If you love the Japanese culture, you should never miss tasting this authentic Japanese food called sushi.
If you haven’t tried it yet, have you ever wondered how sushi is being prepared? Or how do people eat them? Or even how does sushi taste like? If you asked some first-timers who just tasted sushi, they might answer like ‘it doesn’t taste good’ mainly because they don’t know the different types and forms of sushi.
This article will share everything you need to know what sushi tastes like and its different variations.
What is sushi?
Sushi can be considered one of the world’s first nouvelle cuisine as it focuses on how the food looks and tastes. Sushi is a common food that originated from Japan, and it mainly refers to the rice (made from a good quality rice cooker) used and not the ingredients included.
This Japanese dish has something that makes people want more. It usually comes in a bite-size (finely sliced with a sharp knife) and different ingredients and varieties (more on that later).
In Japan, sushi making is considered an art, which is why sushi earns its popularity in the cooking world mainly because a quality one can be made by a good chef that dedicates their life to mastering sushi making.
A bite of Sushi history
Japan is composed of different coastal water areas surrounded by the ocean, which is why seafood like fishes are very common in the Japanese diet, including sushi. In addition, the term sushi means ‘sour-tasting’ or fermented food.
How to know the real taste of sushi?
The question is, how does sushi taste like? Sushi is all about the balance and harmony of different flavors from its different ingredients. The common sushi is made up of fish and rice. The taste of sushi doesn’t have any specific taste, mainly because it comes in different variations and uses different ingredients and condiments.
The harmony of flavors is the key to quality sushi. If one of the ingredients is a strong flavor, it cannot be considered good sushi.
What are the different types of Sushi?
1. Maki Sushi
The makizushi or ‘rolled sushi’ is the most popular variety of sushi all over the world. The ingredients such as cucumber, seafood, omelet, mango, and rice are commonly wrapped in dried seaweed called nori, but they can be wrapped in other things as well. The maki sushi is prepared by placing it on a wooden mat and rolled and turned into a cylindrical shape, and it is sliced before eating.
Soy sauce and wasabi are the perfect matches for Maki sushi. Several variations include Hosomaki (thin roll), Chumaki (medium roll), Futomaki (thick roll), Uramaki (Inside-out roll), and Temaki (Handroll).
2. Nigiri Sushi
Nigiri sushi means hand-pressed sushi. It comes in a rectangular shape and is commonly topped with seafood like tuna, shrimp, crab meat, and octopus. Some chefs also topped nigiri sushi with a swipe of wasabi and other condiments.
3. Chirashi Sushi
Chirashi sushi means ‘Scattered sushi’. This type of sushi will look like a burrito bowl but with sushi ingredients such as shrimps, tuna, salmon, sea urchin, and other seafood. This type of sushi is very common in Japanese meals, and it is an ideal dish for leftovers.
4. Inari Sushi
Inari sushi is made up of fried tofu and stuffed with sushi rice. It is a rice-only dish, but it can be topped with different ingredients such as boiled prawn, mushroom, chives, and shredded omelet. It is simmered in soy sauce, mirin, and sugar to balance the taste.
What Sides and condiments can be partnered with sushi?
To balance and maintain the harmony of flavors in sushi, here are some common condiments that can be added to sushi:
Wasabi is known for its spicy taste. Some chefs also use it to kill and smother any bacteria that can linger in raw fish or any seafood toppings. If you’re a first-timer in tasting sushi, you might need some time to adjust.
2. Pickled Ginger
The sweet, spicy, and tangy taste of pickled ginger or ‘gari’ can add more excitement to your sushi.
3. Soy Sauce.
One way to enjoy the taste of sushi is to add a little bit of Japanese soy sauce to your sushi to balance its flavor. Japanese soy sauce contains mirin or sweet rice wine, so it is better to use than regular soy sauce.
How to properly eat sushi?
If you’re a first-timer just like me, here are some steps you should follow to eat sushi properly.
- First, to avoid ruining the form of sushi, pick it up with your hands, not chopsticks.
- Make sure that the amount of soy sauce or wasabi will not touch the rice. You can do this by slightly tilting the sushi when dipping it into the soy sauce or wasabi plate.
- To get the full flavor of sushi, place it face down in your mouth. It comes in bite-size so you can eat the whole sushi piece.
- You can give the chef a praise and drink it with a glass of sake or Japanese wine.
Here’s an informative video on how to correctly eat sushi:
What can you get in eating sushi?
Eating sushi can have a beneficial effect on your overall health. Sushi is usually made up of seafood known to have omega-3 fatty acid that can lower your cholesterol level and prevent clogging in your heart’s artery, leading to heart attack and stroke. It also improves blood circulation, improves skin tone, accelerates the healing process and hair growth.
The nori or the seafood wrapping can also help regulate hormonal balance primarily because of its iodine content. The anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic found in wasabi and ginger can also lessen the risks of cancer and boost your digestion and immunity at the same time.
Bonus: How to make sushi at home
- Choosing the best topping such as salmon, shrimp, and other seafood is a good start if you like to try something new.
- If you’re a first timer, starting with raw seafood might not be a good idea because it will give you a not-so-appealing taste.
- If you’re on a vegetarian diet, you can add cucumber, mango, or any vegetables in your sushi.
- Sushi can be safe during pregnancy only if the fish is properly prepared.
- Soy sauce and wasabi should not be mixed together.
- Sashimi is different from sushi.
- It is better to start with maki roll sushi if you’re a first-timer.
The process of sushi making is a fascinating process that requires dedication. Learning how sushi tastes will give you a spark to try this delicious and delicate Japanese food.
Did you like this article? If yes, share this article with your friends and family to surprise them with what sushi tastes like. And oh, if you have any suggestions or concerns, let us know by commenting below.
Now you can answer the question: What does sushi taste like?