Nowadays is are no longer an exotic food and American people can easily find it in local restaurants and supermarkets. Sashimi still remains a bit unusual for ordinary people, however, this dish gains popularity with a growing speed. Sushi and sashimi are often confused as the same dishes but it is far from true.
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The difference between sushi and sashimi lies in the way they are cooked. Sushi is mainly a dish made of rice with vinegar, including seafood, egg, vegetables, and in the modern cuisine also other products: From barbecue chicken to beef. ‘Sushi’ means ‘vinegar rice’, and not ‘raw fish’. Despite the fact that the raw fish is widely used in making sushi, some items are broiled, boiled, sautéed, marinated or blanched (Types of Sushi and Sashimi, n.d.).
Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy which consists of raw sea-products sliced into thin pieces and served with a dipping sauce and a garnish. A good sashimi is made of a sushi grade fish which means that the fist must be the freshest; it also means that this fish will be very expensive. Sushi grade fish looks glossy and translucent without any smell except for a slight aroma of sea salt. Sashimi fish should always be salt water, and never fresh water fish (Types of Sushi and Sashimi, n.d.).
Types of sushi include: Chirashizushi (a bowl with sushi rice and various sashimi and garnishes), Inarizushi (fried tofu (mashed soybeans curd) with sushi rice only), Makizushi (a cylindrical piece of bamboo wrapped into nori (seaweed), sometimes into a thin omelette, cucumber, soy paper). Makizushi is divided into Hosomaki (tuna. Carrots, cucumber wrapped in nori), Futomaki (two or three fillings (fish roe, tuna, whitefish flakes, omelette) or often vegetarian version of cucumber, gourd, lotus root or bamboo shoots), Temaki (cone-shaped piece with nori outside which is eaten with fingers at once after being served in order not to lose its crispness), Uramaki (nori is inside and rice – outside, with roe and sesame, also can be crab meat, tuna, avocado, cucumber, carrots and mayonnaise). Other types of sushi include Narezushi (gutted and skinned fish is stuffed with salt, located into a wooden barrel, stuffed with salt again, and weighed down with a pickling stone; after six month this sushi can be eaten; the most well-known type is Funazushi, made of crucian carp), Nigirizushi (sushi rice with some wasabi (like a horseradish) and topping (salmon, tuna, other seafood) over it bound to the rice by nori; special types are Gunkanmaki (oval sushi rice clump with nori that forms a vessel filled with roe, oysters, corn, sea urchin, and quail eggs) and Temarizushi (ball-shaped rice and fish with any possible toppings, good for beginners)), and Oshizushi (Osaka specialty, block-shaped rice with mackerel) (Zschock, 2005).
The most common sashimi types are made of salmon, squid, shrimp, tuna, mackerel, horse mackerel, octopus, fatty tuna, yellowtail, pufferfish Takifugu, scallop, sea urchin, and whale meat. The less common types can include Tataki (sashimi is lightly and quickly seared on the outside, while the inside remains raw; horse and beef sashimi, vegetarian yuba (curd skin of bean), chicken sashimi (sometimes braised a little on the outside), blue foot chicken sashimi), and Basashi, or Namasu, (raw horse meat).
It is very important to remember about safety when ordering sashimi in the restaurant as raw meat can be a cause of a lot of serious deceases. No fresh water fish can be used as it usually contains a lot of parasites which do not survive in the salt water (What Color Is Your Tuna?, 2004).
Traditional sushi and sashimi ingredients such as rice, nori and raw fish are low in fat and rich in protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals. The vegetables used in certain sushi types have also very nutrient for the organism. Many of the ingredients of seafood contain useful omega-3 fatty acids that benefit human’s life greatly.
Unlike sushi, sashimi is practically always served with chopsticks. Some types of sushi are eaten with fingers, despite even formal settings. Sushi are sometimes served in a bento (a special box with many small compartments with different dishes), while sashimi only on a platter with a dish for dipping. Soy sauce is a traditional condiment which should be used only on the top of sushi and not on the rice which can absorb too much of it and fall apart. That is why it is good to turn the sushi upside-down, however, as it is usually difficult to do with the chopsticks, sliced ginger can be used to put some sauce on sushi (Zschock, 2005).