Rice is the staple food of more than half of the world’s population, and for the majority of Oriental nations it represents a significant source of calories.
There are three basic varieties of rice – long grain, short and round-grained and glutinous that becomes sticky when cooked. The last is the preferred variety by Japanese and Chinese for ease in manipulating lumps when eating with chopsticks.
Of all the nations in the Far East, only the Japanese make and consume sushi which has become popular in North America due to its lack of fat. Many a young woman subsists on sushi these days.
There are many types of sushi and variations thereof. Japanese cooks, at least those with certain flamboyance, make a great spectacle of their skill and attract attention in open kitchens.
Here is a short compendium of sushi and related presentations:
Sushi in Japanese means rice and sushi for eating may contain colourful vegetables and bits of raw fish.
Maki sushi is cooked, mirin-flavoured rice rolled into seaweed roll. It holds everything in place and provides an attractive frame for the roll.
Fuku-maki contains a variety of ingredients including fish.
Teke-maki is sushi with fresh raw tuna.
Sashimi is raw fish served with soy sauce.
The fat belly of salmon, tuna and other fish species are considered delicacies, demanding a higher price than other part of different fish species.
Nagidi sushi stands for a fish rice ball, which may or may not be sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds
Tamboro sushi is an assortment, presented in a box convenient for lunch and take out.
Pressed sushi consists of salted herring or mackerel.
In most instances, Japanese like to enjoy sushi with pickled ginger slices that are said to possess antiseptic qualities. Some like their sushi with wasabi (Japanese horseradish) that super potent and only recommended for those who can stand “hot and sharp” condiments.
Sushi and sashimi grade fish must be very fresh for appeal with an acceptable taste.
Frozen fish loses its texture and turns to “mush”.
Fish from polluted water cause breeding of tapeworms in the gastrointestinal tract.
In western countries sushi should be consumed in reputable establishments that employ only the freshest fish.
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
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