Mizu: Sashimi Sampler

Where: Mizu, Wakefield Commons, Raleigh, NC

GF Menu: No.

What I ate: Sashimi Sampler + House Salad from the Lunch Menu

How to order it: Ask the server or chef whether the dish you plan to order contains any gluten. I eyed a bento box on the menu, but saw that it came with gyoza and tempura, both of which commonly contain wheat flour, so I skipped it. Instead, I chose a sashimi sampler (made only of raw fish and sliced daikon for garnish) and a house salad.

When enjoying Japanese food, GF diners should be careful about Soy Sauce. Many entrees are either sauteed in soy sauce or, as with sushi, soy sauce is served for dipping. If you read the label on soy sauce, wheat is usually listed as the second or third ingredient. I asked the sushi chef about the soy sauce on our table at Mizu, and he confirmed that it contained wheat. Fortunately, I had brought my own packets of San-J Wheat-Free Organic Tamari Soy Sauce. You can find this brand at Whole Foods and other local health food stores, or order the packets on Amazon.com.

What it looks like:

Sashimi Sampler

A Sashimi Sampler (chef’s choice) + a House Salad (with ginger dressing). The day I dined at Mizu, the sashimi sampler included a delightful array of tuna, salmon, mackerel, and octopus. I am not usually one to cheer over octopus (long story = me + a tiny hole-in-the wall sushi joint in Japan + a gigantic piece of un-chewable tentacle), but Mizu’s thinly-sliced fresh octopus was exquisite! I savored each piece of sashimi individually, dipping it lightly in the wasabi-soy sauce potion (known as wasabi-joyu), then taking a bite of shaved ginger as a palate cleanser. With the crisp, green salad and ginger dressing, this lunch is a party for the taste buds.

Green Note: Let’s talk about Green Tea! A staple in Japanese society, green tea contains more antioxidants than black teas, and green tea consumption is purported to reduce the risk of heart disease. “Nice. But it’s too HOT to drink green tea in the summer in the South!”, you protest. Guess what? Iced green tea (click here for suggested recipe) is delicious! Make some at home and try it. For the best flavor, I recommend finding a brand of green tea that is certified Organic and Fair Trade. Or, if you are a gardener growing a Camellia sinensis plant, without the use of any chemical sprays, you can make it from scratch. See How to Make Green Tea at home.

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