Sushi is probably one of the best culinary experiences out there, and if you disagree, it’s probably because you haven’t had the right one! There’s such an array of feelings and memories associated with sushi and I think we can all recall Saturday nights catching up with friends, picnic dates in the park and that time you finally nailed how to perfectly use a pair of chopsticks!
With all of these nostalgic memories, just thinking about it makes you want to pick up the phone and order a platter tonight! Well, that’s just in-time for the weekend so, who says you can’t? Sushi is such a impactful cuisine in our western society, so I’ve gathered together some interesting facts about sushi that I bet you didn’t know!
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5 Types of Sushi
This type of sushi has a thin layer of fish laid directly on top of a fresh bed of sweet and salty vinegared rice. The best nigiri sushi is typically made with bluefin tuna, salmon, or halibut! It’s acceptable to eat this sushi with both your hands and chopsticks!
I think we’re all familiar with sashimi, but did you know it’s not even considered sushi? For it to be considered sushi, it needs a rice component! Sashimi stands alone as a thinly sliced piece of raw fish like salmon, shrimp, squid or tuna. If eating raw fish makes you uncomfortable, you can try Tataki sushi which involves the raw fish being seared and seasoned lightly!
Hosomaki only uses seaweed nori, sushi rice, 1 ingredient (salmon, yam, tuna) and it’s most distinguishing factor is that the seaweed nori on the outside!
Uramaki is also known as the “inside out” roll! The sushi rice is on the outside and the seaweed nori is wrapped on the inside holding together all the ingredients. This is what we’re accustom to in western society with our California and dynamite rolls!
Temaki is what we call a “hand roll”. It’s eaten with your hands and the seaweed nori forms a cone shape that holds together the rice and main ingredients. It should be eaten quickly since the rice will cause the nori to get soft and it will be harder to bite through!
- Chopsticks: depending on the type of sushi, you can either use your chopsticks or hands. If you choose chopsticks, do not rub them together! This can be an insult to the chef and suggests that the chopsticks are poor quality. Chopsticks are generally only used for sashimi, everything else can be eaten with your hands!
- Proper Dipping: It’s important to know how to dip your sushi into soy sauce and it should always be fish down! If you dip the rice in soy, it tends to break apart, causing a mess and ruining the delicate balance of flavour crafted by the chef. When it comes to Uramaki sushi, sometimes all you need is a drop of soy on the sushi itself!
- Mixing: Many people like to mix their soy sauce and wasabi, but it’s actually not the correct thing to do. The two should always be kept separate and if you want to combine them, place a piece of wasabi onto the sushi and then lightly dip into soy sauce!
- Eating The Sushi: Always eat your sushi in one bite, if you don’t, it can break apart the flavours and ruin the experience!
More Interesting Facts
- Sushi was traditionally eaten during feast and festival days, making it a major part of celebration
- True origins of sushi remain somewhat a mystery, but a 4th century Chinese dictionary says salted fish was placed on cooking rice, causing it to undergo a fermentation process
- Sushi became prevalent in Japan in the 9th century, at the same time as Buddhism began to spread. Many Japanese followed their beliefs, taking meat our of their diet and turning to fish as their main food staple
- LA was the first place in America to open a sushi restaurant in the 1970s
- You should always eat your rolls from lightest to heaviest
- Nigiri sushi should be eaten upside down, the fish touching your tongue first