Drinking tea makes sushi taste better!

Even if you order beer or sake at sushi restaurants, your meal will always end with a cup of tea. But if you’re going to go out for sushi, you should really start drinking that tea earlier instead of saving it until the end. The tea at sushi shops is far more significant than a simple beverage. Especially when eating fatty tuna or bonito, tea plays a role that beer and sake simply cannot fulfill.

The key is in its hot temperature.

Hot tea works to dissolve the fat left on the tongue. Traces of fat is left on your tongue when you eat fatty sushi. It covers the taste buds like a film, subtly inhibiting your sense of taste. It would be a shame to miss your chance to experience the full range of flavors on your visit to a delicious sushi restaurant. No matter how much you drink, beer and sake can’t do anything about this thin film.

But drinking hot tea dissolves the fat and washes it away. Tea can also be considered a type of preparation for enjoying the next piece of sushi.

Another fun fact, sushi teacups are bigger than traditional tea cups because sushi chefs used to man their food stands alone. They just didn’t have enough hands to be constantly refilling tea while also pressing the sushi. The stands used large teacups so they wouldn’t need to be refilled as often.


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: June 12, 2017

The real way of making shari (vinegared rice) by a sushi master. There are 4 tips!

In order to bring sushi to life, it is extremely important how shari is made. Let me introduce a cooking method, a top grade sushi master uses.

First, wash the rice gently. Leave it to soak for about half an hour and let it fully absorb water. The first tip is to keep the water level of the rice even in this way.

The rice should be cooked with water with a ratio of 10 to 9. A little less water than the regular rice, so that it is cooked slightly hard. This is the second tip.

While you wait for the rice to cook, make awasezu* by adding salt and sugar in vinegar. Also, set up hangiri (rice-cooling tub) for mixing the rice. Don’t forget to wipe the inside with a wet kitchen towel to prevent the rice from sticking to it.

Once the rice has finished cooking, leave it to steam for about 15 minutes and dump it out into hangiri. Pour awasezu immediately and let it sit for 30 seconds or so. Because the rice absorbs vinegar only while it is hot, managing this process quickly is the third tip.

After letting it sit for 30 seconds, spread the rice out with shamoji (rice spatula) as if cutting it down. Make sure that vinegar goes around using a cutting motion vertically. Additionally, fan the rice using a uchiwa (fan) to remove the moisture of vinegar and mix the rice with a cutting motion horizontally this time. Fanning with uchiwa is not to cool down the rice (Do not put the rice in the fridge to cool it down.), but to dry up the excess moisture of vinegar. Moving both hands as you consider it is the fourth tip.

After the rice is vinegared evenly, assemble it in one place and cover it with a damp kitchen towel. In about an hour, it is ready when shari is settled. (Body temperature) Even in a hurry, if you don’t give at least 30 minutes, it won’t help the taste of course, and also won’t make it easy to form the rice for sushi. If you rush at the end, all the delicate attention up to this will be in vain.

*A professional recipe for awasezu is as follows. This is a recipe for short grain rice species such as Koshihikari and Sasanishiki. Slightly sticky rice like calrose is not suitable for sushi rice.

9 cups rice

8 cups plus 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp water

8 tbsp plus 1 tsp vinegar ~ 12 tbsp vinegar

2 tbsp plus 1 tsp salt

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar ~ 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp sugar


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: May 18, 2017

Salmon is not used as a topping in Edo-style sushi!

 

The Japanese were not in the habit of eating salmon raw. Salmon was not a traditional topping in Edo-style sushi. The reason for this is that the existence of parasites has been well-known since long ago and there was no way to prepare the salmon raw.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, salmon must be frozen at -20℃ for at least 24 hours in order to completely kill all parasites. Salmon served at sushi restaurants must be stored frozen and then thawed before serving.

The type of salmon (sake) you find in Japan is Chum salmon. However, most of the salmon served raw at sushi restaurants is Atlantic salmon. This is a popular topping throughout the world due to the high fat content and smooth texture achieved by sea farming in places like Norway and Chile. The fish are strictly managed from water quality to the effects on the environment, so there are very few issues with parasites and the salmon can be eaten raw. However the fact remains that the fish are administered a number of chemicals due to concern of spread of disease-causing germs in the farms.

Even when salmon roe and sea urchin first started to be used as toppings, most sushi chefs said that these didn’t count as Nigirizushi and refused to use them. However the favorable reputation of sea urchin sushi in Ginza won out, it started to be used by more chefs and eventually became one of the major dishes.

The fifth generation sushi chef at one long-standing shop says, “If it’s what the customers want, then salmon may also be rolled as Nigirizushi in the near future.” It may even become part of the standard menu.

At a pre-Edo sushi shop that features Hokkaido toppings, they are actually serving ultra-high grade salmon such as Keiji* and Tokishirazu**.

*Keiji are young salmon with immature ovaries or testes. Only 1-2 Keiji are found in a normal catch of 10,000 salmon. Normal salmon fat content is 2-15% but the Keiji have a very high body fat percentage at 20-30%.

**Tokishirazu are salmon swimming upstream at the beginning of summer. They are the same chum salmon found in the fall, but since they aren’t caught during the spawning season, the fish don’t have eggs or milt, and instead have a high fat content. The name “Tokishirazu” stems from the fact that these fish are caught out of season, in summer and the name means ”ignorant of time”


We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: May 9, 2017

The A to Z of Sushi Glossary

Among Sushi Glossary (sushi terms), there is a word called “Fucho” which is unfamiliar even to Japanese. It would be cool if you knew, but it wouldn’t be embarrassing even if you didn’t. However, these terms are used between pros. It seems senseless if customers use them and sushi chefs might find it off-putting. *Japanese terms will be italicized on sushi glossary page.

Aburi-To bring out the deliciousness by searing the skin and melting the fat. Used on a type of fish with fat between its skin and meat.

Agari-A Japanese sushibar term for green tea. A term for green tea at a Japanese sushi bar, which helps freshen the mouth by washing away any fatty taste.

Akazu-Red vinegar made from sake lees, characterized by a strong flavor, slight sweetness and its reddish color.

Akami-Lean tuna, cut from the back of the fish. See also Maguro.

Aniki-Things that are older. Food ingredients that need to be used earlier. The opposite of this word is “Otouto”.

Astaxanthin-A red-colored component found in organisms such as salmon, shrimp, and crab. It has been drawing an attention for having an excellent anti oxidative effect and oxidation prevention.

BachimonoWasabi (Japanese horseradish) other than the ones from Izu Amagi, which is called “Honbamono“.

Donshari-Regular rice that is not vinegared.

Dress-Fish, whose head and internal organs have been removed.

Edomae-Edomae means sushi using fish from the sea that lies before the Edo town. Although the fishes caught only in Tokyo Bay are not enough to feed numerous sushi lovers. The excellent work of Edomae sushi chef in which the ingredients are vinegared or seasoned with soy sauce after salted, a common method for longer preservation.

Furijio-To sprinkle salt lightly all over an ingredient. Causing an effect of making it salted, extracting moisture, and tightening its texture.

Gari-A sushi-bar term for pickled ginger. Pickled ginger that helps cleanse the palate after eating fatty sushi like Ohtoro.

Geso-Squid legs.

Geta-Wooden sushi plate

Gezakana -Relatively low-cost sushi ingredients, such as gizzard shad and horse mackerel. Bluefin tuna used to be also called gezakana in the Edo period, for losing its freshness easily.

Gunkanmaki-Sushi made by wrapping dried seaweed around vinegared rice, topped with salmon roe and sea urchin which is easy to crumble on top.

Gyoku-Egg omelet

Haneru-To throw away a part of something or the whole thing that cannot be used for ingredients.

Haran (Baran)-Plant leaves used as dividers and decorations when sushi is served. Mostly bamboo leaves in the Kanto region.

Hashiri-Referring to when fish have just started to come on the market and they are highly sought after even though they are still not mature in flavor

Hikarimono– Fish sliced for serving with the silver fish skin left on. Typical of Iwashi, Aji, Sayori, Sanma, Kohada

Himo-Mantle of shell

Ikejime-A process of cutting the medulla oblongata off of live fish, removing the nerves and draining the blood.

Inrouzume-A small boiled squid stuffed with sushi rice, Kanpyou, chopped Shiitake mushrooms, Oboro, and etc.

Irizake-A traditional Japanese seasoning made by boiling down Japanese sake with pickled plums etc.

Jukusei-Maturing. By preserving fish in refrigerator with adequate water content and temperature, the umami taste will be condensed. The maturing period is usually a couple of days, sometimes it lasts for weeks.

Kan – A unit for counting sushi

Katamiduke-Using one side of a fish’s body to make sushi.

Kataomoi-One-sided love:Abalone, for having a shell on only one side of its body.

Kazari boucho-Small cuts onto the ingredients in order to make it look beautiful.

Kakushi boucho-Make slits onto the firm ingredients in order to make it easier to bite.

Kiritsuke-To cut fish for sushi topping shapes after slicing into three fillets and taking off skin, bones and such.

Kizu-Dried gourd shavings (Kanpyomaki)

Kobujime-The fish ingredients marinated between sheets of kelp and then let sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Konawasabi-Powdered horseradish (a.k.a. wasabi daikon), which is reasonable but has a weak flavor.

Kusa (Nori)-Purple layer seaweed pressed into thin sheets. It is essential for sushi roll and Gunkanmaki. High-quality one is flavorful, shiny, and has a smooth texture.

Makiosame-To eat norimaki at the end of a course of nigiri sushi. This action indicates that “this sushi is going to be the last one to eat.”

Maruduke-Making sushi with one whole fish.

Meji-Young bluefin tuna (Maguro) which weighs about 10 to 20kg.

Mugiwaradai-Red seabream (Tai) caught during the time of the barley harvest (early summer) is skinny after laying eggs and doesn’t taste good.

Murasaki-Sushi bar term for soy sauce.

Nakaochi-The middle bone part when fish is cut into three fillets. Or the meat attached to this part. Used especially for tuna, becoming ingredients for tekkamaki, negi toro and etc.

Namida (Sabi)Wasabi has a pungent taste which removes fishy smell from the ingredient, thus the fish becomes tastier many times as much.

Namida maki-Vinegared rice and thin strips of Wasabi rolled in seaweed

Nagori-Fish have already passed their peak condition, which the Japanese start to miss in the late season

Neta (Tane, Sushidane)-Sushi bar term for the fish topping in nigiri sushi.

Nigemono-Low-cost sushi ingredients.

Nikiri (NikiriShouyu)Nikiri is a short form of nikiri syouyu in which an alcohol-evaporated Mirin, Sake, Soy sauce and Dashi broth are added together.

Nimono-Simmered or boiled foods

Oaiso-To get a check and make a payment by customers at a sushi restaurant and elsewhere.

Obitsuke(Noriobi)-To bind toppings to sushi rice, such as white fish and egg, with seaweed like a belt (obi) for a kimono.

Oboro-Usually, salt, sugar and Mirin are added to mashed shrimp meat, and then roasted in a pan until they are smaller flakes.

Odori-Serving sushi made with live seafood such as prawns.

Okimari-The price and menu content are easily understood when ordering “Okimari”. The rank of “Tokujou”, “Jou”, “Nami” are often used. Order additional sushi as you like for a more fulfilling experience.

Okonomi-A way customers choose and order sushi they want to eat. If you clearly know what you like and want to enjoy eating at your own pace, ordering “Okonomi” your choice of sushi, would be best.

Omakase-A way customers choose and order sushi they want to eat. If  you do not have likes or dislikes and would like to enjoy the delicious catch of the day, “Omakase” is the way to go.

Otachi-To have a seat at the counter and eat by ordering okonomi.

Otemoto-Chopsticks

Oteshou-A small dish for soy sauce

Otouto-Food ingredients that are used later.

SagariOboro

SakariSakari season is before the fish spawn and they feed actively, acquiring a high fat content

Sakuradai-While cherry blossoms are in bloom, Red seabream (Tai) comes into season and increases its deliciousness.

Sakudori-To fillet fish and cut into blocks (saku) in each part. (Toro, red flesh and etc. in tuna, for instance.)

Shari (Sumeshi)-Cooked rice mixed with sweet sushi-vinegar in which sugar and salt are added. In sushi term it is called “Shari”.

Shirozu (Komezu)-White vinegar made from rice, characterized by smooth and refreshing sour taste.

Sotoko-Eggs of shrimps and crabs, folded and protected in their parents’ legs after being laid.

Shigoto-Refer to carrying out an extra preparatory step for edomaezushi toppings, such as brushing with Nitsume, or steeping fish in vinegar.

Tatejio-Salt water which is around 3 percent salt about the same as seawater, usually used for preparing thin body fish and seafood before cooking. Soak fish in tate jio and make it salted evenly because sprinkling salt can make it too salty for thin body fish by furi jio.

Teppou-Vinegared rice rolled in a sheet of laver (Norimaki)

Tezu-Vinegar that is put on fingertips of sushi chefs when they make sushi, to prevent sushi rice from sticking to their fingers.

Tsume (Nitsume)-Short form of Nitsume. Soy sauce, Mirin and sake are added to the soup in which Anago eel was boiled, and then boiled down until it gets thick sweet.

Tukeba-An area where sushi is made.

TumaDaikon radish which is thinly peeled and shredded.

Uramaki-A rolling technic of putting sushi rice on the outside, and seaweed on the inside.

Uchiko-Eggs inside of shells before being laid, such as shrimps and crabs.

Yakishimozukuri-A cooking method of grilling fish fillet with a little bit of skin left, over high heat for a short time and cooling it down. Its purpose is transferring the roasted skin fat into the meat. Used mainly for fish with thick and hard skin, like Mackerel (Saba) and Chicken grunt (Isaki).

Yama-Bamboo leaves used for a decoration. Called yama (mountain) because they are gathered only on mountains.

Yuburi-A process to cook just on the surface such as meat and fish,which is dipped in boiling water and shaken quickly.

Zuke –Seasoning method of fish such as Maguro tuna in dashi joyu, which was developed in the late Edo period in order to preserve fish longer.

We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: April 30, 2018

The A to Z of Sushi Ingredients : Seaweed roll

You don’t want to find yourself in a Sushi restaurant not knowing enough about the fish on offer. Here we will introduce all the different types of Edo-style Sushi (Edomaesushi) Ingredients. *Japanese terms will be italicized on sushi ingredients page.

<Norimaki-Seaweed roll>

Anakyu maki-Gizzard shad and Cucumber roll

Himokyu maki-Mantle of ark shell and Cucumber roll

Kanpyou maki-Sweet-simmered kanpyo (dried gourd strip) roll

Kappa maki-Cucumber roll

Kohada maki-Gizzard shad roll

Namida maki-Vinegared rice and thin strips of Wasabi rolled in seaweed

Negitoro maki-Green onion and toro roll

Shinko maki-Pickled radish and shiso plant roll

Takuwan maki-Pickled radish roll

Tekka maki-Norimaki sushi roll with red tuna and grated wasabi at the core.

Torotaku maki-Toro and Pickled radish roll

Umeshiso maki-Pickled ume and shiso plant roll

We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: May 12, 2017