Okay, you’ve balked at your friend’s suggestion that you should forget about trying that raw fish crap and have decided to be a brave soul and visit the sushi restaurant down the street.
Congratulations! You’ve taken the first steps to becoming a sushi addict. Since you’re probably really nervous about trying raw fish, I’ve created the following guide which I’ve cleverly named sushi for beginners!
Start with vegetarian sushi
To get things rolling try vegetarian sushi. Ask your server for an order of kappa maki (cucumber roll). This will give you an opportunity to appreciate the most important aspect of any sushi – the rice! The cucumber is almost flavourless and really there just to add crunch.
You might also want to try tamago sushi which is a sweet egg omlete placed on top of rice. It is really tasty!
Pickled radish rolls or oshinko, consists of a thin roll of toasted nori seaweed, sushi rice and sweet, crunchy daikon radish.
Work your way up to cooked fish
There are many varieties of cooked seafood used in sushi that you can savour. The hugely popular California roll consists of fake crab meat, avocado and cucumber. It is coated on the outside with toasted sesame seeds. Yummy!
Unagi or barbecued eel ranks right up there in popularity with the California roll. It is served nigiri style which means a slice of fish is placed on an oblong piece of vinegared rice that has been formed by hand. No seaweed is involved. The eel is brushed with a sweet-savory glaze you’ll adore!
If shrimp is your thing you might want to try amaebi nigiri (sweet shrimp). It has a soft texture, is tender and has a pleasant sweet taste.
Step up to the plate! You’re ready to order raw fish!
Eating raw fish probably scares you a bit so I suggest you start by trying one of the following types of nigiri. They are tender and melt in your mouth like butter.
Maguro (tuna) – deep red colour; very tender; a bit oily
Hamachi (yellowtail) – mild, sweet taste
Sake (salmon) – very rich tasting and big seller in North America
Hirame (flonder) – sweet, mild flavour; a little tough when you first bite into it; subtle sweetness; clean taste
There you have it. Don’t try all of these recommendations in one sitting! Check out these other helpful pages that I’ve written for sushi newcomers:
Sushi Restaurants - If the thought of dining in a sushi restaurant intimidates you, stay seated! I’m going to take you on a tour of one of my all-time favourite raw fish joints- Ichibei. Once we’re done you can go forth with confidence!
The Ultimate Sushi Guide - Do you want to know the difference between a temaki-zushi and nigiri-zushi?
Learn How to Eat Sushi - Is it alright to eat sushi with your fingers? Can I put wasabi in my soy sauce? How do I dip my ebi nigiri? All of these questions and more are answered!