If there’s one type of food that we’re always in the mood for, it’s sushi! This traditional Japanese dish is a favorite across the globe. It’s one of the rare foods that easily crosses borders and cultures.
But are you one of those rare souls who hasn’t tried sushi before? If so, you’re in for a treat — no pun intended!
If you’re a bit confused about what sushi to try, this guide will teach you about sushi for beginners.
Let’s first start with how to eat sushi:
A Plate of Sushi
When you get a plate of sushi you will get sliced rolls of your choice of sushi. Many high-end restaurants will give you the option to choose two to three different sushi rolls on one plate. You will also get chopsticks to eat sushi with, though the traditional method is to eat with your hands.
You will also get wasabi and soy sauce as sides. The wasabi is a spicy horseradish that adds to the flavor of the sushi. You can also dip the sushi in the soy sauce for extra flavor. You might also enjoy the flavors of eel sauce and Japanese mayonnaise.
If you order several types of sushi, you might find a few strains of pickled ginger. This helps to wash your palate so you can differentiate the flavors.
When choosing sushi, you want to know what your tastes are beforehand. Most sushi contains raw fish. Most people can handle raw fish, but if you cannot then you want to make sure it’s cooked. Most sushi comes with white rice as a standard. You can ask to substitute this for brown rice if you find this preferable.
Some sushi will also come with fried fritters that coat the sushi. These give it a crunchy texture and improve the flavor. However, if you prefer something lighter make sure to tell the chef to exclude the fritters.
Now let’s look at the best sushi rolls for beginners.
1. California Roll
This is the standard sushi roll for anyone who isn’t always adventurous with their food choices. Many people find sushi to be exotic and worry about if they’ll like the taste.
This sushi has white rice as the outer wrapping with seaweed as the inside wrapping. Inside it’s stuffed with Capelin, crab, and avocado.
This has a mild flavor that most people will enjoy. If you find the taste to be dry you want to make sure you use the sides. You might enjoy the California Roll with Japanese mayonnaise and soy sauce.
2. Tuna Roll
This is another great sushi roll if you want to stick to something simple. This has the standard seaweed outer wrap. The inside is white rice and with tuna in the center.
These can get eaten as is, however, if you want a bit more flavor you’ve got to try it with wasabi and Japanese mayonnaise. This is also a lighter sushi roll, so it works well as an appetizer before you choose your main course.
3. Nigiri Sushi
This is a different type of sushi that many prefer over rolls. If you’re in the mood for something more adventurous then you want to try Nigiri. This is a slice of fish placed over a rectangular slice of white rice.
The fish will usually be sweet shrimp, octopus, or maguro. The Nigiri will have a coat of vinegar to give it a kick. While this is an acquired taste, it’s something that many beginners to sushi should try. It’s best to eat these as is or to pour a light dab of soy sauce before eating.
4. Cucumber Roll
If you are a vegetarian or prefer something light, you can’t go wrong with a Cucumber Roll. This has a seaweed wrapping with white rice and thinly-sliced cucumber on the inside.
These rolls don’t have the richest flavor so you want to make sure you use a sauce. It’s best to pour soy sauce over the rolls before trying them. If you aren’t a vegetarian, you want to dip these rolls in eel sauce.
As these are lighter sushi, they also work well as an appetizer before your main course. Once you become a sushi aficionado, you might want to introduce sushi to your friends. If they aren’t adventurous, give them a Cucumber Roll first to acclimate them to the taste. Then you can introduce them to other types of sushi.
5. Battera Sushi
This is another unique type of sushi. It is in the shape of a cube with white rice as the base. The top is layered with mackerel fish. This gets garnished with a bit of vinegar.
This type of sushi is delicious and you’ll seldom find anyone who doesn’t like it. You can enjoy Battera sushi as is or with a light dab of soy sauce. This sushi is also one of the more filling types so it works great as an entree.
6. JB Roll
This is another classic sushi roll loved by first-timers! If you try a JB Roll you’ll surely want to try other types of sushi as well. It has a seaweed outer wrapping and a white rice inner wrapping. It has raw pink salmon and white cream cheese as the filling.
The JB Roll is quite filling so you want to consider how many you order. For an appetizer, having four rolls is sufficient. If you want them as your entree, you’ll make do with eight to 10 rolls.
These can be eaten as is but are best with both eel sauce and Japanese mayonnaise. Often, if you order a variety of sushi plates a JB Roll is the starter course before moving onto more adventurous rolls.
Enjoy Sushi For Beginners
Now that you know the best sushi for beginners, you can give them a try! If you fall in love with sushi, make sure you try as many different flavors as possible.
You want to also enjoy sushi with a glass of Sake or Japanese Beer to make the entire experience more memorable!
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