Sashimi is one of the most popular and important dish in the Japanese cuisine. And if you are going to be traveling to Japan, you will see this on the menu a lot. If you are a sushi lover and plan on going to a sushi restaurant during your trip to Japan then you will most likely see many things on the menu or see things going around on the conveyer belt that you’ve never seen before. So if you’re curious about what you’re eating or want to know what type of fish it is before eating it then you’ve come to the right place to learn more about it!
So let’s start with the basics for those who are new to sashimi and sushi.
What is it?:
Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish which is often served at a Japanese cuisine restaurant, izakaya or sushi restaurant. The difference between sashimi and sushi is that sushi includes vinegar rice. Sashimi is dipped into soy sauce alone or soy sauce mixed with wasabi. Ground ginger may also be added into the soy sauce.
Types of Sashimi;
Sake (Salmon); Sake which is also commonly known as salmon in the Western culture is one of the most popular sashimi types in Japan as well as amongst foreigners. The orange meat of the salmon is very tender and goes really well with wasabi and soy sauce
Maguro (Tuna): Another very popular type of sashimi is maguro. There are a bunch of different parts of the maguro that are eaten and taste different depending on the part of the fish that is eaten. The most common part is the akami. Then there is the toro part which is also devided into two different grades. There is the chutoro (medium grade) and the otoro (premium grade). They are divided into the two different toro grades depending on the fat content.
Tai (Sea Bream): In the Japanese cuisine, tai is one of the most popular white fleshed fish that is both delicious cooked and raw. It has a mild subtle flavor unlike some of the other raw fish which may be a good one to try out if you are new to trying raw fish.
Katsuo (Bonito): Katsuo no tataki is probably the most well known way of eating the katsuo sashimi. Katsuo no tataki is basically the katsuo loin that is sliced and soaked in a light but delicious sauce garnished with garlic. Katsuo is often eaten in Japan as flakes in which it is dried and then made into flakes after a series of different processes.
The above are some of the main sashimi that you will see. Apart from fish there are often a bunch of other seafoods that are served raw as well. Some of these other seafoods include:
Ika (squid): This is a very common seafood and is often served along side with the above raw fish. It is very white and translucent and has a very chewy/firm texture. As it is pretty firm be careful that you chew the squid a lot before swallowing.
Tako (octopus): The tentacles of the octopus are thinly sliced into bite size and served alongside with a little plate of soy sauce and wasabi. This, like the squid, also has a firm and chewy texture so make sure to chew properly before swallowing.
Ebi (Shrimp): Japanese people love shrimp and will eat in in various kinds of ways. But it is also very popularly eaten raw. It is very sweet and has a subtle flavor so even very young children enjoy eating shrimp raw.
Hotate (scallop): Hotate is a shellfish is popularly eaten both cooked and raw. it has a sweet and kind of creamy taste and is very soft when biting into. Hotate is often used chopped up and mixed in with mayonnaise which is then served as sushi or a seafood salad.
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