So I’ve been born and brought up in India, haven’t really traveled outside of India so the actual preparation of a cuisine is always a mystery to me. Reading a lot of cook books and watching shows has helped but actually what an ingredient tastes like in a different part of the world is a matter of thought.
I was talking to a friend of mine about Japanese cuisine and thought that I find Japanese cuisine complicated and thus the reason for this post. I love Japanese food I really do but to understand the mysteries of Japanese food is a tough task.
This post is to explain simple Japanese dishes, debunking the myths behind Sushi.
Sushi is a style of preparation and anyone who says I love sushi is actually talking about the preparation rather than the tightly bound preparation of rice and fish or other ingredients.
Sushi preparations are of many types, I’ll explain each of them with photos ones that we have had over all these years and some studied from some books.
Nigiri: Its basically a topping usually fish, served on top of sushi rice. These are often had after dipping the topping in soy (upside down), See pic below from Guppy, Lodhi Colony for reference.
Maki: Rice and filling wrapped in seaweed which is also called Nori and you can identify it by the black/green coating on top on the rice, it comes in the form of sheets here in India. This was had at Kofuku.
Uramaki: This type of preparation has rice is on the outside and seaweed wraps (nori) inside around the filling, if you look carefully you can see in the picture below.
These are often served as predefined rolls and have lots of toppings and sauces and these toppings can be cooked or raw. I have classified some of the rolls later.
The black layer that is slightly visible between the filling and the rice is the Seaweed.
Sashimi: Sashimi is just the meat, served without other ingredients. Sadly i have had Sashimi before but cant recover any picture for reference.
Tempura Roll: This is crunchy filling topped with soft rice and is the best kind of sushi to have if you are a newbie. Tempura means batter fried so here the contents are tempura (Batter fried). Picture of Prawn Tempura Maki at one of my favorite place which is a breakfast and Sushi Bar, Number 31.
California roll is usually made with crab or/and avocado. Many places like Yum Yum Cha or Pan Asian, Sheraton give this with mayonnaise on top of it. This one was had from Sushi Haus kiosk in Asian Hawkers Market!
The Spider roll has soft-shell crab tempura, cucumber, avocado, and spicy mayo on it. Sometimes the chef will construct it so it looks like it has spider legs coming out of the sides. See picture at Yum Yum Cha, Cyber Hub for a better representation.
There are some Sushi rolls which have brightly colored orange spheres or tiny black spheres on top of it, These are both roe, which are fish eggs.
These are mostly of 2 types :
Tobiko is the roe of flying fish and is usually a bright orange, though it can be colored to be black or even green
Masago is the roe of capelin fish, this is also usually orange-colored but can be dyed black.
While there are many other types of Sushi preparations too, I don’t want to list them as they are rarely found unless you are looking for it and my research regarding those is limited to bookish knowledge, whereas uptil now whatever i have posted i have had it on my own and can recall the texture, the feel, the taste of each!