Since Sea-to-You is a wholesaler that supplies many local Japanese restaurants, they only do retail on Saturdays. And like most markets, early birds get better selection so plan to go early on Saturday.