Published: 10/15/2005 - Updated: 08/13/2019
The sushi is a Japanese dish with rice seasoned with vinegar and stuffed with fish, seafood, vegetables or eggs.
While it is normally associated with raw fish, traditional fillings also include boiled, fried or marinated preparations. The sushi is typically prepared in small units, about the size of a bite wrapped on a strip of seaweed, rice straw spread over molded by hand, stuffed into a bag of tofu, but in Japan the name covers all the dishes with rice seasoned with vinegar, some of which are far removed from this presentation. Outside Japan, sushi name designates only the most common varieties, such as maki or nigiri, curiously, is often to extend the sashimi, a dish of raw fish without rice. In Japan, people should eat them without cutlery and in one bite, if not this is rude.
Styles and varieties
The fundamental feature of sushi is sushi rice or sushi-meshi, seasoned with vinegar or rice. Depending on how you fill it, we distinguish several kinds of sushi:
This is assembled with sushi rice placing on a leaf of dried nori seaweed, and filling it with vegetables or fish. Using a bamboo mat called makisu, sushi is set and closed moistening the edge of the seaweed leaf to make it stick. Finally, cut the roll into pieces about two inches thick. According to the diameter of the roll, futomaki is distinguished, four or five inches, which combine various fillings chosen to be both pleasing to the eye and the palate, and hosomaki, thinner and with only a filler. The variety called uramaki has used the algae in and fish roe or sesame seeds to the outer cover.
The hand rolled sushi is a cone formed by a leaf of nori stuffed with rice and other ingredients. A typical temaki is about four inches long and is eaten with his hand as is too large to use chopsticks.
The pressed sushi rice is a block, pressed in a wooden mold, called oshibako, is coated with oshibako at the bottom of the stuffing, rice is placed on top and press the top of the mold to create a compact, rectilinear block that then is cut into slices.
The sushi mixing is similar to oshi, but is molded by hand rod-shaped, oblong top of a block of rice fish, shellfish or other ingredients are placed, usually seasoned with a bit of wasabi, and sometimes adding a thin strip seaweed to keep the fish in place.
The sushi filled with a kind of fried tofu (Abura-age,) very thin omelet (fukusazushi) or cabbage leaves (Kanpyo), stuffed with rice and other ingredients.
The sushi spread is a bowl of seasoned rice on which the ingredients are arranged decoratively in the Edo thisness, or mixed with rice, Kansai style. Also called barazushi.
The fermented sushi preparation is the oldest and most unusual, whole fish pieces and clean and dry salted in barrels for about a month. Once cured, soaked and placed in a wooden bowl, sushi has alternating layers of fish with layers of rice. The mixture is allowed to ferment under controlled conditions for several months, constantly pressing it to extract the water. The narezushi was invented to allow the preservation of fish without using too much salt in the Mediterranean areas of Japan, today it is a rarity.
The core of the sushi is specially prepared rice, complemented with other ingredients.
The sushi is made with white and sweet rice, short grain, combined with a dressing made of rice vinegar, sugar, salt, konbu ( ) and sake (?). Sushi rice (sushi-meshi) is usually the Japanese variety, which has a consistency that differs from the classes that are commonly eaten outside of Japan. The most important quality is its creamy and glutinous texture, as it is washed to remove excess starch that provides the texture. The newly harvested rice (shinmai) usually has too much water, and requires extra time to drain after washing.
There are regional variations in sushi rice, and thus the chefs have their methods of preparation. Most of the changes occur in the rice vinegar dressing: the Tokyo version of dressing use more salt; in Osaka, the dressing has more sugar. The preparation of rice is the most important point in the preparation of sushi, and much of the formation of a chef is oriented to be able to find the right spot.
The rice is allowed to cool to room temperature before assembling the sushi, generally should be used immediately after cooking, once it has cooled. There are special Japanese pots for protecting, but the texture is rapidly degraded.
The wrappers used in maki and temaki are called nori. It is an edible seaweed traditionally cultivated in Japan. Originally, the nori was obtained from the docks of the ports, drying in the sun, in a process similar to the paper. Nori is toasted before being used for eating.
Today, the commercial product is grown, processed, roasted, packaged and sold in sheets of standard size 18 x 21 cm. The quality of nori is thick, smooth, shiny and has no holes in the plates.
A thin omelet called fukusazushi replaces seaweed, the omelets is traditionally done in a rectangular pan (makiyakinabe), and is used to assemble the bag of rice.
For health and aesthetic reasons, the fish consumed should be fresh and of good quality. A sushi chef is trained professionally to recognize the fish in good condition as should have clean smell, a bright color and free of parasites. Only ocean fish are used raw in sushi, fish from the river, which is more often contaminated with parasites, is used cooked. The most commonly used fish are tuna (maguro), salmon (sake), snapper, mac yellowtail (hamachi) and mackerel (saba). The eel (unagi) is also used, but only cooked. The most prized ingredient for sushi is toro, the belly cut of tuna, finely streaked with fat. Salmon roe (ikura) and tuna (Jadida) are also considered a very delicate dish.
Sushi uses squid (ika), octopus (tako), shrimp (ebi), the various kinds of abalone and clams (akagai). Oysters are not used for sushi, because its flavor is not well with rice.
Sushi used Japanese or daikon radish, chopped, fermented soybeans (natto), avocado, cucumber, tofu and pickled plums.
Very tender beef or pork are used occasionally. The meat is marinated before using it almost invariably.
The chicken egg tamago is used to wrap the fukusazushi or as an ingredient in the nigiri, quail eggs are sometimes used raw.
It is an essential condiment in Japanese cuisine with a slightly sweet flavor. It is a kind of rice wine similar to sake, but with low alcohol content. In the Edo period was taken as a sweet sake, called otos.
In the Kansai region, it used after boiling briefly to evaporate the alcohol, while in the Kanto region as it is used. The boiled mirin is known as Nikiri Mirin.
The mirin is used to add a touch of flavor to grilled fish or to remove the fishy taste. A small amount of sugar and soy sauce is used to make salsa.
The rice vinegar, to which is added salt, sugar and possibly mirin (? ?) is the main seasoning of the sushi, its name derived from the term sui, acid.
Soy sauce (shoyu)
Soy sauce is also essential; snacks dipped briefly in a mixture of shoyu and wasabi (green horseradish paste) before taking them to the mouth.
Fresh ginger, sliced pickle and take between bites of sushi to cleanse the taste in the mouth.
The knob or shiso is an aromatic herb that is taken as the gari.