Abalone Sushi Image

Abalone Sushi

Mar 26, 2014Canadian, Life&Food

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José: Did you did you like your, your little awabi your little – odori awabi there?

Alex: Ohhh, that freaked me out for a moment.

José: But ya you you had heard of that right? Like um, basically the the chef (Yeah) gets the awabi so that it’s still basically alive.

Alex: Mm-hmm. How do you say awabi in English anyhow?

José: Ahh, abalone I think.

Alex: Abalone.

José: Sorry sorry abalone, you’re right. I’m so used to saying some of these words in Japanese that I don’t think to say them in English because I didn’t know what an abalone was (mm-hmm) before I came to Japan even though I knew the word abalone.

Alex: Right right.

José: Um, anyway, so it’s still alive and then he puts that lemon on it to get it to like squirm around. (Yes) *Have you* have you ever heard of that before you actually saw that?

Alex: No I didn’t know that, uh, I I’ve seen squid before, you know, I had uh the squid in Yobuko, right, uh…

José: Oh that place in um, what Prefecture is that?

Alex: Saga.

José: Saga.

Alex: Yeah. Have you ever been to Yobuko?

José: No no, uh, I I’ve heard of this I think, it’s like it’s one of those delicacies, it’s like a local famous dish, but uh…

Alex: Basically, uh you get a plate with some of the squid still uh squirming or moving you know just just slightly and you’re supposed to eat, uh pieces of that. And then they take away uh, whatever is left on the plate and bring it back fried. And that’s really delicious.

José: It was delicious and I’ve had um, squid served to me like that at a sushi restaurant myself and and it was delicious, but I swear to god the very first time I saw that it was one of those moments that I can recall made me think about vegetarianism.

Alex: Oh yeah.

José: No really because I thought, geez that you know, you know I mean it’s delicious, but like the the reason why, if I’m not mistaken, sushi chefs do that is to show you, you know this is super fresh. This is, this is just came out of the tank.

Alex: Right, right.

José: Uh so it’s still alive, but I don’t know you know like I’m pretty sure that hurts.

Alex: Hurts who?

José: The squid.

Alex: Hurts the squid? You think so?

José: Well it’s not, it’s not algae and it’s not like a single-celled organism, so I’m sure it has pain receptors.

Alex: Uh, but I I think the way the squid is sliced up, uh the head is *probably* I think detached…

José: Oh really?

Alex: …from the rest of the body like there are many like thin slices i-it’s sliced up into thin slices and and it’s there’s still uh, mmm, some kind of activity going in the meat or in the cells you know even though it’s detached from…

José: Seein this case is short for “You see”, which is often used to start a sentence when the speaker wants to get a little extra attention for what she is about to say. (3:01) (0:05) when I was served it, I was served it so like there was the main part of the squid but you could still see the head on, on the plate. It was still there it was part of the arrangement.

Alex: Oh, *def* I think the head was still there too but, uh there was no central uh spine or whatever connecting all the body parts.

José: Mmm. Don’t know. Not a biologist, but um definitely I’m thinking about vegetarianism now.

Alex: Hmm.


What’s your favourite sushi topping?

What kind of sushi don’t you like?

Have you ever considered vegetarianism? Why not?

In Jose’s last line, he didn’t say ‘I’ and ‘I’m’ to begin his first two sentences. Many people take out the subjects in spoken English if it is easily understood in the conversation.

Image courtesy of:

East West – Sushi

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José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia

Alex Bodnar Image

Alex Bodnar


Harriston, Ontario


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