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What if we told you that the sushi you order in America probably isn’t even real sushi?
If you ever watch “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, the ultimate documentary about the greatest sushi chef in the world, you’ll notice the absence of the kind of rolls that seem commonplace here in the United States. In reality, America has taken an ancient art form and “super-sized” it to sell to the masses, completely altering the original facets of authentic sushi.
Here are five reasons why if you are a true sushi lover, you’ll never order rolls again.
1. You aren’t actually eating sushi.
Real Japanese sushi, in it’s original form, consists of only four components: cooked rice, rice vinegar, seaweed, and either fresh raw fish or vegetables. A sushi master’s skills are measured by the quality of ingredients he chooses and how well he blends them together.
American rolls, like a California, Philadelphia or “dragon” roll, are not real sushi. They are complex and tasty for other reasons, but real sushi is surprisingly simple and elegant. Don’t be fooled into thinking that what most American restaurants offer on their menu is the real deal.
2. You aren’t tasting real sushi.
Deep-fried tempura roll with spicy mayo sauce and cream cheese? As delicious as those rolls may sound, it completely ruins what sushi is actually suppose to taste like. With real sushi, you are tasting the quality of the vinegared rice, the freshness of the fish or vegetable, the seaweed it’s rolled with and even the soy sauce and wasabi. Nothing more, nothing less.
3. You’re eating old fish.
“Fancy” sushi rolls are perfect for getting rid of the least desirable pieces of fish. Lovers of spicy tuna might not know that the roll exists solely to get rid of older tuna — that spicy mayo sauce is perfect for hiding that fishy taste. Sushi chefs typically save the freshest and best cuts of fish for people who sit at the bar, order omakase, nigiri or straight up sashimi, and will actually appreciate their craft.
4. It’s unhealthy.
From what was originally just a piece of raw fish, rice and seaweed is now a deep-fried, spicy mayonnaise-bleeding monstrosity packed with hundreds of calories. Sushi, as it was meant to be made, should contain fewer ingredients than you have fingers on one hand, among which are vegetables and raw fish that contains omega-3 fatty acids.
5. The sushi you order probably isn’t made by a real sushi chef.
It takes around 10 years to become a real sushi chef, and one doesn’t spend a decade of training to deep fry an Americanized roll and drizzle mayonnaise on it. It’s possible that the person who made your roll is most likely the least skilled person in the restaurant. If you want real sushi from a real sushi master, you would order nigiri or simple rolls like tekkamaki (tuna roll), assuming you know what to look for.