Japan – Sushi Platter


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by Zayna Khan

Sushi is also known as Sushi-Meshi. It is a vinegar rice dish with having raw seafood slices and nori seaweed sheets. Raw vegetables, raw seafood especially tuna and salmon, with soy sauce dip and vinegar rice are wrapped up with nori seaweed sheets and then served. There is many varieties of sushi serve all over the world with different traditions etc. Some made sushi from cooked meat but that is not a Japanese tradition. It is basically a raw meat dish. Meat is sliced very thin so that you can get the exact flavors of the meat with rice. This piece of sushi is served with soya sauce. They usually dip the sushi pieces and eat with chopsticks.

The main ingredient is Sushi rice which is usually cooked, other than that all the ingredients are raw. Like raw meat slices, raw vegetables, etc. Sushi is served and garnished with different side elements like Daikon, Wasabi, soya sauce, salted salmon, Gari, ginger, etc. These are also introduced to the platter as the garnish and side element of the main dish.

Sushi is usually confused with other Japanese dish that is SASHIMI.

SASHIMI

Sashimi is also a Japanese-originated dish of raw meat. It is just thin slices of meat served with soy sauce. Sashimi is served as a plate of thinly slices raw meat of either beef, seafood lie tuna, salmon, cuttlefish, sea bream, etc. With some vegetables especially white daikon and carrots with cucumber. This is served with soy sauce like sushi is served with soya sauce. This is also presented with Miso Soup and Japanese steamed rice.

While sushi is a piece of wrapped rice with raw meat and sealed with nori seaweed. There is a big difference in the presentation of both the dishes, Either they have almost the same elements but they are presented in totally different ways. They both are main courses and served with side components like some vegetables and dips. They are also presented with Miso Soup or some broth like Dashi.

As shown in the picture, sushi is wrapped with rice and nori seaweed sheets. While sashimi is just a slice of thin raw meat.

ORIGIN OF SUSHI

Sushi is originated from the old tradition of Fermentation of rice. The people of Japan MUORMACHI PERIOD, ferment the rice for months and then served it with raw fish. From this tradition, people used to serve this fermented rice in the shape of bite-size balls having raw fish inside. This is a very unique way to greet someone with sushi in Japan.

After some time, it is not reasonable for many people to wait for months to have this dish. They started adding vinegar to the rice and serve it with raw fish. This is also very appreciated by Japanese people.

They were having different ways to represent this dish by getting different rice shapes, served on a wooden plate, some molds were prepared to get the rice into shape. The bamboo sheet is even used nowadays for rolling the sushi in nori sheets.

VARIETIES OF SUSHI

There are different types of sushi served in worldwide with addition of different ingredients, different cooking methods, etc.

CHIRASHIZUSHI

It is also known as Barazushi. It is not compiled into one bite-size piece, it is actually a bowl of rice served with all the sushi elements. This is also known as SCATTERED SUSHI. This is like a rice bowl, but obviously SHUSHI RICE, with raw sushi fish, raw vegetables, chopped nori sheets and sprinkled with soy sauce. This is like meal sushi in scattered form.

There are different ways to serve this version of sushi :

KANSAI STYLE: They filled the bottom of bowl with sushi rice and topped with fish and vegetables.

KYUSHU STYLE: They layered rice with raw fish and vegetables. One layer of rice with raw fish and vegetables and repeat the step until the bowl is filled.

INARIZUSHI

It is fried sushi, it is usually a sushi piece with is dipped into flour batter and then fried. This is a very unique dish that is usually served in Japan but it is more famous outside Japan. There are two more further varieties of inarizushi with different filling aspects.

CHAKIN ZUSHI: It is thin omelete layered instead of using seaweed sheets then dipped into flour batter or sometimes with breadcrumbs and fried.

INARI MAKI: It is special sushi filled with Tofu inside and then all the normal procedure of rice folding and frying.

MAKIZUSHI

It is famous by the name Rolled Sushi. It is also known by many other names like NORI ROLLS, SUSHI ROLLS, ROLLED SUSHI, NORIMAKI, etc. This is not bite-size sushi but it is served in the form of rolls. Like a long cylinder. It also has many other varieties like the given below :

FUTOMAKI: It is more thick and bite roll with 5 to 6 centimeter in diameter.

HOSOAKI: It is medium sized roll with 3 centimeter of size.

TEKKAMAKI: They used only salmon fish to make these beautiful rolls.

EHOMAKI: They used eggs and Raw tuna with mushrooms in their filling.

TEMAKI: This is 10 centimeter long thin finger like sushi sticks.

VARIETY OF INGREDIENTS USED IN SUSHI

RICE

Rice that is most appropriate for sushi is ”JAPONICA RICE”. They are also known as SINICA rice. They are like sticky rice, short grain, round and hard to cook. They have sticky consistency to make it stick in the form of ball if you want to mold it.

There are many other varieties of rice like

  • Short grain rice
  • Japonica rice
  • Glutinous rice
  • Uruchimai Japanese rice
  • Sushi rice
  • Wild rice
  • Brown rice

RAW MEAT

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Prawn
  • Crab
  • Cod
  • Squid
  • Eel
  • Sea urchin
  • Sea bream
  • Snapper
  • Masago
  • Clam
  • Abalone

COMPLEMENTARY ITEMS

  • Pickled raddish
  • Tofu
  • Eggs
  • Yam
  • Umi
  • Gobo
  • Corn
  • Asparagus
  • Natto

SUSHI CONDIMENTS

  • Shoyu
  • Wasabi
  • Japanese Mayonnaise
  • Wasabi japonica

INGREDIENTS

  • Raw tuna : 250 grams
  • Steamed rice : 2 cups
  • Sesame seeds : 2 tablespoons
  • Vinegar : 1 cup
  • Nori sheets : 3
  • Cucumber : 1 chopped
  • Daikon : chopped 2
  • Soya sauce : 1 cup
  • Wasabi : 1/2 cup

COOKING METHOD

  • We have to cook rice for the sushi which is the main element of the dish.
  • First steam the rice like normal cooked rice. The use of japonica rice usually takes long to cook.
  • We have to cook rice until they are soft but not the mushy texture.
  • Now add 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds with vinegar and let it set aside for further use.
  • Cut the tune into thinly sliced pieces so it may not be the bulky piece.
  • Chop the vegetables like cucumber, carrots.

WRAPPING

  • Take the nori sheet and place rice over it.
  • Add 1 tuna slice, chopped cucumber, carrots and start turning.
  • Use bamboo sheet for turning otherwise, the sheet may be cracked.
  • Now cut into desirable diameter.
  • Serve with soya sauce and wasabi.
  • ENJOY 🙂
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