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Sushi 101: How Japanese and American Sushi Differ in Preparation

Sushi is a delicacy enjoyed all over the world, particularly in Japan and the United States. While sushi bars all over the world may offer various sushi dishes, there is a huge difference between the Japanese and American preparation styles. This post will discuss how Japanese sushi is prepared, how it differs from American sushi, and the significance of the difference.

Sushi dishes are made with raw fish and rice, and the most important factor of sushi is the rice used. The rice must hold together when it is rolled into a sushi roll, which is why it is made in a special way. Making the perfect sushi rice requires skill, precision, and patience, and it is the essential ingredient in sushi preparation.

Japanese Sushi Preparation 

In Japan, sushi preparation is considered an art form. The process focuses on clean and simple techniques to enhance the natural flavor of the fish and other ingredients, which are often locally sourced. The sushi chef will start by selecting raw fish that is fresh and high-quality. The fish must be free of parasites, disease, or odor, and the meat's texture must be firm and smooth. The sushi chef will then use a sharp knife to cut the fish into perfect slices.

Next, the sushi rice is prepared. The rice is cooked in a particular way, using a specific ratio of vinegar, salt, and sugar to create a sweet and sour taste. The sushi chef will then form the sushi rice into small hand-sized mounds using a unique technique. The sushi is then topped with fresh fish slices, and the rolls are typically served with soy sauce and/or wasabi paste.

American Sushi Preparation

American sushi preparation, on the other hand, has evolved over the years and is now more of a fusion of different flavors and ingredients. The sushi rolls tend to have different sizes and shapes and can be topped with various seafood and vegetables, sauces, and flavors. The idea is to create sushi that has a more significant impact on the flavor senses.

The rice used with American sushi is usually shorter-grained and stickier than the rice used in Japan. The rice is mixed with vinegar and other seasonings, including sugar and salt, to create a more significant flavor. The fish used in the US typically leans towards being cooked or cured rather than raw, which makes the sushi rolls more distinct from traditional Japanese rolls.

There are prominent differences between the sushi preparation techniques in Japan and the United States. Japanese sushi preparation tends to focus on simple, clean flavors, which enhance the natural flavor of the fish. In contrast, the American sushi preparation style leans towards exciting, creative flavors, with a stronger focus on cooked seafood. Both techniques are appealing to the senses, and the sushi lover is sure to prefer one style over the other.

Contact a Japanese sushi restaurant near you to learn more.