Updated: November 16, 2016
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Essential Ingredients In Making Sushi

Talking about Japan, you cannot forget sushi. It's the trademark for Japan! Many people tried to make sushi at home, but it just doesn't taste the same as the one in Japan.. But why? Find out the answer here!

1. Japanese Rice

There might be some people who have tried making sushi with other types of rice such as Jasmin rice or Thai rice, but obviously the taste and the texture will be different.

The speciality of Japanese rice when used in making sushi is because it has a short and translucent grain which made them sticky when cooked, so it holds the sushi fillings well and also because it is originally scentless, it tastes good inside the mouth. Yum!

Japanese generally has 2 kinds of rice, and the one used in making sushi is uruchimai (粳米).

2. Vinegar

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Vinegar is commonly used in Japan to give mild acidity to a dish. It gave the refreshing and sweet taste when you eat the sushi rice in Japan. It is also used for balancing the 'fishy' taste of sea products that you eat in sushi. Without this, it won't taste the same!

There are a lot of types of vinegar. The one mainly used by the Japanese when making sushi is rice-made vinegar.

3. Japanese Nori

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You might know it as 'Laver'.
Nori is the Japanese name for edible red seaweed species that has a paper like shape (the harvested seaweed is chopped and mixed in water, and scooped to put inside a square wooden frame evenly before dried, which is why it comes out like paper), used for holding all the rice and the sushi stuffing together in one place.

When used, it should be very dry or else it will not hold the rice well and our beloved sushi will explode into a mess!

The best part? It tasted like the sea (who doesn't love sea?)
and includes almost all the mineral elements used effectively in our body.

Nori also contains more vitamins in nori compared to all kinds of fruits and veggies! How awesome is that?

4. Wasabi

Wasabi (Japanese horseradish) is a hot Japanese spice root and is very important in making sushi. Fresh wasabi root is grated with a metal oroshigane before served.

Many sushi makers in Japan place the wasabi between the fish and rice, and wasabi used in each piece of sushi is about the size of pea. The main reason of placing wasabi under the fish is to retain its original taste until served, so all the customers will get the best taste of the sushi!

Many people who never ate wasabi might be shocked by the 'astringent' taste (I am a living example of this) but after you know how delicious wasabi is when eaten with sushi, you cannot go back! It suits all kind of fish very well!

For people outside Japan it might be hard to obtain fresh wasabi, but worry not, the paste type wasabi or powder type is also widely sold and generally has longer shelf life, so be sure to use it whenever you make sushi!

5. Gari (a.k.a Pickled Ginger)

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Gari is thinly sliced ginger that is usually colored red or pink when pickled.
It is served as a side of sushi, to cleanse the palate after eating sushi. Refreshing!
An International student having the adventure of her life in Tokyo, Japan.

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