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sushi picSushi & Sashimi cont.

Sushi restaurants take care to choose fish in season since freshness is essential to flavor and texture. Various factors, such as sea current, and spawning times determine when fish may best be caught and when they have a flavorsome oil content. Various kinds of tuna, bream, and mackerel are available year round. The winter months are best for savoring hon-maguro (a tuna that many consider the finest fatty-bellied yellowtail), sawara mackerel, and tiny whitebait (shirauo) which are brought to the table still leaping. From April through June, try Japan's king of saltwater fish, sea bream (tai), as well as karei flounder, its great rival in popularity.
Firm, distinctive bonito (katsuo) sashimi is fresh as a spring day, and "dancing" shrimp (ebi odori) take us into the first hot days of the year. High summer is marked by dishes featuring the king of fresh water fish, carp (koi), as well as by perch (aodai) and anago or hamo (sea eel.) And who could possibly mourn the passing year considering that as autumn comes, mackerel, various bream and clams become available, and that when the winter cold sets in, oysters, and hirame (flounder) are yours to feast upon. If you want the fish which is in season, just say "Shun no sakana o kudasai."
Rice balls also require expertise, and it is even said that all of the some 300 grains of rice should line up in the same direction if the chef properly nurses them in his palm. The rice, both plain and boiled, is a little harder and "chewier" than normal rice since it is tossed in a shallow wooden tub with vinegar and, after being cooked in less water than normal, cooled in thin layers.
Sushi is such a different experience that frankly, even if you have eaten a certain fish cooked (like tunafish), you will find the sushi version (maguro or toro) totally new and delicious. If you use sushi argot, you can easily gain the chef's appreciation and the type of service fit for a gourmet.
Sushi Slang
Literal Meaning
Japanese
Chopsticks
Otemoto
By one's fingertips
Hashi
Horseradish
Namida
Tears
Wasabi
Salt
Nami no hana
Flower of the waves
Shio
Soy sauce
Murasaki
Purple
Shoyu
Tea
Agari
The end
Ocha
Vinegared ginger
Gari
Foraged
Sushoga
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