Let's do sushi

In Southeast Asia, fish has been pickled with rice as early as the 5th century BC.  The two Chinese characters used to write the word sushi first appeared in Japan at the beginning of the 8th century AD.

Know your sushi

Akami: lean tuna

Futo maki: large-rolled sushi

Nori: thin sheets of dark seaweed

Tako: octopus

Unagi: eel

Wasabi: green, hot Japanese horseradish

Oishinbo, a la carte. Fish, sushi and sashimi
story by Tetsu Kariya, art by Akira Hanasaki ; [translation, Tetsuichiro Miyaki ; touch-up & lettering, Kelle Han].
San Francisco, Calif. : Viz Media, 2009.
R to L (Japanese Style).Fish, Sushi and SashimiYamaoka and his father, Kaibara Y zan, have never enjoyed an ideal father-son relationship. In fact, it's about as far from ideal as possible, and when they start arguing about food--which they inevitably do--the sparks really fly. In this volume ofOishinbothe subject of dispute is fish, starting with the question of whether mackerel can ever be truly good sashimi. Later, things come to a head during the "Salmon Battle," which pits father against son in an epic contest to develop the best dish before a panel of judges. Will Yamaoka finally defeat Kaibara? Or will he once again be left in his father's shadow?
Sushi : food for the eye, the body & the soul
by Ole G. Mouritsen ; graphic design and photography Jonas Drotner Mouritsen ; water colurs, Tove Nyberg ; translation and adaptation to English, Mariela Johansen .
New York : Springer, 2009.
Based on his own experience as an amateur chef, the author offers inspiring insights into how one can easily create an enjoyable, harmonious meal, choose and prepare raw ingredients, and how to arrange and present the various dishes.
Sushi : the beginner's guide
Aya Imatani ; photography by Moshe Cohen.
New York : Imagine Publishing, c2009.
Anyone can go from sushi novice to sushi samurai¿slicing, filleting, and making rolls like a master! Never before have the techniques of this most popular Asian cuisine been as attractively presented, as easy to follow, and as temptingly photographed as this beginner¿s guide. With the help of an unbelievable number of close-up photos, expert Aya Imatani virtually takes would-be chefs by the hand, leading them through every delectable step of the process. She discusses all the tools, foods, and paraphernalia; lays out the methods for making vinegars and sauces; and demonstrates how to make sashimi creations so special they aren¿t even found in many sushi bars. The menu of sushi recipes is expansive, encompassing hosomaki, saimaki, and all-vegetarian varieties. You will even learn all the right Japanese names for each dish. And everything seems wonderfully doable. The big finish: Aya¿s specials, the kind of dishes you¿ll never find in sushi bars¿such as Sushi Cake (Chicken & Cashew Nut Teriyaki) and Temarizushi (made of tuna, salmon, and avocado)¿but that a Japanese mother or grandmother would make for her own family.
The sushi lover's cookbook : easy-to-prepare sushi for every occasion
Yumi Umemura with Tom Baker ; photography by Noburu Murata ; food styling by Masami Kaneko.
North Clarendon, Vt. : Tuttle Pub., c2009.
"The Sushi Lover's Cookbook" is a fabulous new book where traditional favorite sushi recipes are joined by exciting and unusual recipes featuring an international flair. People who are fanatic about their sushi will find much to love in this book, with its great selection of traditional recipes and its foray into new, atypical sushi ingredients. Japanese cooking expert Yumi Umemura leads you through 85 innovative recipes combining sushi rice"-"the key to authentic sushi"-"with ingredients that range from time-honored favorites like fried tofu pouches and boiled shrimp to more recently popular ingredients such as avocados and smoked salmon. Sushi has truly become part of the worldwide cuisine, so "The Sushi Lover's Cookbook" also introduces recipes with a different bent, incorporating the diverse tastes of Thai fish sauce, French ratatouille and more. In short, "The Sushi Lover's Book" is a guide to new sushi with traditional roots.

A simple definition of sushi is "vinegared rice with a filling or topping of raw, cooked, or marinated fish, shellfish, vegetables, or egg." The word sushi actually means "preserved fish" and "fish fermented in rice and salt."

Sushi is great for your health. It is low in calories. The seven basic ingredients found in sushi are: fish, seafood, rice, ginger, rice vinegar, soy sauce, nori, and wasabi.

Each ingredient has benefits: 

  • Oily fish, such as mackeral, are high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Ginger is an effective natural antiseptic
  • Vinegar aids digestion and reduces high blood pressure
  • Soy sauce is high in protein, magnesium, potassium, and iron
  • Nori contains protein, minerals- especially iodine, and is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and niacin
  • Wasabi is rich in vitamen C, has powerful antibacterial properties, is mildly antiseptic, and aids digestion

There are several different types of sushi. Nigiri zushi, or the hand-formed sushi, is most often found at sushi bars. To make it, simply form a small handful of rice, that is already mixed with water and rice vinegar. A bit of wasabi paste is pressed on top of the rice. And, finally, the topping of your choice is placed on top.

Plate of sushi

Rolled sushi, commonly known as maki, is another type of sushi. It is the perfect party food or dinner party appetizer. It consists of rice and fish, or vegetables, all rolled into cylinder with nori seaweed around it.

Preparing sushi does not have to be time-consuming or complicated. Instead, you can have fun with its preparation. Find an illustrated sushi cookbook.  Start with its basic sushi rice recipe. Then add your own touches.

Discover the myriad of sushi. Make an opportunity to entertain your friends and family with a taste of Japan.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff