Know Your Sushi: Differences between Poke Bowl, Chirashi & Ceviche

Sushi comes in all shapes and forms and its the duty of a true sushi lover to know even the slightest differences. Some amateurs may even consider only the rolls to be part of the sushi branch, but a true connoisseur knows that the family tree includes a vast selection of raw fish dishes with various tastes and flavours.

Originally from Japan, sushi unites under the same umbrella a big mix of dishes that use rice and seafood as main ingredients. Though it originated on the Asian continent, the unique taste and flavour of this food tradition extended to affect even other territories nearby the Pacific coastline. If you are taking your first steps in the world of Japanese cuisine and you want to find out more details about sushi, be sure to check our previous blog entry about sushi FAQs which will offer you the best information and all you need to know both about sushi and sushi restaurants in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

But lets do the introductions: three of the most delicious sushi dishes of the moment.

All you need to know about Poke Bowl, Chirashi and Ceviche

Salmon Poke Bowl

Lets take a peek inside a Poke Bowl though not that well-known in the past, this dish has become in the last year the main star in the sushi menus all over UAE. Originally from Hawaii, this sushi recipe landed in the kitchens of the greatest chefs of sushi in Dubai and all over the world. Even though it started as a simple dish of raw fish traditionally the yellow tuna the recipe changed and adapted in time, including now a great variety of ingredients such as mushrooms, cilantro, avocado, or even pickled jalapeo. Poke Bowl is a fine particularity of the sushi world and a taste you can recognise in a million, one that once tasted, will definitely differentiate itself from the rest of any other foods.

Read more about Poke Bowls here.

Salmon Chirashi

Chirashi A unique taste scattered all over Japan. This plate is, for sure, an easy to try-at-home sushi dish. If you manage to find all the right ingredients, of course. It literally means catered in Japanese, and it’s an impromptu recipe that brings together the great flavours of raw fish mixed with the freshness of vegetables. But don’t be deceived by its simple appearance. This is a complex dish that needs a lot of attention when prepared in order to reach its full potential. Put together from scraps, this dish is supposed to originate from the wish of Japanese cooks to use all the ingredients and avoid waste. But this only added up to its versatility which helped the recipe gain a lot of appreciation over the years.

Salmon Ceviche

Ceviche Whats more exotic than some raw fish dipped in citrus juices? Ceviche is for sure one of the most particular dishes from the sushi branch. Originally from Latin America, this recipe brings together the freshness of citrus fruits and raw fish, with the spiciness of chilli peppers, leaving the taster with one unique and unforgettable experience. But this is not all. Unlike other types of sushi, this plate is usually accompanied by other side dishes which are meant to emphasise its flavour. Some might be sweet potatoes, avocado or various salads.

The recipe itself has a captivating history and years of cultural mixes across multiple continents. Though raw fish dishes are mostly known to have Asian roots, this recipe is suspected to have been brought to Latin America from the European continent, by the Moorish women from Granada. This would make it date back to the era of the Spanish conquistadors which have colonised Peru, bringing with them the predecessor of Ceviche.

Another great advantage of these recipes is their nutritional value. If you want to learn how to make healthy food for your family, then sushi is the way to go. With a low level of fats, sushi ensures a big intake of iodine for the body, making it the perfect meal for weight control. Also, the high level of antioxidants gives it particular qualities that are good for skin and DNA cells damage repair. This makes it, nevertheless, a good ally against cancer and a necessary part of every anti-ageing diet. And last but not least, these dishes are rich in proteins, calcium and Omega 3 acids, which makes them fit for the diets of both adults and young people.
Ready, steady cook!

If these three dishes have already sparked your interest, maybe its time to talk more about their ingredients and the preparation process. Though all of them are very particular varieties of sushi, there is one thing they have in common: there is no need to go through the torment of rolling them into tiny little bites. Some might complain that this is the most important skill of a sushi chef. But, at least you can actually have a shot at preparing some decent-looking recipes for your friends and family if you want to offer them a home-made dinner without having to order sushi online.

Though all three recipes are based on raw fish, only two of them include the sushi rice which is so important in Japanese cuisine, one of them being Chirashi. This might also be because this is the only dish which is actually a Japanese sushi recipe, the other two being variations of raw fish related dishes from around the world. This catered type of food is one big mix of sushi, rice and vegetables which can be mixed with other ingredients, based on your personal taste.

There are no particular requirements in matters of seafood used for this dish, and its easy to make a plate which was, in time, adapted to include various ingredients such as avocado, green beans, scallions or tofu. This is the best-improvised recipe that will help you impress your friends while introducing them to the Japanese culture, without having to deal with the effort of making perfectly shaped rolled bites. It is, on the other hand, an effective way to get rid of the leftovers you have from your other attempts of preparing sushi at home.

As mentioned, there is no need to follow a specific recipe, you just need sushi rice and raw fish, andyou can get crazy. Just keep in mind that not all flavours go well mixed with each other. For the Tuna and Salmon lovers, there is a dish coming straight from the Hawaiian culture which will satisfy both the desire for raw fish and wish for new, exciting experiences. Poke Bowl is a dish that brings together a mix of flavours and cultures from two sides of the Pacific. And on top of that, its considered one of the easiest to eat sushi types. This bowl of tastes is still close to the Asian culture, keeping, as a mandatory part of the recipe, the beloved rice, which is the base layer of most bowls. After the rice, comes the fish.

The most usual grade fish used is the yellowfin tuna, which is, by some, the closest to the original recipe. But if tuna is not your fish of choice, there is no need to worry. The recipe is quite flexible and you can replace it with whatever kind of raw fish you want. Some of the best options would be salmon or snapper. The third ingredient for this magnificent dish is the greens vegetables. Here you can get creative and add whatever you like the most: avocado, seaweed, onions or crispy garlic. As long as the rules of flavour are not transgressed, your recipe will end up just fine.

For dressing try adding some soy sauce, ponzu, shoyu or make your own by mixing your favourite sauce with sesame oil, mirin and some fresh lemon juice. Lets not forget about the hot sauce, which is also a must-have for Poke Bowls. Whether you go for togarashi or wasabi, the spiciness is a very important characteristic of the dish, so dont leave it out.

And last but not least, the most uncommon raw fish based dish, coming all the way from Latin America Ceviche. With such a great history behind it, this dish is definitely a great and unique experience, which will offer you a whole new perspective on raw fish. When it comes to ingredients, Ceviche is a gathering of fresh tastes. That why picking the ingredients is essential in order to make
the best out of trying this amazing recipe. The raw fish that will be used should be the freshest you could get. This doesnt mean you have to go and fish it yourself, but it would be better if you have a local provider, and not buy the packaged one from the supermarket. The best type is the semi-firm, white fish which will help to give the dish a nice texture. We recommend sea bass, mahi-mahi or, if you want a shrimp Ceviche, you can go for the shellfish.

The most important process in preparing this food is waiting for the fish to be marinated. Only after its fully marinated you can finally mix it with the rest of the ingredients. For this process you can use any kind of citrus juice, be it lemons, limes, or even grapefruit. After preparing the fish, you can mix it with the rest of the vegetables, which can be lettuce, freshly boiled corn, sweet potatoes and so on.
So, Poke Bowl, Chirashi or Ceviche?

All three dishes are perfect if you want to try some home-made sushi for your friends or family. Maybe you wont take the prize for preparing the best sushi in Dubai, but you will, for sure, impress your company.

If you choose to go full traditional, then we recommend the Japanese Chirashi. Its spicy and it has all the features of the traditional Japanese cuisine. But if you want to really impress your guests, then try offering them some Ceviches. This dish keeps the spicy taste of the original sushi while bringing a very fresh, particular flavour, thanks to the marinated raw fish. And last but not least, the Poke Bowl is a great way to bring together the Asian traditions with some beloved modern flavours such as avocado.

Did we convince you to try these three popular, sushi dishes but you dont really feel like cooking? Dont worry, there’s always an option for the less kitchen-friendly of us. You can find plenty of sushi delivery in Abu Dhabi or Japanese restaurants in Dubai where you can order them. Or, you can order from us and try all these three plates, and a lot more that will for sure satisfy your need for raw fish. Here, you can find Ceviche and Chirashi for only 33 AED, while the Poke Bowls range from 55 to 64 AED. Nevertheless, for the veggie lovers, we also have variants of vegan sushi in Dubai and Abu Dhabi stores. Sushi Counter is one of the restaurants that offer this kind of menu options, without losing the essence of the original recipes. This selection of sushi and other cuisines will leave you with the best experience related to Japanese and Asian cuisine, whichever food you choose.

So, whether you decide to make it yourself or to have some sushi delivery, there three recipes are for sure something you should try this year! They are refreshing, exotic and healthy. There is nothing more to wish from a meal, than a flavoured taste and low fats. The Poke Bowls, Ceviches and Chirashis are made to thrill your taste buds. They are the perfect choice even if you are on a diet or preparing for future beach parties of the summer. You can finally enjoy sharing the food with your friends without thinking about the extra kilos youve put on. Pick up the phone, order your sushi, and enjoy a nice meal with your close ones!

11 November, 2021

10 Vegan Sushi That Will Make You Give Up Seafood

Its time to redefine your image of sushi. The best sushi restaurants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh are beginning to embrace the vegan sushi trend, both for its health benefits as well as the fact that these rolls are just plain delicious. Is it possible to serve tempting, delicious sushi options for vegans?

The answer is yes, and these ten sushi rolls will prove to anyone that Japanese restaurants dont have to involve any seafood to lure hungry patrons. Found at quick service counters and sit down restaurants throughout UAE and Saudi Arabia, these sushi options are sure to please.

Vegan California Rolls

A book could be written about the many different California Roll types found around the world. Fortunately for vegans, many of them are sans-fish. Instead of the seafood protein, these healthier options focus on the staple ingredient of any legitimate California Roll: 혻avocado. With avocado shining, lets take a look at a few choices found at Japanese restaurants in Dubai and Riyadh:

Sweet Garden California Roll

Sounds tempting? This delicious selection also packs a heavy crunch. Carrot, avocado, cucumber and crispy onion sit inside a roll of white rice, and often times the roll will be topped with additional avocado and crunchy deliciousness.

Black Veggie California Roll

With this option on the best sushi menus throughout the UAE and KSA, black rice takes a bit of the glory from the traditional white rice. The flavour is heavier than many other California Rolls, which for many is incredibly satisfying. This is a unique twist on a classic, but one certainly worth a try.

Black Garden California Roll

Continue your progress with your vegan sushi habits. As you find the best sushi in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, you will begin to feel comfortable and be tempted by adventurous rolls such as the Black Barden California Roll. All black rice, none of the white rice. Add asparagus, carrot, and a healthy dose of avocado up on top for one of the unique sushi rolls at any Japanese restaurant in Dubai or anywhere in the Middle East.

Mango Chutney California Roll

Have you ever had nuts in your sushi? This exciting option pits pistachio and almond for protein up with white rice and mango chutney. You truly havent experienced vegan sushi until youve tried this one in Dubai! Sushi Counter serves the best sushi options for unique rolls such as this one.

Hummus & Cucumber Roll

This roll found at the best sushi restaurants in Dubai offers a true taste of the Middle East. They say that nothing around here brings people together quite like hummus, and this roll proves that this statement is true even when it comes to cuisine born thousands of miles away. Its pretty basic: hummus, cucumber, and yuzu. If you arent familiar with yuzu, it is a delicious citrus fruit that in this case adds a completely unpredicted kick of flavour to an otherwise rather boring roll. This roll is perfect for vegan sushi beginners that are more accustomed to traditional Middle Eastern cuisine.

Moutabel & Cucumber Summer Roll

Moutabel is a delicious mixture of grilled eggplant, sesame paste, and lemon juice. A slice of fresh cucumber adds a palatable crunch and kick of extra flavour that really livens the roll up. A summer roll is traditionally wrapped in rice paper, and thats something you should look for when ordering a Moutabel roll, as it really helps with the dipping process. The rice paper used at the best sushi restaurants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Riyadh is thick and will not rip when picked up or dipped in sauce. This is crucial with a roll like this because a nice dose of soy sauce and wasabi really brings out the complex flavours!

Vegetable Hand Roll

For those wanting a pick me up and bite in experience, a Vegetable Hand Roll is the perfect vegan option to exercise at the best sushi restaurants. Typically filled with rice along with an assortment of fresh vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, and peppers, this can be a great introduction to vegan sushi culture and Japanese restaurant dining in general. In a cone of seaweed paper, top the rice and vegetables with soy sauce and wasabi for a full explosion of flavour.

Baby Eggplant Sushi Square

For those more accustomed to Italian or American dining and less experienced with Japanese restaurants, this option provides a warm welcome. Baby eggplant sits atop a bed of rice with a donburi-style mix of vegetables and sauce, blue flowers, and basil. The collision of flavours creates a taste pallet that is truly unique and will hook vegan and non-vegan diners on eating sushi from the first bite.

Sundried Tomato Basil Roll

For a bit of Euro-flare in your sushi, go with a Sundried Tomato Basil Roll. The rice perfectly complements the namesake ingredients, with a bit of crunch provided by a leaf of lettuce. The best sushi in Abu Dhabi doesnt have to be super complex sometimes, simple is better!

Veggie Sushi Burrito

Heres one that literally takes sushi to a whole new level. As the popularity of blending Middle Eastern street food with the cuisine of other cultures has gained steam at sushi restaurants in Dubai, Mexican influence is increasingly more common.

The Veggie Sushi Burrito at Sushi Counter is the perfect entr챕e for when you just cant settle on what to eat for lunch. Stuffed with nori yaki, seaweed salad, avocado, and takuan, and wrapped in rice paper, this will have even the most sceptical meat-eater in your social circle hooked on vegan sushi.

Rolling it Up

There are enough varieties of vegan sushi in Dubai to please just about any taste. Japanese restaurants often offer a number of incredible vegan options that even non-vegetarians will love. The best sushi in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi is no exception. With incredible cafes such as Sushi Counter taking the growing population of veggie-friendly diners into consideration, having a delicious, healthy, and culturally spirited meal doesnt have to make you feel like a standout. Instead, the rest of your party will be asking for a bite of your dish, so be prepared to share!

25 October, 2021

18 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Sushi [Answered!]

Diverse types of cuisine across the globe have enjoyed a fair share of popularity, but few have held it as consistently as sushi. This traditional food from Japan was originally a street food served to the Japanese workers during Japan industrial age. Since then, sushi has captured the hearts and minds of food lovers of any race. Even though this dish has roots that stretch back hundreds of years, it was only until recently that sushi eventually made its way to the west. A favourite snack amongst American tourists who visited Japan, sushi finally winged its way over to the States where it has become something more than just a good, economical food for the workers.

Sushi popularity was extended to the Middle East where Japanese restaurants have started to be a favourite hangout even for the locals. Because the craze for sushi has grown over the years, food lovers have become more open to trying new offerings from Japanese restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. However, this food trend has left newbies more curious about this Japanese dish. Sushi Counter listed the 18 most frequently asked questions about sushi; and here are our answers:

1. How often do Japanese people eat Sushi?
You might think that the Japanese eat sushi all the time. Well, the reason that sushi became such a popular meal in its beginnings was that the dish was made up of a few simple and cheap ingredients that would supply the necessary requirement of protein for the workers. Then it went on to become far more of a special food that was eaten on special occasions or gatherings. Today, the Japanese see sushi as a dish fitting for celebrations. Good quality sushi in Japan is fairly expensive unless you live near the coast where the fish is fresh and cheap. On the average, the Japanese eat Sushi roughly once or twice a month and mostly on events and special occasions.

2. What are the most popular types of Sushi?
Although Sushi and Japanese food, in general, have seen a massive rise in popularity recently, some dishes have become more popular than other ones. The most popular types of dish amongst sushi lovers are California Rolls, Salmon Hand Rolls or Temaki, Chicken Avocado Summer Roll, Salmon Sashimi, Crab and Quinoa Charishi, Vegetable Rice Spring Roll and of course the Salmon Sushi Burger.

3. Who Invented California Rolls?
One of the most popular forms of sushi amongst sushi lovers is the California Roll. When it comes to the question of who created this amazing sushi dish, two different sushi chefs have taken the claim. Chef Hidekazu Tojo, who was born and raised in Japan, claims that visitors from Los Angeles loved his inside-out version of sushi. Tojo sushi is a combination of cooked crab, avocado and cucumber, then rolled it in rice and wrapped in seaweed. The rival claim comes from Chef Ichiro Mashita who works in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. He claims to have invented it back in the 1960. However, despite the ongoing debates on who really started this controversial yet amazing sushi dish, it was Chef Hidekazu Tojo who was recognised by the Japanese Officials who even appointed him to be one of the goodwill ambassadors of Japanese cuisine.

4. Is there a definite rule in ordering and eating various kinds of sushi?
For first-timers, it possible to think that there might be a bunch of do and dons in ordering and eating sushi involved in ordering and eating it. This isnt really the case, well, not for most sushi lovers. Generally speaking, you should begin with the lighter flavours and progress on to the heavier or thicker ones. Eating, however, comes with a few more rules than ordering does. In fine-dining sushi restaurants, you are served constantly on your left and therefore, should eat from right to left. Casual Japanese restaurants, however, offer more freedom on how you would enjoy eating your sushi.

5. Does vegetarian or vegan sushi really exist?

vegan sushi
People are becoming more and more health-conscious as we begin to recognise the importance of taking care of one health, especially today when a growing number of new illnesses and health conditions were brought about by unhealthy living. Vegan and vegetarian sushi is fast becoming one of the most popular types amongst the world health-conscious consumers. But do they really exist? There are some sushi joints that now provide vegetarian or vegan options due to the increase in demand and due to the shift of the restaurant mission-vision. The vegetarian hand rolls, vegetarian summer rolls and black veggie California rolls at Sushi Counter are all great examples of vegetarian and vegan sushi done well.

6. What does aki in Maki Sushi mean?
Since there are different types of sushi available on the menu of Japanese restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it is understandable that not everyone will know what each dish is made of. Makizushi or Maki sushi has also become one of the most popular types of sushi amongst sushi lovers. Maki means rolled so Makizushi was named as such because it is made using a bamboo rolling mat to roll the rice around several ingredients and then wrap it in nori or seaweed. Some common types of maki include temaki meaning and-rolled, and makimono which is a variety of rolls.

7. What is the difference between sushi and sashimi?
Sushi is a much broader term than sashimi. The latter refers to raw fish which is sliced and eaten usually without the rice. Sushi, however, does not need to be made of raw fish. Basically, if it is served with vinegared rice, then it can be considered sushi.

8. What is the correct way of adding soy sauce to your sushi?
Soy sauce has been a welcome addition to sushi dishes especially for people who were trying the Japanese dish for the first time. The way you add soy sauce to your sushi depends on both the type, the quality and your own taste. The soy sauce can be added by dipping the sushi piece. When dipping, you have to realise that it may lead to adding too much soy sauce to your sushi if youre not careful. Remember to dunk the fish side of the sushi, not on the rice. This will prevent the sushi from falling apart especially when the sushi is loosely put together.

9. What is the most important ingredient in Sushi?
Different chefs will have different answers to this question as each puts their own importance on the use of sushi ingredients. It is said though that the vinegar or flavoured rice would have to be the most important ingredient because without it the dish could not be called sushi. The u in sushi even means vinegar in Japanese. There are those who would argue that the fish is what makes a great sushi and the fresh ingredients that are added all play their own part as well. Of course, the rice would also be considered as an important ingredient to this Japanese dish.

10. Is Sushi healthy?
As mentioned above and in the previous blogs, sushi is a very good source of protein and fatty acids. Sushi types which have the highest level of fatty acids are Salmon, Trout and Tuna. If you want to go for a healthier choice when choosing your sushi order, why not go for a roll that has brown or mixed rice instead of the usual white rice. Vegetarian and vegan sushi has been created mostly because of the need for healthy or clean eating. This type of sushi is a great way to still enjoy your favourite dish without worrying about the excess fats or calories. You may also opt for non-spicy rolls as spicy sauce is primarily mayonnaise. Whether sushi is healthy or not depends mainly on the freshness of the ingredients used and choosing the right sushi dish for your dietary requirements.

11. What is the purpose of pickled ginger when served with Sushi?

pickled ginger

Pickled Ginger which is called ari in Japanese is usually served at the beginning or at the end of a meal but can also be served between courses. The purpose of pickled ginger is to serve as a palate cleanser. This type of ginger also has some anti-microbial properties that are essential especially when eating raw foods.

12. Is Sushi supposed to be eaten with chopsticks or by hand?
As part of the sushi etiquette, sushi was supposed to be eaten by hands, so you could flip the sushi over especially when dipping it into the soy sauce and eat it in one bite with the fish hitting your tongue first. This can be a little bit tricky to complete with chopsticks. But, as the popularity of the dish began to rise worldwide, sushi fans are now beginning to accept that it can also be eaten with chopsticks.

13. Can pregnant women eat Sushi?
One of the most important things to consider when youre pregnant is the food that you can and cannot eat during this period. This made the soon-to-be mothers be concerned about eating sushi since they might endanger their unborn child. Though it is dangerous for the mother and child to eat raw sushi, you are not forbidden to enjoy your favourite sushi dish altogether. The safest way to eat sushi while you are pregnant is to be sure that the fish has been frozen or cured first as this will kill off the parasites. To ensure that youre only taking in healthy and safe food, it better to order vegetarian or vegan sushi instead.

14. What are the differences between Japanese and American Sushi?

American vs traditional Japanese sushi
The differences are stretched from the way it was made to the ingredients used and right through to the way it was served and eaten. In Japan, you can never really find a restaurant that is called a sushi joint. This is because sushi is traditionally eaten at a bar where the sushi chef is far more interactive and even suggests ingredients that are in season. There is also less variety on offer at Japanese sushi bars. Americans, on the other hand, eat sushi far more often. Also, the average Japanese restaurant in the US serves not only sushi but also cooked noodles and various other dishes, whereas Japanese sushi bars only serve sushi and rarely serve up anything else.

15. Which is the most frequently ordered Sushi in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?
The rise in popularity of sushi amongst UAE residents has been staggering. Though there are many sushi dishes that are earning the love of the diners across the country, foodies will always have their own favourite choice. At Sushi Counter, the most frequently ordered dish online by the customers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai is the salmon sushi. The reason for its popularity amongst the food lovers of the UAE is its simplicity, texture, rich taste and freshness. A piece of cured salmon is laid atop flavoured rice creating a perfectly balanced and authentically tasting piece of sushi. It is no wonder that this dish is the most ordered sushi by online customers, not only at Sushi Counter but all over the country.

16. Are Sushi burgers available in Japanese restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

Sushi burgers seem to be taking the popularity of sushi to a whole new level as they offer a sushi variety of a much-loved street food. The burger has been transformed and has become far more of a healthy food choice when it is made using the ideas behind sushi. The fresh ingredients are sandwiched between two patties made using sushi rice. Some of the best sushi burgers available in Dubai and Abu Dhabi today are available at Sushi Counter who have an amazing range of flavourful sushi burgers. One of these is the famous salmon sushi burger which is made using fresh salmon, lettuce, Hijiki salad, tempura crisps, guacamole, creamy spicy sauce, mix sesame seeds and Cheetos crackers.

17. Do Japanese restaurants offer Sushi catering in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?
The need for Japanese restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to be able to cater to different events and occasions is increasing. There are still only a few restaurants who offer a full catering service when it comes to sushi in the UAE. One of the best companies for sushi catering in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is Sushi Counter. We offer a wide range of platters and catering options to choose from and should be your first choice when it comes to sushi catering in the country.

18. Can I call for Sushi delivery in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?
There was a time not too long ago when the simple answer to this question would have been no. One major factor that was considered why it was almost impossible for sushi delivery in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, or in any arid cities was the freshness of the sushi. However, there has been a boom in the sushi delivery even in humid countries like the UAE due to the advancement in technology. Japanese restaurants and food chains can now deliver to your offices and homes. Sushi delivery in Dubai and Abu Dhabi has taken off and is now one of the more preferred ways to enjoy the dish. So, if you want to enjoy a healthy and delightful sushi meal but do not feel like dining out, then you can just call your favourite sushi joint like Sushi Counter and try out the best sushi in the UAE delivered right to your door. We also deliver your sushi platter for parties, events and business meetings, so whatever reason you may have, Sushi Counter has it covered.

Now that you know the answers to these questions about sushi, there is not much left to do but to explore it for yourself. So, if you decide to give it a try, you can choose Sushi Counter for quality, authentic and reasonably-priced sushi. Whether you order your sushi online or you decide to dine in one of our restaurants, you can be sure that you’ll be served only the best sushi. Order sushi online or come down to one of Sushi Counter joints today and have a taste of the best Sushi in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

11 October, 2021

Top Tools and Ingredients You Need to Make Your Own Sushi at Home

Sushi at Home: Top Tools and Ingredients You Need

So you finally tried sushi and you fell in love with the unique taste of Japan. Now you want to try and make your own, on your kitchen table in Dubai, dreaming about chopping the thin layers of meat with your personal samurai blade? Well, many brave warriors have tried and many brave warriors have failed. But we are here to give you some tips that might actually bring you closer to victory.

The first step is acquiring the right materials. Sushi making is an exquisite art that requires not only thorough skills but also the perfect raw materials and the right kitchen equipment. And last but not least, you need a separate, specific area in your kitchen, and designated knives to handle the food that will be prepared and eaten raw.

As you can notice, sushi making is more than just a one-time experience, trying a new dish. It requires particular preparation and special requirements in order to be the real experience, not to mention that a sushi master is not born, but made. If you really want to become a real sushi chef, you will have to practice until you reach perfection. And it wont be a smooth path.

master kit for the sushi master

Hangiri – First things first: you need a bowl to mix and prepare the sushi rice. Regular bowls may work, but if you really want to prepare good sushi, you will need a hangiri bowl. Made of wood, this round, flat bottomed barrel is perfect to prepare the rice because it helps with the absorption of moisture, giving rice the sticky texture needed in order to make the perfect rolls.

Rolling Sushi

Bamboo paddles, spreader and mats, Bamboo is the best ally of a sushi master. Used in the preparation of various foods, the makisu (bamboo and cotton mat) is a must-have if you want to successfully prepare your own sushi. This specific item is perfect to make the most delicious makizushi rolls. Though the paddles and spreaders can be just regular cutlery, we strongly recommend using the bamboo ones, because they help, just like the hangiri, with the absorption of moisture, leaving the rice sticky and dry.


This specific kind of edible seaweed is used in sushi making either on the inside (if you want to try some California rolls) or on the outside, and it helps keeping the ingredients together. This is a key ingredient in Japanese dishes such as sushi, and its very important to make the right choice because its the glue that keeps the ingredients in sushi from falling apart. Nevertheless, this seaweed is one of the best plant-based sources of vitamin B12, which turns it into a real scroll of health and wellbeing where you will get the chance of writing your own story of sushi making!

Rice vinegar – This is both an ingredient and a tool when it comes to preparing sushi. Its a basic component of the sushi master kit that you cant miss out when preparing the delicious bites. This magic liquid is the key to go as close as possible to the authentic taste of Japanese cuisine. It is, definitely, an irreplaceable ingredient, and dont even think about using regular vinegar, or the spirits of the fallen samurai will haunt your taste buds!

Sushi rice

Not just an ingredient, the sushi rice is a vital ingredient of the sushi master kit just like the band-aid is part of the first aid kit. The rice used to prepare this Japanese deliciousness is not just any regular rice. This type of rice has particular qualities that optimise the processes of rolling and sticking so that your rolls will be tight and tidy, and will keep together all the ingredients in a delicious rice wrap. The best choice is white rice because the starch is good natural glue. Also, the most suitable type of rice is the shirt-grained which is, normally, labelled as sushi rice. Another thing to keep in mind regarding the sushi rice is the way to cook it. If the traditional way to cook rice is with a proportion of 2 cups of water for one cup of rice, for sushi the best ratio is 1:1.

Sushi and Chopsticks

Chopsticks are useful and entertaining whim. It may not be a must-have element of the sushi making kit, and you may never get to use them if you end up preparing a sushi failure, but these stylish accessories are a perfect way to get an authentic sushi experience. And then again, after going through all the trouble of making the perfect rolls and balancing all the ingredients like a pro, learning how to use chopsticks will turn out to be a piece of cake. Also, if you end up deciding youll never master this skill, you can use them to put up your hair in a fancy way.

Also check our blog on how to use chopsticks properly and all you need to know about sushi etiquette.

Sushi mold

Another handy accessory is this simple tool which can help you designing specific kinds of sushi. If the round is not your shape of choice, you can try making some sushi in the Osaka style, by using a Oshizushi Mold. Literally translated to dressed sushi, this box is a great tool that will help you design very eye-catching sushi bites that will look so good you would barely want to eat them! This is one of the oldest versions of sushi making, and the method originates in the ancient way of preserving fish, packed in tight boxes, together with fermented rice. These sushi mold boxes are traditionally made of wood, cypress or cedar, in order to help with the moisture. Modern versions made of plastic may also be available, but its not what we may recommend.

Sushi boat – So you have finally managed to make your own home-made sushi, and now you want to invite your friends and show off. The best way to do it is by placing the tasty bites in a sushi boat which will definitely impress your company from the first moments. And then again, a nice, good presentation for the sushi might even make your friends appreciate the taste more. But dont count on the visual parts to make up for a poorly made plate. Dont count on the dish to make up for the fish. The most important thing is still the taste. So if you dont think your sushi skills are ready to be on display, just order some takeaways, and leave the home-made version for some other time. Preferably when you get some more nori experience.

These basic components are the most valuable weapons of a sushi master kit and you definitely must have them when starting to think about cooking your own sushi dishes. If all these requirements didnt yet make you run screaming away from the kitchen and break the order button of the most popular takeaways, we will, patiently, guide you through the rest of the list.

Must-have ingredients that will help you take your first steps in sushi making:


for a dashi dashing flavour. This dried seaweed can help you by giving your sushi a unique flavour. Just place it on the bottom of your hangiri while you soak and prepare the rice.


This is another mandatory ingredient for an authentic sushi experience. Many beginners dont take it into account, but a real sushi master will never start the journey without sake. It goes perfectly with Kombu and it gives a delicate, discrete flavour to the rice which will charm the taste.


There is no doubt that this ingredient is 100% necessary. Swiped onto the layer of sushi rice, or dipped in the soy sauce, this spice will definitely help you prepare a dish with personality! Just remember that the hot sensation of wasabi is not easily washed out by drinking liquids since it is felt more in the nasal area and less on the tongue. Too much of it might leave you with a runny nose but its a small price to pay for trying delicious authentic sushi.

Soy sauce

Its one of the most elemental ingredients of Asian cuisine. You simply cannot prepare a sushi meal without having small, flavoured dish or soy sauce for dipping. And even if your first attempts of sushi will be catastrophic, dipping them in the soy sauce will always make the taste better.

Sushi grade fish

Okay, lets cut to the chase. Its the meat youre interested in, right? Be aware that for a successful and edible sushi roll, the type of grade fish you chose is essential. This is a very sensitive topic, since there are no specific regulations regarding what is exactly sushi grade, and choosing some random sushi grade fish from the supermarket, or even Japanese local store may not guarantee that the raw fish meat is safe to eat. This is the most delicate part of the process of making sushi at home and you must research your sushi grade meat supplier in a very thorough manner, in order to make sure you will not risk anything by eating the raw meat. And if you are not sure about where to find the right type of grade fish that is 100% safe to consume, maybe the wisest choice would be to order your favourite meaty rolls from takeaways. You can always stick to preparing the veggie version of sushi which is 100% safe and doesnt pose any threat to your health. The worst that can happen when eating them is have a bad experience which will wash away some good sushi takeaways.

Sushi Ginger

Lets go back to the harmless flavours now. This aromatic spice is a great way of cleansing your taste buds when trying various sushi rolls. Sushi ginger, or Gari, is actually pickled ginger. This is made in a very simple way just slice the ginger in very thin layers and then pickle it in a solution of vinegar and sugar.

Cream cheese

Depending on what kind of sushi roll you want to make, the cream cheese can help you make a creamy sauce that will mix the ingredients in a soft delicious texture. It can also help reduce the spiciness, for those who dont enjoy the hot sensation of wasabi.


Vegetables are compulsory components that give a fresh feeling to the rolls. One of the most popular vegetables is cucumber. Other options can be carrots or lettuce, which are the perfect ingredients for the veggie sushi recipes.


This creamy, rich-tasting fruit can be added in the sushi roll and will ensure a soft texture which will melt in your mouth. No wonder most of UAEs favourite sushi rolls have added this incredible and healthy avocado.

Of course, once you manage to master the art of sushi making, you can experiment with the recipes and ingredients. Try all the various techniques such as uramaki, hosomaki, futomaki, or the most advanced ones like temaki or katsuramuki. You can play with textures using sesame seeds, rice crackers or tobiko, and mix different spices and flavours. But dont be too adventurous from the beginning.

Learning how to make a good roll takes time and practice.


make your own or take away?

Sushi Platter

These are the basic tools and ingredients that you need in order to start developing your Japanese cooking skills. Keep in mind that becoming a sushi master is a long-term investment. It will not work for the first time. You will have to practice and be patient. But once you master it, you will have the best reward you could ask for: eating a home-made sushi roll. The path to learning how to make your own sushi dish is a great way to fully experience the Japanese culture. Being patient, learning step by step without trying to hurry the process, and enjoy every moment and its unique flavour.

Also, if you feel like turning Japanese cooking techniques into a hobby, you can find a lot of literature which will help you get started in the craft of sushi making, and improve yourself little by little. For beginners, you can look for books with great visual content which will help you to successfully take your first steps!

But being a pro in Japanese cooking techniques is not something everyone can do. Maybe some of us are just not good in the kitchen; maybe some dont have the patience or we dont find cooking relaxing. Maybe for some of us, spending a lot of time in the process, to have in the end some poorly made rolls, that will never taste as good as the ones from the takeaway restaurants, is devastating.

If you really want to give the sushi making art a try, you can plan, with your friends, a sushi workshop, where you can
hire one of Sushi Counters chefs to perform for you and your friends on display. The best way to learn is by example and this way you can see the correct process of making the perfect roll, step by step. You can follow it up with a do-it-yourself session where you and your friends can turn sushi making in a fun activity, and enjoy an entertaining evening together. And dont worry about the results, Rome was not built in a day! The first step is to have fun while trying to make one!

If you only want to enjoy the tasty sushi rolls, without all the long-term commitment, you can just leave the sushi kit aside, pick up your phone, and order some takeaways from Sushi Counter. You can find here many consolation prizes that will take your mind away from the failed battle you had in the kitchen. Some delicious bites of sushi will definitely make you feel better and maybe give you the courage to try it again some other time.

Whether you are on the move or want to have a great social dinner at the restaurant, you can always come down for a good sushi meal with no fuss and no mess. Order online for some takeaways and let the optimism of flavoured sushi fill you with the courage of trying another step towards becoming a sushi master!

11 July, 2021