It’s a lot more than just raw fish
Ever walked into a Japanese restaurant and had the look of a lost child while going through the menu? If you are somebody who didn’t grow up eating sushi, it all looks complicated at first.
Japanese cuisine has been climbing up the popularity charts in India for a while now. While Japanese cuisine is much more than just sushi, the latter seems to be the most in-demand in our country. There is so much to know about sushi, so let’s start with the basics!
TYPES OF SUSHI
Sushi contrary to popular belief is in fact a dish that originated in ancient China. While Japan is certainly the sushi capital of the world—and responsible for introducing the dish to travellers—the origins of sushi traces it back to a Chinese dish called Narezushi. What started as a fish preservation technique in China has turned into a steady source of protein and rice for the Japanese people. Sushi can be segregated into five categories.
This is one of the most traditional sushi you will see in restaurants. It is usually fish (single topping) served on top of palm-pressed sushi rice, which is generally oblong in shape. There are of course vegetarian options available, but a side note to remember is that not all Nigiri are eaten raw. Though this dish is best eaten to appreciate the taste and flavour of seafood. Dunk the fish side down into the soy sauce, to prevent the rice from getting soggy and falling apart and you can enjoy a fresh batch of Nigiri.
This is a dish that requires a refined palate and taste. Sashimi isn’t for the weak-hearted. Sashimi is fish that is served raw without rice. This is for those who enjoy the taste of fish since it comes with nothing else.
Maki or Makizushi is a type of sushi that has a filling (fish, crab stick, avocado or even tempura asparagus) wrapped in sushi rice, which is then covered with seaweed. It’s cylindrical in shape and is what most people think of when they hear the word, sushi.
Uramaki like the Maki are cylindrical sushi. The only difference is that the seaweed and the filling are in the centre while the rice is the one covering it. Uramaki often have loads of toppings that are cooked or raw on it with sauces.
Temaki are cone-shaped sushi that is hand-pressed. It’s moulded around fillings and covered with nori (seaweed). It isn’t found as often in Indian restaurants, but a must-try if you get your hands on one.
Sushi is incomplete without its accompaniments. Is there a right way to eat the dollops of wasabi and pickled ginger? Let’s find out!
Now that you know about sushi, only concentrate on eating them. No, mastering the chopsticks isn’t necessary. Why you ask? Fingers were the original tools used to polish off a serving of sushi! So, don’t you worry, just dig in!
[Image Credit: Sholeh]