For some years now, the most famous Japanese typical dish in the world has been spreading: sushi.
Many people don’t know exactly what it is, and thinking that it is exclusively “raw fish” they disgust it, not knowing what they are missing.
What is sushi?
Sushi is a white rice dish containing rice vinegar and sugar, which are combined with ingredients, and before tasting it leans gently in the soy sauce. Between one mouthful and the next, the palate is delighted with the pickled ginger, which with its sweet taste prepares us to taste a new type of sushi. In Japan, wasabi is added to sushi, a green horseradish paste, which is very spicy, but has the particularity of disappearing as soon as you drink a drop of water, unlike other spicy substances such as chili pepper that leave a feeling often pleasant for a long time.
There are dozens of types of sushi, some of which do not contain fish but egg omelette (Tamago Sushi) or only vegetables, or cooked fish (such as Ebi Sushi which is boiled shrimp, or Anago Sushi which contains eel).
Sushi is a light and very healthy food, and since it is prepared taking care of every detail, it is also a pleasure to observe it.
How to eat
It is possible to eat sushi either by using the sticks or by using your hands, although I personally advise against eating it with your hands and learning how to use the sticks.
What you find in front of you during a sushi meal is: a bottle of soy sauce, a saucer, a plate or a piece of wood with the sushi on top, a green ball (Wasabi) and some pieces of pickled ginger.
The first thing to do is to pour the soy sauce in your saucer, and it is in this saucer that you will then dip the pieces of sushi. In the soy sauce you can dissolve a small piece of Wasabi, but first find out if in the sushi there will be or not the wasabi to take measures and do not exaggerate with this spicy food. Remember, however, that even if with a large piece of wasabi you feel like dying, a drop of water is enough to return everything to normal in a matter of seconds.
Many people, also for convenience, dip the sushi in soy sauce on the rice side, however the correct procedure would be to dip the sushi on the fish side (for nigiri sushi) or on the seaweed side (for maki sushi). In this way, in fact, the flavor of the rice is preserved and you can better enjoy the flavor.
After dipping a little piece of sushi in the soy sauce, eat it: the pieces of sushi may look big, but they should be eaten in a bite.
After one or more mouthfuls you can eat some pickled ginger (it has a color that can be pink, yellow, brown or white) that has a sweet and pleasant taste.
Where to eat it
Obviously in Italy it is present in an infinite number of restaurants, but if you go to Japan, I recommend you:
- Sushi Zanmai: a chain widespread especially in Tokyo, with good quality sushi and not too expensive, at lunch there are complete sets around 1300yen, while if you choose from the menu consider at least 2000-3000yen for a full meal.
- Sushi Dai: at the Tokyo fish market, expect about 2 hours in line to eat. About 3800yen.
- Daiwasushi: next to Sushi Dai, here is a little less queue but it’s really fabulous. About 3800yen.
You can find super-economical sushi in many supermarkets in Japan where you can pay even just 500yen for a tub, and in many kaiten sushi restaurants, such as Genki Sushi and Kappa Zushi where the two nigiri saucers start from only 100yen.
Soya sauce for sushi shouldn’t be too strong.
Kikkoman is one of the world’s leading companies for soy sauce producing various types of soy sauce and more precisely:
- Normal soy sauce, with red jar: not suitable for sushi, and is found in all supermarkets. It’s too strong for sushi, but if you don’t find anything else, take this one, which will be fine anyway.
- Soy sauce with green jar: contains 40% less salt than soy sauce with red jar and is preferable for sushi.
- Soy sauce for sushi: you can recognize it because it says “Sushi & Sashimi soy sauce”. It’s the best, but you can’t always find it, it’s also in very small packages and it’s not really cheap, but it’s worth buying it.