Sushi is big business all across the world. Following the end of the Second World War, what was originally a Japanese street food began popping up in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and elsewhere. In the United States, the cultural melting pot that it is, sushi has gained a strong foothold. According to statistics from IBIS World, there are more than 4,000 sushi restaurants in the States, pulling in approximately $2 billion in annual revenue.
As with anything else that’s popular, low-end restaurants have been trying to get rich off the name of sushi for years. Unfortunately, this means many Americans who would otherwise love the flavors of fresh seafood and well-prepared rice have an uninformed, negative opinion about one of the world’s top cuisines. That being said, the U.S. is home to many of the world’s fine sushi restaurants. You just have to know how to find them.
Three Characteristics of Good Sushi Restaurants
- Good Sushi Restaurants Hire Great Chefs
- The Best Sushi Restaurants Care About the Rice
- They Teach You Proper Sushi Etiquette
As Restauranteers.com so smartly suggests, good sushi restaurants earn their reputation because of their chefs. In Japan, to be considered a master sushi chef takes at least 10 years of training. Usually, however, it takes much longer. Take the famed Jiro Ono, for example: his Sukibiyashi Ono in Tokyo is widely considered to be the best sushi restaurant in the world. Jiro spent 10 years simply learning how to make rice properly, and he continues to approach his career as if he is a beginner. All good sushi restaurants need chefs with that kind of dedication to their art.
Too many people assume that sushi is about the fish. However, as They Call Me an Egg, a long running Japanese culture blog, writes, rice, specifically rice that has been cured in a sugar and vinegar mixture, is the defining feature of sushi. That’s why you’ll find sushi that features eggs, vegetables, and even beef, without seafood ever making an appearance. Subsequently, a good sushi restaurant will never neglect its rice in favor of the other ingredients.
One of the surest signs that you’ve found your way to a great sushi joint is when the chef and the servers teach you how to eat sushi properly. For instance, a common sight in many sushi restaurants in the U.S. is diners mixing wasabi into their soy sauce for extra heat. However, you should realize that the chef has already added wasabi to your sushi, judging very carefully what the perfect amount is for each piece. Similarly, the pickled ginger provided with your sushi is not meant to be eaten as a topping. Much like a sorbet served between courses, it’s meant to cleanse your pallet, allowing you to enjoy the full flavors of each type of sushi you try, according to SushiFAQ.com. The staff at high quality restaurants will teach you these things.
You should never have to settle for any sushi in the United States that is of lower quality than you can find in Osaka, Oita, and Japan’s other well-known sushi cities. With our guide to finding good sushi restaurants, wherever you are, you’ll never need to. References: www.carminesog.com