Sushi Bar Food & Cuisine History

The Art of Sushi

One of the hottest trends in food today is the Japanese culinary art of sushi. Though despite its popularity, many people still believe the dish is reliant on one element – raw fish. And while seafood may have played prominently in its origins, the term sushi now refers simply to the vinegar-seasoned rice which is the common ingredient for all styles of the dish. To the rice, a wide variety of toppings and fillings can be used to create an array of presentation styles.

Some presentational types of sushi are more common than others. The following list details some of these:

  • Maki, which is widely available, is the combination of rice and various fillings formed into rolls, which are often times encased in seaweed wrappers (nori). The exception to this is uramaki, which is distinguished by the rice being on the outside of the seaweed wrapper.
  • Nigiri are simply oblong mounds of sushi rice topped with dabs of hot wasabi and slices of topping, usually seafood. Nigiri are sometimes wrapped in a thin band of nori.
  • Chirashi is a simpler preparation which may account for its smaller presence in American restaurants. This uncomplicated style of sushi is made by topping a bowl of sushi rice with various slices of seafood.
  • Temaki is similar to maki but the uniform roll is replaced with a cone of sushi rice and fillings wrapped in nori.
  • Sashimi is not technically sushi but is nevertheless featured on many sushi menus. It is the simplest to prepare as it features nothing besides slices of raw, fish.

In terms of the toppings and fillings, many people do prefer seafood. However, this can be anything from raw tuna to smoked salmon to tempura shrimp. To this, sushi chefs may add vegetables such as cucumber, avocado, or radishes as well as condiments such as hot wasabi, spicy mayo, or cream cheese. The possibilities run the gamut from authentically Japanese to undeniably American.

Once sushi is prepared, there are several accompaniments that are believed to heighten the culinary experience. The most common is soy sauce, known in Japanese restaurants as shoyu. It is often served in a small bowl so that the diner may dip the sushi into the earthy, salty sauce. Wasabi, known as Japanese horseradish, is found on the serving platter next to slices of pickled ginger (gari). The wasabi, best when mixed with the dipping shoyu, is not only prized for its heat. Its microbial properties are believed to protect against food poisoning. Finally, the gari is used to cleanse the palate between bites of sushi.

We hope this overview has helped you to better understand the Japanese cuisine of sushi. Of course, the best learning is accomplished through experience so we encourage you to use our site to find the sushi restaurant that has been waiting for you.  Sayoonara!

Click Here to find Sushi Bar restaurants in Buffalo Grove, IL