Sushi

Utensils for preparing sushi

* Fukin: Kitchen cloth.
* Hangiri: Rice barrel.
* Hocho: Kitchen knives.
* Makisu: Bamboo rolling mat.
* Ryoribashi: Cooking chopsticks.
* Shamoji: Wooden rice paddle.
* Makiyakinabe: Rectangular omelet pan.

Nutritional Information about Sushi

Sushi is very nutritious due to the fact that it is naturally low in fat (with the exception of some roes and western style rolls), high in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.[5] Specifically:

* Fats: Most fish and seafood are naturally low in fat, and what fat is found in them is generally unsaturated fat rich in Omega-3. The fact that they are served raw also means that no extra fat is used in their preparation.

* Proteins: Fish, tofu, seafood, egg, and many other sushi fillings contain high levels of protein.

* Vitamins and Minerals: These are found in many of the vegetables used for sushi. For example, the gari and nori used to make sushi are both rich in nutrients. Other vegetables wrapped within the sushi also offer various degrees of nutritional value.

* Carbohydrates: These are found in the rice and the vegetables.

On the other hand, some fish, such as Tuna carry high levels of Mercury and can be hazardous when consumed in large quantities.

Etiquette

Unusually for Japanese food, sushi can be eaten either by hand or by chopsticks. Traditionally, one should start with white-fleshed or milder-tasting items and proceed into darker, stronger-flavored varieties later. Only the fish (not the rice) should be dipped into soy sauce, which should be used sparingly. In top-end sushi restaurants, it is considered bad form to request or add extra wasabi, as the chef has (or should have) already placed a suitable amount in each morsel.

Many sushi restaurants offer fixed-price sets, selected by the chef from the catch of the day. These are often graded as ume (梅, ume), take (竹, bamboo) and matsu (松, pine), with ume the cheapest and matsu the most expensive.

In Japan, staff in sushi restaurants often employ a complex code-like vocabulary, where alternate words are substituted for common items. For example, egg is called gyoku ("jewel"), soy sauce is called murasaki ("purple") and the bill is known as o-aiso ("courtesy", "compliment"). The code words vary from place to place and often evolve locally to incorporate puns: for example, shako (giant clam) might be called garēji (garage), because the Japanese word shako can also refer to a vehicle depot. These terms would not be used, or even understood, in other contexts, but regular patrons may pick up and use this specialized terminology themselves while dining in the restaurant.

Presentation

In Japan, and increasingly abroad, conveyor belt sushi/sushi train (kaiten zushi) restaurants are a popular, cheap way of eating sushi. At these restaurants, the sushi is served on color-coded plates, each color denoting the cost of that piece of sushi. The plates are placed on a conveyor belt or boats floating in a moat. The belt or boat passes the sushi by the customers who can pick and choose what they want. After finishing, the bill is tallied by counting how many plates of each color have been taken. Some kaiten sushi restaurants in Japan operate on a fixed price system, with each plate, consisting usually of two pieces of sushi, generally costing ¥100.

More traditionally, sushi is served on minimalist Japanese-style, geometric, wood or lacquer plates which are mono- or duo-tone in color, in keeping with the aesthetic qualities of this cuisine. Many small sushi restaurants actually use no plates — the sushi is eaten directly off of the wooden counter, usually with one's hands.

Modern fusion presentation, particularly in the United States, has given sushi a European sensibility, taking Japanese minimalism and garnishing it with Western gestures such as the colorful arrangement of edible ingredients, the use of differently flavored sauces, and the mixing of foreign flavors, highly suggestive of French cuisine, deviating somewhat from the more traditional, austere style of Japanese sushi.