Over the past 10 years our appetite for Japanese food has been on the rise; one of the key growth areas is sushi. There has been an increase in consumption of 24% of sushi in the UK and the market is now worth £68M. For years restaurants have been serving up top quality fresh nutritious sushi and now homemade sushi and shop bought sushi is becoming a British staple. Supermarkets are selling exciting wide sushi assortments some of which are made fresh on the premises.
Sushi is vinegared rice topped with other ingredients, originally made with fermented fish preserved in salt; in Japan it has been part of their culture for 1,000 years. In more modern times contemporary sushi is made with fresh ingredients, usually fish or vegetables.
Sushi means “it’s sour” due to the preservation using salt. It’s usually a simple item with rice and one topping and it’s served with soy sauce and wasabi and was developed as a healthy style of fast food. Around the world different styles have developed like the American “California Rolls” which have additional ingredients and are shaped for easy bite size eating.
Along with wasabi and soy sauce, which can be added to pieces of sushi depending on taste, pickled ginger is often served as a palate cleanser between pieces of sushi rather than eaten with the sushi.
Nigiri sushi is an oblong mound of rice pressed in the palm of the hand with a little wasabi on top with a single topping of vegetable of fish. To eat you should turn it upside down dabbing the fish in soy sauce before popping in your mouth (this way stops the rice from breaking apart).
Maki rolls are cylindrical pieces of vinegared rice with other ingredients wrapped in nori (seaweed sheets). They are made from rolling the ingredients using a bamboo mat.
Temaki is a cone shaped piece of sushi with the ingredients wrapped in nori and this makes a great change from a sandwich for a quick lunch!
Popular fish used in sushi include squid, eel, tuna, salmon and crab, obviously if the fish is to be eaten raw in must be really fresh. Vegetables added to sushi include cucumber, avocado and spring onion. Omelette is also a popular addition. Sushi rice needs to be sticky; short grain rice is usually used.
Sushi is a very healthy snack and the fish provides a source of Omega 3. It’s often low in calories and has no added fat and the rice is a great source of slow release energy. It’s also great as it has delicious vegetarian and vegan possibilities.
Making sushi at home can be fun and impressive to guests. Along with bamboo sheets to shape the sushi you will need short grain rice, seaweed sheets, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger and toppings of your choice.
If you are lucky enough to visit a supermarket with its own in-store sushi bar make sure you try some of the fabulous products, otherwise check out the pre-packaged range usually located near the sandwiches, or if you are brave enough why not get creative and make some yourself!
Team Manager Customer Service – Little Waitrose, Amersham
Don’t forget you can pick up copies of the hiya bucks magazines in the following stores: Amersham, Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, Hazlemere and High Wycombe