I’m a self professed fan of Sushi. I love the art, science, flavor, experience, and story it tells. I love the deep preparation that a chef goes through in selecting the fish, preparing it, putting together a story, and the years of training.
I’m told by a sushi chef friend of mine (Martin B) that real Sushi chefs in Japan go through an intensive training curriculum for this career. Few drop out, it’s a life long passion, and considered a highly coveted and respected career.
The training course, is apparently, multi-year. The first year is to teach them on how to properly wash dishes, and do it with quality and being efficient. The second year is to properly make rice, the right amount of water, cooking, and vinegar. Grains have to be bouncy —but not mushy nor too hard. Next is vegetable prep and cutting of hundreds of types of vegetables. The following year, is rolls (which are not as common in Japan), and then finally fish cutting, and assembly.
Now that we know the training that goes into authentic Sushi Chefs (hard to find in US), let’s appreciate the food itself. Here’s a few things that I look for in Good Sushi (fish over rice):
1) Single-Bite-Sized. The overall sushi should have the right balance of fish over rice. Having too much fish over rice, at some value-restaurants is a risk of serving lower grade fish. You shouldn’t have to take more than two bites, it just fits in your mouth, with one pop.
2) Balance of Rice and Fish. The sushi chef, featured above, balance the amount of rice per fish, so they both dissolved at the same time while chewing. A sign of ill-balanced is that you’re left with fish or rice only, after a few chews. This means the Chef should know texture, freshness, consistency, of each type of fish, and it impacts how they cut it, or score it. Complex.
3) Tastes more like Fruit, or Smoke —not Fish. Quality sushi should explode in your mouth. It’s fresh, and the cells from the meat should burst with flavor. It should...