The history of sushi began in Asia 27 centuries ago. Sushi has achieved permanence and immense popularity in America in the last decade, becoming the new food trend. In recent years, the popularity of sushi is on the rise in our country. What exactly is this dish with raw fish that makes many people use chopsticks and learn about the Japanese tradition? From New York to Athens sushi is fashionable. Japanese restaurants have been constantly rising in value on the competitive market of institutional catering. Some extremely high priced restaurants make Japanese cuisine seem like a cuisine only for the elite. However, the affordability of sushi stands and take aways and the beneficial health properties of the ingredients used have attracted the interest of the general public.
What exactly is sushi?
Sushi is not just raw fish; it is the combination of rice and fish, seafood or vegetables. Tuna, smoked salmon, octopus, eel, crab or shrimp are the choices that one has when deciding to experience Japanese cuisine. Sushi is always freshly prepared. Sushi can be prepared as nigiri or maki. Nigiri is a strip of fish fillet or seafood served on rice. You can eat it using special sticks known as chopsticks or by hand. The maki, or maki-roll, consists of a strip of fish fillet, seafood or vegetables wrapped in rice and seaweed (nori). The maki is made to be eaten with the hands. The seaweed keeps the rice from sticking to your hands. The fish is always fresh and has to be consumed within a day. They are thrown out if they aren’t refrigerated within four hours. These rules are very important and have to be properly observed.από τέσσερις ώρες. Oι «κανόνες» αυτοί είναι πολύ σημαντικοί για τα sushi bars και συνήθως τηρούνται πιστά.
Oily fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel, eel): Rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, such as zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. Japanese rice: High starch content and vitamins B. Nori (seaweed): Source of potassium, magnesium, folic acid and iodine. Wasabi (mustard): Rich in vitamin C. Vinegar: It has antibacterial properties. Ginger (pickled): Combats nausea and digestive problems.
THE HEALTHY INGREDIENTS
Sushi uses simple, healthy seafood ingredients, rice and vegetables, served to satisfy even the most demanding palates. It is an ideal food, not only for those who count calories, but also for those who follow special diets. If you try to keep your blood pressure low, increase the energy of your body or just fit into your favorite jeans, you have to grab the traditional Japanese chopsticks! The Japanese have specialized in a wide range of dishes, with rice as the main component, for over 2000 years. Some of the most famous dishes are: rice balls, sushi, tempura, noodle, sashimi and yakitori. All these foods are low in cholesterol, fat and calories and high in fiber. Even the most fattening categories of fish used in sushi (tuna, salmon and eel) have less than 200 calories per serving. The shrimp and octopus is even lower in fat, about 100 calories per serving. The most important, however, is that even the calories from the “fattening” fish have useful nutrients. Dominant is not only the protein, B vitamins and minerals but also selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Another advantage is how the sushi is served. The portions are relatively small by Greek standards and consist of small bite-pieces that help eating slowly.
Omega-3 fatty acids
It is known for its various beneficial properties:
- Prevent the formation of plaque in blood vessels and contribute to maintaining a healthy heart and high metabolism.
- They help fight diseases such as arthritis.
- Relieve psoriasis.
- They help to lower blood pressure.
- Sushi provides health and a long life. Due to the balanced and rich in nutrients diet of the Japanese, the index of life average is particularly high. (In 2002 the average life expectancy for men was 78years and women 85) The cardiovascular events and bone disorder are not frequent for the Japanese, while the low cholesterol levels indicate good health.
INSTRUCTIONS for beginners
Try Sake while eating your dish. Sake is an alcoholic beverage, made of boiled rice, often accompanying sushi. Do not be scared by the thought of raw fish: Remember that it is lightly cooked. Do not try quail eggs and sea urchins! As a beginner try tuna or salmon. Other options are: cooked or raw shrimp (ebi), shell (hotate), eel (anago), the squid (ika) and octopus (tako). Take little wasabi with your chopsticks and gently rub it on the sushi. Then dip it in the soy sauce.
TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU EAT
Maki-roll: thinly sliced fish fillet, seafood or vegetables wrapped in rice and seaweed.
Nigiri: thinly sliced fish fillet or sea, served over rice.
Sashimi: thinly sliced fish fillet or sea.
Chirashi: rice with a variety of vegetables and sashimi.
Wasabi: Japanese type of green mustard and extremely spicy.
Ginger: Sweet and simultaneously spicy pickled, pink slices, served with a wasabi. It refreshes the taste between different flavors of sushi.
Nori: dark green dry seaweed.
MYRTO ANTONOPOULOU http://www.vita.gr/html/ent/166/ent.6166.asp