Sushi. People either love it or they hate it. I'm willing to bet that a lot of people who say they hate it, have never tried it.
So what is sushi anyway? Let's start with what it isn't... it isn't just raw fish wrapped in seaweed. In fact, there is much more to sushi then meets the eye. Sushi comes in many varieties. I won't bother you with all the different types, but I'll be happy to tell you some things you may not know. Sushi can encompass Japanese cuisine and offer more choices then you think. For example, an assortment of sliced fish both raw and cooked, including, white fish, mackerl, and salmon. There are possibilities here. The white fish has fewer calories but mackerl and salmon are rich in Omega 3. Omega 3 has been linked to healthy brain development. I don't know about you, but I can sure use a boost in that area.
Here's the continuation of the Sushi Bonus file by Delcourt-Akata manga publisher for the release of the 5th tome of the "J'♥ les sushis" series. In this 2nd part of the file, we are introduced to the main types of sushi, some of them I didn't know at all: gunkanmaki, temarisushi and oshisushi. Would love to try them out!
Sushi has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, becoming so westernized that it's easy to find a sushi restaurant in almost every American town. However, because of its popularity, much of the traditional etiquette surrounding sushi has been lost in western culture. Many of the rules of sushi etiquette are common sense, but there are a few things about eating sushi which are unique.
Below are some tips to dining at a sushi bar or restaurant and eating sushi in a manner that represents the deep tradition that surrounds sushi.
Last week, I had a chirashi sushi in Yamamoto, a (genuine) Japanese restaurant in Paris and I totally loved it. Taste isn't really different from nigiri sushi, but it lets you appreciate more the fish, like when eating sashimi. Oh, and the vinegared rice was just de-li-cious!!
Chirashi sushi, meaning scattered sushi, is a style of sushi where the topping is placed in a bowl over a bed of rice. Commonly, nine toppings are used, however you can certainly use how ever many are available to you. The first experience when served chirashi sushi is the presentation, the second is the eating.
Nori are thin, dried seaweed sheets. Nori sheets are used in many sushi dishes, for rice balls and as a topping or condiment for various noodle and other dishes.
The farming of nori, and other types of seaweed, of course, takes place in the sea. Nori grows at a depth of about 25 feet. Farmers use nets to grow the Porphyra plants on while operating and working from boats.
It usually takes about 45 days after seeding for the first harvest to occur and then after that multiple harvests can take place about every 10 days. Farmers use heavy machinery to harvest the plants.
They are then made into sheets by a process of shredding and rack-drying that is similar to the one used in papermaking. The result is what you often see in stores: a pack of paper thin, dark colored, dried sheets of nori which are approximately 18 x 20 cm and 3 grams in weight.
Temaki sushi, also known as hand rolled sushi, is a popular casual Japanese food. The conelike form of temaki incorporates rice, specially prepared seaweed called nori, and a variety of fillings known as neta. While Temaki is rare at formal restaurants, it is popular at casual ones and at home, especially for roll your own sushi parties. Making temaki is easy and fun, and it is often used to introduce Westerners to the taste and experience of sushi.
Temaki starts with a sheet of nori, which is usually cut in half to make it more manageable. The cook scoops a small amount of sushi rice onto the nori and follows with neta of choice before rolling it tightly up into a cone which can be held easily in the hand and dipped into sauces. Traditionally, temaki is eaten by hand, because it would be ungainly with chopsticks, and quickly, because the nori will start to soften and turn rubbery from the ingredients if allowed to sit too long.
Often, up to 80% of product consumed during a sushi meal is rice. Getting your sushi rice right is a crucial element in successful sushi making at home. The proper preparation of the rice is so important that in our shop as well as most quality establishments there are chefs whose sole responsibility is to cook the rice.
A funny video about eating panda... sushi roll! of course, what did you think? :p Hum, this recipe seems a bit too long for me, I don't think I'm patient enough to make all these steps. The result looks ultra cute though.
Maki Sushi are wrapped sushi rolls, which are often served in slices of six to eight. Maki is not generally loaded with purely fish and rice, like nigiri is, but it allows more room for creativity and diversity. These originated from Buddhist monks in the 13th century. They are now one of the most common types of sushi.
Although most maki sushi is in the vein of your well-known California roll, some are much more ornate, others utilize different wraps, and still others are hand-rolled, as opposed to rolled with a bamboo mat. Maki sushi may not be the most popular type of sushi overall, but it is most likely the most popular in the United States.
Here's a nice glossaryof fish used as an ingredient in our beloved sushi, from thenibble.com:
ABALONE or AWABI
The “king of clams,” has exquisite pearlized coloring on the inside of its shell that is used for jewelry and decorative items. The meat has a crisp, chewy texture. See awabi, below.
AJI Horse mackerel, also known as saurel. It is filleted and marinated in vinegar to cure it before serving. There are three types of mackerel commonly found at sushi bars: aji, saba and sawara.
ANAGO Anago refers to any type of salt water ee. It is often translated as “conger eel” on sushi menus; but the latter is more accurately the white-spotted conger eel, found in the waters around Japan.
ANKIMO Monkfish liver, also known as angler fish or goosefish. Monkfish liver is similar to a fine pâté in texture. It is the Japanese “foie gras,” and much more affordable! The liver is typically smoked or steamed and garnished with scallions, daikon radish and a marinade made from grated daikon radish and mild red chiles
For Sushi lovers like me, here's a little selection of 5 cute goodies related to sushi:
1. Sushi Soaps: I think if I had these, I would never ever use them! 2. Sushi Pencil Toppers: well, I DO need them, I'm still a student after all ;) 3. Sushi Parfume Cologne: hum, not for me, no thanks. 4. Sushi Kitchen Timer: a student eats lots of pasta, so a timer is always welcomed! 5. Sushi Pillow: perfect to have a nice dream full of sushis!
Vocabulary Agari - Slang for green tea (standard meaning = completed) Daikon - Japanese radish served shredded as a garnish Gari - Slang for ginger, eaten to cleanse palate Gyoku - Slang for egg, or tamago (standard meaning = jewel) Itamae-san - Sushi Chef Kappa - Cucumber Katamoi - Sea Urchin Kusa - Slang for seaweed (standard meaning = grass) Murasaki - Slang for soy sauce (standard meaning = purple) Namida - Slang for wasabi (standard meaning = tears) Odori-ebi - Live, or "dancing shrimp", a delicacy Ote-moto - Chopsticks Sabi - Slang for wasabi Sabi-nuki - Slang for "no wasabi" on the sushi Shari - Vinegared rice used for sushi Temaki - Hand roll, looks like an ice cream cone Yunomi - Extra large tea cups
Useful Expressions Omakase shimasu - Said to the chef meaning "Please choose for me" Itadakimasu - Said before eating any meal Kampai - Cheers! Gochisoo sama deshita - Said at the end of any mean, meaning "It was a feast" Oaiso kudasai - Please give me the check
Temakis are a fun and delicious change from regular sushi. You can make the hand rolls in advance, or simply lay out all the ingredients on a table and let your guests create their own rolls with their favorite fillings. If you've never made sushi hand rolls before you might find them a bit finicky to roll at first—but we can assure you that with a little practice it becomes a lot easier. And it's well worth the effort to get it right.
When making sushi, there are 3 main points to remember: Color, Flavor and Texture :
Try to pick contrasting colors; this is important because it makes the sushi appear vibrant and interesting. Be creative!
Remember to use interesting flavors in your sushi. Sushi is traditionally very simple, but don’t let that fool you; simple foods are enjoyable because they utilize a few complimentary flavors. Experiment with some good fish and vegetables, and don’t be scared to try unusual ingredients.
Texture is crucial to a good piece of sushi. You should use a mixture of ingredients that are soft, chewy and crunchy, and find a balance between them on your sushi.
Sashimi is a great way to enjoy seafood. Without the rice, the true essence of the fish comes through, and with just a dab of shoyu to enhance it, this is the purist's dream. Some fish take very well to being served in this style, particularly the fattier cuts of tuna, toro, chu-toro, and o-toro. Live scallop sashimi (taken right out of the scallop shell) is, for example, an exquisite treat, and has a comparably different taste and texture than the scallop normally served as sushi. This item, and some like it, should only be served as sashimi.