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Japanese Culture





Dress & Style



Sushi - 寿司

Somehow sushi has become misunderstood as being raw fish. Did you know that there are 4 main types of sushi? Only a couple of which are associated with raw fish or "sashimi". "Sushi" is actually any dish made with sushi rice which is rice that has been seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt. The 4 main types of sushi are...

Nigiri or Nigirizushi - 握り寿司
Nigirizushi Nigirizushi is the sushi most commonly associated with raw fish. There are many different types of Nigirizushi - tamago (egg - cooked), ika (squid - raw), unagi (eel - cooked), maguro (tuna - raw), tako (octopus - cooked), etc. Most Nigirizushi have a smear of wasabi just under the meat. This adds to the taste and also helps kill any bacteria that might be in the meat. Adding grated daikon to the soy sauce also helps kill any bacteria. Be sure to do this whenever you eat Nigirizushi that has raw fish or squid.

Maki or Makizushi - 巻き寿司
Makizushi Makizushi is typically wrapped in seaweed and can contain many different types of ingredients. In the US, these are often referred to as "California rolls" (which is actually a makizushi made with cucumber, crab meat (or imitation crab), and avocado. Makizushi generally don't contain raw fish but are sometimes made with raw fish eggs. Makizushi is usually dipped in soy sauce before being eaten.

Inari or Inarizushi - 稲荷寿司
Inarizushi Inarizushi is simply sushi rice that has been stuffed into a fried tofu "sack" which has been soaked in soy sauce and mirin (a non-alcoholic rice wine often used in Japanese cooking). It is very sweet and typically the easiest type of sushi for foreigners to eat. It has nothing to do with raw fish and really shouldn't be dipped in soy sauce as it has enough flavor on its own.

Chirashi or Chirashizushi - 散らし寿司
Chirashizushi Chirashizushi is kind of like a "sushi salad" and can contain a number of different ingredients including, but not always, sashimi (raw fish). It is also very sweet but can be difficult for foreigners to eat because of the strong flavor.

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