Sunday, 10 April 2011

Something’s fishy: kids like sushi

Something’s fishy: kids like sushi

WHO: Globe features editor Steve Greenlee, his wife, and their three kids

WHAT: Eating sushi

WHERE: Seiyo, 1721 Washington St.

Sushi, sashimi — heck, a slab of raw salmon from the market — I could eat it four, five times a week. I’d rather eat sushi than just about any other food on the planet. Trouble is, my wife doesn’t love sushi, so we never hit a sushi joint when we have date night.

It was high time I recruited — or tried to develop — some sushi connoisseurs in the family.

Now, I’m well aware that some people worry about whether it’s safe for children to eat sushi. But even those who are concerned about it generally agree that sushi is OK for children 8 and older (my youngest is 9 this month). Anyway, kids in Japan eat sushi as soon as they can chew.

We took the kids to Seiyo in the South End for their introductory outing. Seiyo is one of my favorite sushi spots, for a whole bunch of reasons: (1) The menu is extensive. (2) The sushi is excellent. (3) It’s reasonably priced. (4) The restaurant is comfortable and inviting. (5) It’s always easy to find on-street parking.

Because my kids were just starting out with sushi, we kept it simple, with a giant wooden board of basic maki (rolls) that I chose — a mixture of raw salmon, spicy raw tuna, and cooked-fish options wrapped in rice and seaweed. These included unagi (eel) and California maki, made with steamed crab meat, in case the raw fish didn’t go over so well. We also threw in a couple of appetizers that we knew would appeal to the kids: shrimp shumai (dumplings) and edamame (soybeans in their pods).

Now, my kids are adventurous eaters, but I still was a bit stunned when my 11-year-old boys wolfed down the maki — not just the California roll but the eel, the salmon, and even the spicy tuna. In fact, Aidan and Liam both said they preferred the sushi made with raw fish. Amelia didn’t care for the raw fish, sticking to the California roll and the shumai, but she nevertheless tried a few different kinds before rendering her verdict.

Walking back to the car, Liam announced: “Sushi is my new favorite food.’’ Aidan agreed, and we decided our next “boys night’’ would include some sushi.

Welcome to the force, my new recruits.

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