Sushi – From Japan To The World


Image result for SushiOnce a traditionally exclusive Japanese dish, sushi, in its small yet surprisingly filling bundles, has become increasingly popular all around the world. In almost every country worldwide, sushi bars, seafood restaurants and elegant lounges, serve this dainty dish in different forms, boasting new innovations and strangely assembled inventions.
Although there are many different types of sushi, rice is the common ingredient in all types.Commonly used types of raw fish or seafood are salmon, tuna, eel, octopus or shrimp; all of which are prepared according to stringent health regulations before being served or used as a toppings or fillings in the dish. These ingredients are wrapped in seaweed, called, “nori”, which surrounds the filling or, in Western countries, forms part of the filling.
One type of this traditionally Japanese dish consists of rice molded in the palms of the chef’s hands into rectangular shapes with raw fish toppings and wasabi. A modification of this type is topped with chopped ingredients like sea urchin or corn which are secured to the mound of rice by thin pieces of “nori”. Pressed sushi is made by placing rice at the bottom of a wooden oblong-shaped mold with toppings of raw ingredients, pressing it down with a weighted lid and then turning it over and cutting it into perfectly sized pieces.
Some forms are molded by using a specialized bamboo mate, such as, “Temaki”, or hand rolls which are usually eaten by hand as its conical shape makes the filling spill out the wide end, therefore making it difficult to eat with chopsticks. These range in size and come in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions containing fish eggs or tuna. They can also come in pouches of deep-fried tofu, named after the Japanese God, Inari, who is said to take a particular liking to tofu.
“Scattered sushi”, comes in large bowls with a layer of rice at the bottom with a variety of different ingredients such as squid, salmon, tuna and mackerel placed decoratively on top. There is also a fermented version called, “Narezushi”, which undergoes a lengthy process of being stuffed with salt, placed in barrels and being sapped of all water.
The most popular Western versions are “California rolls”, from which many kinds have evolved, “such as “Dynamite rolls”, which have fillings of yellowtail or prawn tempura with beans, cucumber and spicy mayonnaise. “Seattle rolls”, are also amongst the most popular Westernized versions, and contain ingredients such as raw or smoked salmon, cucumber and avocado.
Soy sauce, ginger and wasabi are the most common forms of condiments which add flavor to this dish, although in some traditional Japanese restaurants it is still considered an insult to the chef to modify the dish in any way after it has been served.
Contrary to ancient tradition, most Western-styled dishes are accompanied by condiments, to accentuate the taste of the sushi according to the preferences of the customer. Correct etiquette when consuming this dish is to add the condiments to the topping, dip the piece in soy sauce and eat the piece in one bite which may appear peculiar to first-time samplers, but is the best way to consume it without its beautifully prepared sections falling to pieces.


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