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