Sushi has become increasingly popular here in America over the past years. It’s far more popular on the coasts where it’s more readily available. Living in Alaska the past few years I’ve had the luck to try some truly great sushi.
Sushi referes to cold vinegar rice accompanied with vegetables, fish, ect. The most important component of sushi is the rice. Most people wouldn’t think that’s the case, but it is. Chefs who specialize in sushi spend years and years perfecting the seasoning for the rice. When getting hired on at Michelin sushi restaurants in japan the employees spend 3 years washing rice so they perfect it. The rice is washed many times before being cooked to make it sticky. Rice for sushi should not be packed tightly. It should be just right enough to pick up and eat. Sashimi is a good example. Sashimi is a football shaped ball of rice topped with thin sliced fish. The rice is almost always packed too tight.
A lot of people think sushi must have raw fish, but this is not the case. A good portion of sushi doesn’t include fish or the fish is cooked. I find that people who don’t like sushi think it’s mostly raw fish. Product with sushi must be of great quality. If it’s to be eaten raw especially the fish/vegetables must be fresh and look good.
When going out to eat sushi in japan for the most part you can count on not seeing soy sauce or wasabi. If it is there it’s most likely for tourists. The sushi chef in Japan takes such pride in his work that he knows the piece of sushi he’s giving you tastes perfect as is. A lot of sushi chefs in Japan would take it as almost an insult to tamper with the sushi by adding soy sauce or wasabi.