Fish inspectors are quite concerned with onething—parasite destruction. Indeed, the ParasiteDestruction Guarantee (PDG) not only wouldbe a great band name, but it’s the one regulationthat discourages your intestines rom becominga breeding ground or worms.Te PDG is accomplished by the reezing andstoring o seaood at -20°C, or colder, or at leastseven days, or by reezing at less than -35°C or 15hours and storing at less than -20°C or 24 hours.Tese guidelines are sucient to kill almostall nasty parasites. So yes, now when you hearsomeone ask “Is the sushi resh today?”, you’llunderstand it’s not exactly the most sophisticatedquestion. But tuna species are generally exemptrom this rule because they live so ar out in theopen ocean that their diet doesn’t include near-shore, and thereore parasite-ridden, prey.
Akami, toro, chutoro and otoro—these are all cutsrom the sacred tuna, usually the bluen (maguro)or yellown (ahi) variety, and are the mostrecognisable sushi to beginners. Te akami cut isa good place to start, as it’s lean muscle with very little at, and has a clean, easy taste. I you ordermaguro without speciying anything else, youwill likely get akami. oro cuts are slightly atty muscle sections taken rom towards the belly.Te “chu” and “o” prexes denote ever-risingat content, where the otoro is only taken romthe most at-inused belly section o the sh andhas a consistency akin to “tuna butter”. Work up to otoro, but once you do, your wallet mighthate you, as this is one o the most expensivetypes o raw sh.Fascinatingly enough, this is a newphenomenon, and shows a biting glimpse intohow customs and perceptions can change the way a ood is marketed. Up until the 1950s at sukiji,the world’s largest and most impossibly complexseaood market in okyo, toro, chutoro, andotoro were reviled. In act, the name neko-matagiwas used, or “sh that even cats disdain”. Clearly,toro has come a long way, and I, or one, am very happy about that.
hama (wa, smmsambjak):
I simply love hamachi, it has aclean, slightly smoky taste and rich mouth eel.It reminds me o a good, smooth Scotch, in act.Sometimes, i you get the right cut it can becompared to a good chu- or otoro. I also highly recommend it as sashimi.
When you order sake romthe sushi che you will get a nice, slightly curedpiece o heaven with a rich, complex avour andtangible at eel. Ask your waiter or the samething, and you’ll get plum wine.) Salmon, sinceits physiology allows it to live in both resh andsalt water, is capable o harboring some resh-water nasties that can inect a human easierthan the salt-water bugs. Hence, almost allsushi salmon is cured—but in such an elegantway that it’s hard to tell it’s been treated.
Amab (s sm):
Ebi, the cookedshrimp, is an easy thing or beginners to try,and is quite good, but scarcely diferent romthe shrimp you’re used to seeing. Amaebi,however, is the raw, translucent stuf—a truly
the SuShi experience By Dr JonZifferBlAtt
So now that you’re an expert, how do you bestenjoy sushi? First o all, there’s a reason it’scalled a “sushi bar.” Te best place to enjoy sushi is sitting at the counter. Tis lets you seethe good stuf up close. Even more important,it puts you right in there with the sushi che (itamae-san). Get to know this guy. Make himyour best riend. A good itamae-san is worthhis weight in gold (or bluen). Te best way to get things started is to ask, “What’s goodtoday?” or, “Anything really special today?”Good sushi ches are intimately involved inselecting their products every day, and willbe able to guide you to the best in their sushiarsenal. It’s always nice to go with some o the itamae-san’s recommendations, but youshould eel ree to ask or your avourites aswell. For ordering non-sushi items like drinks,soups, etc. make sure to ask the waitress. Tesushi che is there to create a memorable sushiexperience or those who can appreciate it;he doesn’t want to deal with your riend whowants the sesame chicken. (In act, why notleave him at home next time?)
SeAl-ing the DeAl
So how do you eat it once you get it? First,don’t be a soy cowboy. Just a little soy saucein the dipping dish—enough to cover thebottom—is ne. Most people start of using artoo much, which masks the diferent avourso the sh and soaks the rice. Speaking o which, dip that sushi into the soy sh-sidedown. Wasabi? Tat’s up to you, but keep inmind that most sushi ches already put inwhat they eel to be the appropriate amount.(ranslation: little i any need be added.)Using chopsticks to eat sushi is never wrong,but don’t be araid to use your hands. Eatingsushi with your hands is a true delight. Itbetter engages the senses, and is perectly acceptable at even the nest o establishments.Sashimi eaters, however, please use chopsticks.What role or the roll? Perhaps no issueat the sushi bar is more divisive than thequestion o modern sushi rolls. Simple roll-(maki) and hand-roll- (temaki) style sushi haslong been part o the sushi tradition, but thebulging echnicolor kitchen-sink creations o many o today’s sushi restaurants are a recent(and Western) phenomenon.Don’t get me wrong—your
melierand I have certainly enjoyed many aCaterpillar, Rainbow or Harp Seal Roll overthe years (and these are indeed starting tomake their way to the Far East), but suchitems are perhaps better enjoyed in the boozy settings o a larger group, rather than ona gourmet evening at a top sushi bar. Tatsaid, i you’re at the sushi bar and looking orsomething a little diferent, try asking yoursushi che to make you “something special”.Tey almost always come through withsomething tasty. (And it lets you keep yourdignity. ry doing that while orderinga Speedy Gonzales Roll.)
Resistance is futile, but go easy on the soy sauce.