If you're looking for excellent dishes to eat, then you might want to try out sushi! This Japanese dish is something, known for its bite-sized deliciousness. It comes in different varieties and ingredients, where you mix it up and make its flavors explode without overdoing it. It isn't just a dish, but art and skill that can take years to form. But the first thing to think about is: What does sushi taste like? What makes sushi such a high-quality dish in the first place?
Read on as I show you what you need to know about sushi and what it should taste like.
What Does Sushi Taste Like?
Everyone knows what sushi is- made with rice and fish, either rolled or with fish topped with rice. Sometimes, it can be fish alone. Either way, it's a very healthy treat when you get the highest quality of sushi.
Like mentioned, there are different types of flavors found in sushi. But the one thing you should know is that sushi does NOT have the overpowering flavor. But neither is it bland. It has the balanced flavors mixed with its ingredients. Chefs who expertise in sushi add various ingredients not as a filler, but to balance out its taste for combining saltiness, sweetness, and the pure savoriness you want in sushi.
Maki are rolled up with dried seaweed (or can be inside out), which tastes crunchy as it contains seaweed and vegetables. But there is still a balance of chewiness and crisp flavors.
Nigiri is another favorite type of sushi, with a right amount of sushi rice topped with fish with wasabi in between. This sushi tastes very creamy from the soft rice and with the right amount of melt-to-your-mouth goodness. It has a fresh and natural flavor, as the fish is raw. The nigiri also has a bit of spice and tanginess from the wasabi between it.
Sashimi, or fish alone, should have a very creamy texture, slowly melting into your mouth without a foul smell or taste. It has a very fresh taste as if it were just freshly caught from the sea.
Its taste all boils down to the quality of ingredients used. Rice is one of the important factors. It should have the right texture, which is slightly warm and falls apart in your mouth.
The fish used would be a bit cool and with the RIGHT cut. Quality fish, may it be an eel, tuna, or salmon, should be creamy and have balanced flavors- Not too fishy, but a fresh taste.
How to Properly Eat Sushi?
Now that you know what sushi tastes like, how can you eat it the proper way? Here are the steps to the right way to eat nigiri or maki:
- Pick up the sushi with your hands and not your chopsticks to avoid ruining its form. You get sashimi and ginger with chopsticks, but not these two types of sushi.
- Tilt the sushi to only get a tiny amount of soy sauce, without it touching the rice. If you want more wasabi, only add a little bit on top of the sushi. (Similar to maki rolls)
- Place the sushi face down in your mouth to get the full flavor. Eat the WHOLE sushi piece and don't leave it. Follow it with ginger as a palette cleanser. Make sure to eat it all up and praise the chef!
- If you are in a legitimate Japanese restaurant, then it's best not to tip the chef. To further honor and thank him for the quality dishes, treat him to a glass of sake as a celebration.
How to Tell If It's Quality Sushi
There are restaurants or convenience stores that sell cheap sushi, for those on a budget and want a quick sushi fix (which is a bit unfortunate, as it's better to save up for a gastronomic experience!). In case you do come across bad sushi, how can you tell the difference?
Here is what you need to know about bad versus high-quality sushi:
- Balance : Like mentioned, sushi must have the perfect balance of fish and rice. If there is too much rice, it's too creamy. If there is too much fish, it will end up feeling and taste too cloying.
- Smell: Sushi should not smell too fishy. Yes, even if it IS for sushi. Sushi restaurants should smell similar to cucumber or watermelon!
- Portion: Sushi isn't about stuffing your face with it. It should be light and bite-sized. For rolls so fat and crammed, they focus more on the quantity than quality. An all-you-can-eat sushi place is a no-go as well, as they may have used low-quality ingredients.
- Ingredients: If the rice is moldy or you see bruises around the fish, then it's spoiled and inedible. Good sushi should taste and look fresh, made with very crisp seaweed and everything made out of high quality. Yes, even the wasabi and other ingredients should be one of the finest to complete its flavor!
High-quality sushi shouldn't crumble when held. It must have the right temperature, vinegar, and other factors that make the rice correctly pressured without it being too hot or cold. Tuna should be pink and look well-marbled, or at least bright red and firm. It should taste CLEAN.
Are you wondering about how sushi tastes like and become an expert in what's delicious and what's not? Then you'll need to make sure that you properly eat sushi and learn its true flavors based on the type and ingredients added to it.
I hope that this article helps you become more knowledgeable about the art of sushi and what it tastes like. Now that we answered your question: "What does sushi taste like?" you can eat all the sushi you want and identify its flavors with ease.
If you have any questions or would like to share some tips about eating sushi, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.