So how is sushi a recreation? Isn't it a food? And a weird one at that?
Actually, sushi is none of the above. According to sushi enthusiasts across
North America, sushi is a lifestyle!
Sushi is one of the most popular and famous foods in the world. It's delicious,
healthy...and it's usually raw. How can raw fish taste yummy? Just ask the
millions of sushi enthusiasts around the world.
Sushi fan Neil Lindsay loves converting sushi greenhorns into sushi addicts.
"Most people will balk at the idea of raw fish, but once they try it, they
are generally hooked. I have a friend who didn't try sushi until she was in
her 20s because she was so scared. But now she eats it like it's candy!"
Sushi enthusiasts partake in their passion for sushi in one of two different
ways: frequenting sushi restaurants or rolling their own sushi. This delicacy
has become so popular that even the smallest towns have at least one or two
Still, more and more people are starting to make it themselves. Sushi making
classes are popular at community centres and cooking schools.
Why sushi? A study has found that people who eat fish once or twice a week
(about a one and three-quarter ounce portion) have a lower than average risk
of heart problems, certain types of cancer and arthritis.
Researchers speculated that this health benefit was related to the specific
combination of amino acid and D.H.A. in fish.
Even greater benefits come from consuming it raw, that is, as sashimi or
Sushi is a small cake of cold cooked rice wrapped in seaweed, dressed with
vinegar, and topped or wrapped with slices of raw or cooked fish, egg, or
There are two kinds of sushi:
is an oval-shaped rice ball with a slice of seafood on top
are rice rolls wrapped in a seaweed sheet called nori
So are you ready to take the plunge into raw fish? Sushi veterans recommend
that you go for lunch first. This should only set you back about $8 or $10,
so it's a good way to get your feet wet without spending a fortune.
Don't feel intimidated, just step right up to the sushi bar and make yourself
By following these basic rules of sushi etiquette, you should feel at ease
while enjoying your sushi experience.
|You will be seated at the bar and given a steaming hot towel. Use this
to wipe your hands and face.|
|Most first timers are a little nervous. If they're not worried about eating
raw fish, then they're concerned about using chopsticks. Don't worry! It is
perfectly acceptable to use your fingers. As a matter of fact, some sushi
veterans recommend it|
|Tell the chef that you are a first-timer and ask what he or she recommends.
They love this! It shows a sign of respect and is often a way to score some
|Eat the whole thing at once. It is not appropriate to eat part of a piece
of sushi and place the other piece back on a plate. As well, all food should
be finished, as it is an insult to leave food on your plate.|
|With your sushi order, you will be served a portion of pickled ginger
(pink stuff), a small mound of wasabi (green stuff) and shoyu or soy sauce
The ginger is to be eaten between different varieties of sushi. It acts
as a palate cleanser in preparation for the next enjoyable taste sensation.
The wasabi is to be mixed in with the soy sauce, depending on how spicy one
Warning do NOT eat the wasabi plain. It is very, very hot. Start
off with a tiny bit in your soy sauce and then add to taste.
- Try not to dip the rice portion of the sushi pieces into the soy sauce,
as it becomes too moist and can cause sushi to fall apart. Simply dip the
topping or the seaweed (nori) in the soy sauce before eating.
- Enjoy your meal with a smile.
After you've gone out a few times, you might want to try your hand at rolling
your own. This, too, is not as difficult or as expensive as you might think.
Here is the basic equipment you will need to make your own sushi:
- bamboo rolling mat
- nori (seaweed)
- sushi rice
- assorted seafood and vegetables
None of this should cost too much, and you can actually buy sushi kits
(veggies and seafood not included) for about $20. These kits usually include
an instruction book or video.
Stay away from raw freshwater fish for sushi, as there's too great a risk
of parasites. Cooked or smoked freshwater fish is fine.
Here is a list of popular fish and seafood:
- Salmon (sake):
- Usually cured in salt and sugar before serving. You can also use your
favorite variety of smoked salmon.
- Tuna (maguro):
- Smooth texture and a wonderful taste make this a popular type of fish
to use. The deep red flesh is found on the top of the fish, while the fleshy
pink portions, which are fattier and more expensive, come from the belly.
- Shrimp (ebi):
- Delicious when fresh jumbo shrimp are used. Avoid frozen and shelled,
try to buy fresh.
- Crab (kani):
- Try Alaskan king crab legs. Awesome! Or you can use the increasingly popular
- Eel (unagi):
- Usually found pre-cooked and frozen, this delicacy is to be re-heated
and served with a barbecue sauce.
- Octopus (tako):
- The cooked tentacles are usually used for sushi and can be found in Japanese
- Sea Urchin Roe (uni):
- This orange-colored roe is known as one of the most sought-after delicacies.
- Squid (ika):
- Only the body is used and is eaten raw. Use only the freshest squid if
you choose this tasty little creature.
- Salmon Roe (ikura):
- Exported to Japan, this North American delicacy is sure to please.
Sushi, whether eating it or making it, is a great hobby for people of all
ages and abilities. People who really like sushi may go on to study to become
a sushi chef, or teach sushi making classes.
Chefs and caterers may also need to know how to make sushi, since it's
becoming more popular every day. If you really know your ebi from your uni,
you might find work in a sushi restaurant.
A good idea for beginners is to have a sushi party so you and your friends
can all learn how to make sushi at once. To get more familiar with the art
of sushi making, you should have a few books on hand. Go to the library or
bookstore to find suitable books.
If you feel more confident with some personal instruction, check out your
local community center or cooking schools for classes. And if all else fails,
contact your local Japanese restaurant.
Sushi Facts and Guide
Study the glossary of sushi terms, learn sushi etiquette and
Introduction to Sushi
Recipes, ingredient tips and background info from the folks at
Sushi World Guide
Find a Japanese restaurant outside Japan