Sushi Counter Logo
Our branch in Riyadh is now open for online orders.
Where should we deliver your order?
(Your selection can be changed via a link at the bottom of the page.)

A Beginner’s Guide to Sushi

on 06th Dec, 2016
Sushi has become a huge trend throughout the world. With origins in Asia, this deceptively simple dish comes with a wide variety of selections. To the beginner, a quick glance at a sushi menu can be overwhelming. Seaweed on the outside, rice on the outside, not to mention all of the different types of ingredients contained within. And some of those ingredients are raw fish?! If you’re new to this burgeoning trend, here is a guide to help you navigate new territory, and possibly find a new food love.

The Rice

Rice is the biggest ingredient of sushi, but it’s not just any old rice. Sushi rice is its own unique rice. It is a short grain white rice mixed with salt, sugar and rice vinegar. When cooked, this blend becomes sticky, allowing it to be formed as needed, allowing the chef to make their dishes.

Don’t Use Chopsticks

You’re probably used to eating your food with utensils. And if you’ve mastered the chopsticks for other Asian foods, that’s great. But you don’t eat sushi with chopsticks unless you’re eating sashimi. It might seem barbaric at first, but sushi is actually meant to be eaten with your hands.

The Condiments

There are three condiments that are usually served with sushi: soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger. Soy sauce is meant to add a little flavour, like a dipping sauce, but there is a proper way to dip your sushi. Don’t dunk it rice side down. This can be detrimental in two ways. One, it can cause the roll to fall apart in your fingers, creating a bit of a mess. And two, the rice will soak up the soy sauce and overwhelm your palate, ruining any chance of enjoying the delicate flavours of the ingredients placed within the roll.

Wasabi is a small condiment with a big bite and one that could easily blow out your taste buds if not used properly. It doesn’t have to be put on everything you eat, although if you like particularly spicy things, that’s up to you. It especially doesn’t need to be added to Nigiri, which has already been seasoned. Or, if you’re eating sashimi, thinly sliced fish without rice, wasabi can be added to your soy sauce.

Pickled ginger serves its own purpose and is not meant to be eaten with your sushi. Instead, it is meant to be eaten between bites. In this manner, it acts as a palate cleanser, allowing you to fully savour each morsel.

Types of Sushi

Sushi isn’t just one style; it’s actually many. Maki is one of the most well-known types of sushi. It is a seaweed wrapper, known as nori, filled with rice and other ingredients, such as fish and vegetables. It is rolled with a sushi mat, allowing it to be pressed together in a neat and uniform roll. California rolls are also quite popular and are rolled the opposite of Maki, with the rice on the outside.

Other types of sushi include Temaki (a nori “cone” filled with rice and other ingredients), Nigiri (a hand-formed block of rice topped usually with a piece of raw fish), Chirashi (a kind of deconstructed sushi where ingredients are placed atop rice in a bowl) and sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish served on its own and not technically sushi). On menus like the one at Sushi Counter, you will even find summer rolls (wrapped in rice paper), tartares and the newest fad in sushi: the sushi burrito.

Ask the Chef

If you’re not quite sure where to start, begin with ingredients that you’re familiar with. This will ensure that you enjoy your first experience with sushi. Start with cooked items, especially if you’re wary about going raw. And if fish is a big step for you, start with more mild options – such as tuna, snapper or halibut – before you move onto squid or eel. However, if you and you’re feeling a bit on the adventurous side, and are open to trying just about anything, why not try a popular sushi dining option known as “omakase,” which essentially translates to “chef’s choice.” This means that the chef will serve you anything he thinks is good until you say you’re done.

Sushi has become a popular Japanese cuisine that has spread throughout the world, but just because you missed its initial jump to fame doesn’t mean you can’t still get in on it. And if you are in the United Arab Emirates, or find yourself there, come dine-in at Sushi Counter or order sushi online in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from one of our locations. We are sure to have you hooked on to our handrolls, and many of the other sushi options, in no time.
 

A Beginner’s Guide to Sushi

Sushi has become a huge trend throughout the world. With origins in Asia, this deceptively simple dish comes with a wide variety of selections. To the beginner, a quick glance at a sushi menu can be overwhelming. Seaweed on the outside, rice on the outside, not to mention all of...