Edge Out of Your Culinary Comfort Zone With Sushi
Do you love going out to eat and trying new kinds of food? Even if you’re squeamish about seafood, good sushi is an amazing culinary experience. Good sushi restaurants are known for being a very unique restaurant or serving top cuisine — and it’s fairly healthy! A tuna roll has under 200 calories and a California roll only has 255! Plus, getting a Nigiri roll may also give you as much as 10 grams of protein — delicious and healthy! How can you pass that up? Sushi is also hugely visual. The aesthetic of the food on your plate is carefully designed and crafted to be pleasing to the eye.
A Quick Sushi Background
Sushi was first noted in Southeast Asia (specifically Japan) and the word originally meant “sour-tasting,” since the original sushi was fermented. (In fact, the word sushi actually refers to the vinegar rice that’s used in sushi and has nothing to do with the fish used.) It quickly spread and similar dishes started popping up throughout Southeast Asia.
The man responsible for introducing the modern world to “sushi” was Hanaya Yohei in Edo. He considered a type of “fast food” since he didn’t ferment the rice and it was okay to eat it with your hands. However, his rolls were still over three times the size of ones served in restaurants today. Although it may be a faster version made than in previous years, in good sushi restaurants, an apprentice Japanese sushi chef will train for anywhere between five and ten years in a sushi bar.
Fun Sushi Factoids
- The wrapping on sushi in the United States is usually wrapped in nori (a type of seaweed), but you can also wrap sushi in soy paper, cucumber, or egg.
- Of all the blue fin tuna caught internationally, about 80% of that is used in sushi
- Knives are very important to sushi chefs. They sharpen them daily in order to make the perfect cut and create the perfect sushi roll
- Wasabi and pickled ginger are usually paired with sushi. Real wasabi is taken from the root of what is known as wasabia japonica. In good sushi restaurants that serve authentic wasabi, be aware that it contains antimicrobial powers and can cut down the customer’s risk of getting food poisoning — always a good thing with raw fish! Ginger is known for its digestive properties and also cleanses the palate between bites or courses.
Between 2000 and 2005, the number of people eating sushi went up by 40% and it’s become a more popular option for eating out in general. Naturally, in Japan there are almost 45,000 sushi restaurants and a little over 15,000 worldwide. Almost 4,000 of those are based in the United States — a range from average restaurants to fine sushi restaurants that are Michelin starred.
People seem to be attracted to sushi for its variety, fairly healthy options, relatively affordable prices (as compared to going out for a traditional dinner), and its exotic status. Try a sushi restaurant today if you haven’t!