I ended up having what I think is the prototypical discussion on the subject. "Ew! You eat dead fish?!" To which I responded "Um, should I eat live fish?" Probably easier for me, because there wasn't the immigrant culture aspect - I was just bringing some of my favorite food.
The prototypical "discussion" as I had it at the time (and as it was valorized in some memorable TV ad campaigns) was, "EEEEW! You eat RAW FISH?!" (retching noises/motions that result in flying spittle and other violations of personal space).
The other common version was, "[where I come from/my people/my dad/etc] calls that BAIT".
If I like you, and you pull the "bait" line, I will either mention Baitcon, or that my younger brother who loved deep sea charter fishing declared fresh-caught bait squid to be the finest ika no o-sashimi ever, and and had to be watched lest he sneak a snack.
If I *don't* like you and/or your attitude...I might start describing the things that go into hot dogs, or the way that commercial ground meat is processed.
Yeah. A little touchy there.
Seeing "sushi" available in small town Iowa grocery stores did a lot to dial that reaction back a bunch. Now I mostly growl about how cream cheese is a foul additive to sushi, and belongs on bagels instead. And I never, ever believe someone's recommendation that a particular sushi place has great sushi, unless I've developed implicit trust in that person's ability to evaluate.