The first time I tried sushi and sashimi was in the 1990s in Topeka, Kansas, when I unknowingly had mononucleosis. Needless to say, I ended up in the hospital less than 24 hours later. My immune system and liver were not equipped to handle multiple-week-old raw fish, and neither was my stomach.
It took me five years, but I eventually tried eating sushi and sashimi again. The second, third, and fourth times I went, I made sure to go with my Japanese friends who had grown up in Tokyo and could teach me how to spot signs of bad fish and traditional etiquette for eating the meal. Eventually, I even took a couple sushi- and sashimi-making classes where I learned things like how to make maki sushi (typically fish and vegetables rolled in rice, covered in nori, and sliced into coins) on a makisu (a bamboo mat).
When learning to make maki sushi, our instructor didn’t mention needing anything more than the makisu, a sharp knife, and our hands. He certainly didn’t mention needing the Sushi Made Easy
The Sushi Made Easy extrudes rice, fish, and vegetables in a tube onto a piece of nori. Then, after oozing the rice, fish, and vegetables onto the nori, you have to roll the nori around the food tube with a makisu. So, while most people use just a makisu to roll up rice, fish, vegetables, and nori all at once, the Sushi Made Easy requires two additional steps and another piece of equipment for the maki-making process. It’s not Sushi Made Easy, it’s Sushi Made More Complex! It’s also sushi in the style of caulking your bathtub!
Before people point out that a makisu is also a unitasker, which is more-or-less true, know that you can successfully make maki using plastic wrap and bypass the mat completely. And, if you do own a mat, it barely takes up any space and can be used as a placemat or set under hot dishes on a table, so it’s sort-of a multi-tasker. Or, you can leave the sushi-making to professionals and avoid having to clean up the makisu (and Sushi Made Easy) afterward — just be sure to eat at a reputable place when you don’t have a compromised immune system.
Thanks to reader Candace for finding us this wonderful, sushi-pooping unitasker.