If you are new to the delicious world of sushi, firstly let us welcome you! You may, however, be confused when examining a sushi menu unless the restaurant you’re at has included descriptions of all the different dishes.
Sushi is considered to be artistic, skilled Japanese cuisine, and, luckily for fans, is now so common and popular that you can probably find it in your local store. And whether you pick up a takeaway to enjoy at home while you binge the latest Netflix crime documentary, enjoy playing Blackjack for Canadian players, or decide to dine out at a 5-star restaurant, the information remains the same wherever you go.
And feel free to eat with your hands! This is, actually, how the Japanese enjoy sushi. And when you are eating nigiri, turn the roll upside-down before you dip it into the soy sauce so that you don’t absorb too much into your rice and so overpower the delicate flavours this type of food is so famous for.
Chirashi means Scattered and is a bowl of vinegared rice topped with a mixture of raw fish, typically chosen by the chef, along with various garnishes. It’s quick and easy to make and as convenient to eat.
In Japan the toppings for chirashi will vary according to what region you’re in and is a special dish on Hina Matsuri, Girl or Doll Day, celebrated on the 3rd of March.
Maki is cut from rolled sushi and traditionally made with a sheet of nori wrapped around a layer of rice, fish, and vegetables. It’s then rolled up on a special mat made of bamboo and cut into six to eight pieces. There are several varieties of maki you can order:
- Futomaki is larger rolls filled with several ingredients.
- Gunkanmaki, sometimes called Battleship sushi, is created by wrapping the nori around a ball of vinegared rice so that a well gets created. This is then filled with different ingredients like ikura, oysters, tobiko, or uni.
- Hosomaki are smaller rolls made with a sheet of nori rolled up along with a layer of rice. But these rolls contain just one filling, like carrots, cucumbers, or tuna.
- Temaki are hand rolls and are made by rolling a sheet of nori into a cone shape. This is then filled with fish, rice, and vegetables. Temaki is always eaten with the hands as they are too big for chopsticks to properly manage.
Nigiri is a type of sushi made by moulding a ball of vinegared rice by hand and then topping it with a slice of raw fish. It’s usually served two pieces at a time, and the most popular options for toppings include eel, flounder, salmon roe, shrimp, and squid.
Sashimi is not technically sushi!
Sushi refers specifically to fish or vegetables served with vinegared rice, sashimi is raw fish on its own. It is sliced in long rectangular slices known as hira-zukuri. The best-loved options for sashimi include eel, king crab, mackerel, red snapper, salmon, scallops, tuna, and yellowtail.