Sushi Q&A

I get so many questions about sushi that I thought it would be handy to create a Q&A as a reference. Please contact me if you have any more questions!
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: how to, Q&A, sushi
Author: Fiona Uyema

Notes

What’s the difference between sushi and sashimi?
Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish served without rice. Sushi includes various types of sushi rolls that use sushi rice, seaweed and different ingredients used inside the roll. There are also types of sushi that don’t use seaweed, such as nigiri.
Is it true that sushi is raw fish?
Both cooked and raw fish can be used to make sushi. Furthermore, you can make sushi without using fish and instead use ingredients such as meat, fruit or vegetables.
Where can I source raw fish suitable for sashimi or sushi making?
Go to a reliable fishmonger and ask for ‘sashimi-grade’ fish or tell the fishmonger that you want fish that can be eaten raw. Sashimi-grade fish is essentially fish that is fresh enough to be eaten raw, so it’s super fresh.
How can I tell if fish is fresh?
Really fresh fish should smell of the sea and not fishy or unpleasant; the eyes of the fish should be clear not cloudy; the skin of the fish should be firm and shiny; if you lift the gills and look under them they should be bright red. Whole fish will always stay fresher for longer. If you don’t fancy cleaning and filleting the fish at home, ask your fishmonger to do it for you.
What is sushi rice: ‘sushi meshi’?
Sushi rice is Japanese cooked rice seasoned with sushi vinegar. Sushi rice was traditionally made to preserve the rice and is now used to make all types of sushi. 
What’s all the fuss about sushi?
I think people have a certain respect and appreciation for sushi due to the fact that it takes ten years to become a sushi chef, with the first few years dedicated to learning how to wash and cook the rice. People are also fascinated by how beautiful it looks and tastes.
What do I need to make sushi at home?
A sushi mat, Japanese white rice (you cannot make sushi with other types of rice), sushi seasoning, roasted nori seaweed sheets, a water bowl and a damp cloth.
What is nori?
Nori is a type of seaweed that is made into dry roasted seaweed sheets to make sushi rolls. It’s also sold milled and this is used to sprinkle on dishes just before serving. When you open a pack of nori sheets they should be dry and crispy. Once nori is exposed to air it will become damp and soft so it’s important to store it in an airtight container.
What should I serve with sushi?
Pickled ginger called ‘gari’, wasabi and soy sauce (be careful not to overpower the fresh flavours of the sushi with too much soy sauce and/or wasabi).
What’s the difference between ‘sushi’ and ‘zushi’?
There is no difference except that the word ‘sushi’ changes to ‘zushi’ when added to certain words. It still means the same thing.
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