In America sushi has become a food that many people enjoy and love. That said, its easy to just go to a place that flaunts “fresh ingredients”, “large rolls” and other great boasts that have nothing to do with traditional sushi. If you do not know how to properly eat or tell if your sushi is made right, you can easily be taken advantage of.
COOKED RICE IN VINEGAR
Sushi is simply “cooked vinegar rice.” If someone gives you sushi and the rice has not been cooked with an even amount of rice vinegar, its a rice dish but its not sushi in Japanese standards. Many times if your at a buffet or a Chinese restaurant in Georgia, they will hide this fact. It will be done by flaunting how fresh their ingredients are instead of how fresh the rice is. If you take a bite of sushi either Nigiri or Rolled, you ought to have a taste of rice vinegar in every bite. If the rice itself is tasteless, as far as Japaense standards are concerned, it cannot be considered sushi rice. For this cause, if I am alone and I go to a sushi spot, I will order 1 Nigiri sushi (maybe shrimp or something simple) first. After the first bite, I decide if I will stay or not by judging the flavor, temperature and toughness of the rice.
Sushi rice should not be hard or cold.
Fresh sushi will consist of warm rice and is soft an breaks apart easily. If you are at a buffet and the sushi is dead cold, do not eat that stuff – its a sure way of getting yourself parasites. “Oh I thought it would be fresher?” people say. Sushi is made of rice that is fresh or hot/warm. If the rice itself is cold, that means either it has been out for too long or they are using yesterday’s rice. Either way, it’s not worth paying for. If the outside of the sushi is hard, that rice is a day old and shouldn’t be eaten.
Sushi should NEVER be chewy.
Real authentic Nigiri style sushi will be pressed in a way that the rice should easily break apart in your mouth when bit down upon. Its hard to judge this from a roll since it is usually filled with a TON of massive ingredients which is why its always good to get a nigiri first to judge how the sushi chef will take care of you on the rest.
All of that said, when ranking sushi – these are the 3 main things I look at. AFTERWARDS, we can talk about the ingredients and the freshness of whatever. I find that if the chef cannot take care of the rice, I will definitely not trust him with raw ingredients.