Whether you’re enjoying an evening with friends, grabbing lunch with a client or coworker, or simply looking to broaden your horizons, a sushi restaurant provides a great atmosphere for tasty cuisine, laughter, and new memories. Sushi, which was introduced to the United States in the 1950s, has become a basic part of popular culture. But despite the availability and popularity of sushi restaurants, many Americans are still confused by the idea of eating raw fish. With all the different types of fish and unrecognizable names on the menu, it’s natural to feel lost when you begin navigating the sushi waters for the first time. For those newbies out there, we’ve put together a list of five go-to sushi rolls for you to try.
The fundamental base of most sushi is rice. A short-grain variation of rice is used and dressed with a special seasoning called awase-zu, which is a combination of salt, rice vinegar, and sugar. The rice blend, known as shari, is sticky in consistency, making it easy to transform into nigari or maki rolls. If preferred, you can request to have your sushi assembled with brown rice.
Sushi for Beginners
If you’re making your first voyage to a sushi restaurant, you may want to consider inviting a friend who is used to eating sushi or asking to eat at the bar, so you can get recommendations directly from the sushi chef. Restaurant personnel are always happy to walk you through the unchartered territory and of course, make suggestions based on your individual preferences.
Once you’ve tried these beginner rolls and you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can request an omakase, which in Japanese translates to ‘I’ll leave it up to you.’ If you decide to go this route, you’re giving the chef free reign to serve a variety of diverse foods and flavors – all at his discretion. This option is definitely for someone who likes to take risks and is open to tasting a wide spectrum of cuisines. If this doesn’t sound like it’s for you, don’t sweat, we’ve listed five rolls that are perfect for beginners.
Cucumber Roll: This refreshing roll is a painless place to start for rookies as it contains no fish or raw ingredients. Ideal for vegetarians, the cucumber roll is packed with a crunchy, mouth-watering flavor that will satisfy even the pickiest palates. The roll is made using pieces of sweet cucumber rolled in rice and fastened with nori, an edible seaweed. If you’re not a fan of seaweed, you can request a substitute wrapping called mamenori, a thin soybean paper.
California Roll: Probably the most popular and well-known option on the sushi menu, the California roll is a flavorful treat that gets many beginners permanently hooked on sushi. The roll is crafted from cucumber, avocado, and crab, and is a great place to start if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge with raw fish.
Baja Roll: Everything always tastes just a little bit better when it’s fried. This roll is made with cucumber, avocado, fried soft shell crab, and garnished with cilantro. Additionally, it’s wrapped in soy bean paper.
Spicy Tuna Roll: If you’re someone who enjoys a spicy kick with your meals, then the spicy tuna roll is right up your alley. Tuna is the perfect transition into trying raw fish, and with the pinch of spice and added scallions, you’ll be craving this roll long after you leave the restaurant. Tip: Try ordering this roll with ‘crunch’ for some extra texture and taste.
Rainbow Roll: Of all the rolls listed, this one certainly has the widest array of elements inside. Not only does it have a delightfully colorful look, but it offers a savory fusion of different textures and flavors. It is made using different fish, like salmon, tuna, and yellowtail.
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