The menu at a sushi restaurant can be very confusing and sometimes may seem a little uninviting. If you feel like it’s written in a secret language and everyone has the code to decipher it except you, we’re here to help.
Sushi vs Sashimi- Wait, sushi doesn’t just refer to the entire cuisine? Nope, sushi is actually a piece of raw fish of your choice served over rice and sashimi is that fish sans rice. Usually two pieces come in one order.
Roll vs Hand Roll- Even the newest of newbies know what a roll is. Think spicy tuna or california. A hand roll is made with the same ingredients, except instead of the standard six piece seaweed wrapped bite sized pieces; the fish is wrapped in a cone shape. This makes for a bit messier eating but the ratio of fish to rice is much greater.
Questions like “what the hell is wasabi tobiko?” probably make skeptics hesitant to stray from their trusted cucumber roll (FYI: that’s not sushi). The names of some of the Japanese ingredients most commonly found on a sushi menu sound more intense than they actually are. Let’s clear things up:
Ikura- Salmon roe
Kani- Cooked crab
Tamago- Japanese omelet
Tobiko- Flying-fish roe
Toro- Fatty tuna
Uni- Sea urchin
As a newbie, your first sushi experience probably won’t consist of uni with quail eggs (although it’s highly recommended). So where to start? As a self proclaimed sushi flipper, my advice is to begin with the basics and work your way through the menu. Start with more plain rolls like california, tempura, or spicy shrimp. When you’re ready to go raw, spicy rolls like spicy tuna, salmon or yellowtail are easiest to begin with. These open the door to an array of advanced sushi and soon you’ll be addicted.
Now that the menu is readable, the mysterious ingredients have been defined, and the process has been outlined, there is no longer an excuse to deprive yourself of the glorious delicious cuisine that is sushi.
Ready to start your own adventure? We’ve got the hook up. Check out if one of these places is near you: