Learn how this traditional Japanese dish is becoming so popular among Mumbaikars
Over the past few years, sushi has grown in popularity, making its presence felt in almost every region of the world. Whether it’s raw sashimi style or shrimp tempura or avocado and cream cheese, there are different ways to enjoy this dish. Cold rolled fish with fermented rice wrapped in nori foil is the most common and popular. Whether served with wasabi sauce or chili oil or even soy sauce, this dish will satisfy your taste buds.
The origin of sushi dates back to the 2nd century BC in China. Yes, you read that right ! It’s not from Japan, but from China where the dish originated from. It was known as narezushi and included salted fish and fermented rice. It passed through Japan later in the 8th century and underwent various transformations. Over the years, the dish has undergone several evolutions and what we eat today depends on the region, tailor-made to suit the local palate.
In recent times, Mumbai has also seen an increase in the number of restaurants serving sushi. Sushi is an acquired taste and not many people like to swallow raw fish, but once you find the sushi that suits your taste buds there is no going back. For beginners, there are certain rules and etiquette to follow. Sharing advice, former chef and sushi enthusiast, Salil Gokarn said, âNever sprinkle a lot of soy sauce on sushi. It’s just meant to be dipped lightly once.
Sushi is usually eaten with chopsticks. However, if you eat a guncan roll or nigiri sushi, it is eaten with your hands. In addition, the ingredients are very important because they must be of a certain quality, especially the sashimi. Pickled ginger is used as a palate cleanser and isn’t really an ingredient, Gokarn says. In Mumbai, he says, sushi made with salmon and shrimp is more common.
Prasuk Jain, founder of one of Mumbai’s most beloved sushi restaurants, The Pink Wasabi, said: âSushi culture is indeed starting to pick up in Mumbai. Shrimp and fish may have been the focus of Mumbai dishes for ages, but we have a lot of people who come just for our sushi dishes. We source our fish and rice locally. But certain ingredients such as cheese or exotic vegetables, we source from internationally. With the pandemic in mind, we were very careful to boil the rice and fish before serving. We do not serve raw fish. But we have customers who keep coming back because sushi is a dish that you just can’t resist once you get a taste of it. And the best part is sushi isn’t just for non-vegetarians or pescatarians, even vegetarians can enjoy it.
Harry Hakuei Kosato founded Sushi and More, a food delivery and take out kitchen that serves high quality, healthy and tasty Japanese food in Mumbai, Delhi and Gurugram. They have a wonderful vegetarian sushi menu.
âIndia has a huge vegetarian population and like most food companies in India we welcome both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Almost 50% of our menu and 40% of our sushi sold are vegetarian. Our menu even includes vegetarian sushi rolls (including jains), nigiri, bento boxes, and other Japanese favorites such as Tofu Amakara, which is crumbled fried tofu mixed with a savory Amakara sauce, served with sticky rice, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus or the crunchy avocado roll, and more, âHarry said.
Over the years, sushi has undergone a tectonic change in terms of manufacturing. Chefs Manpreet Dhody and Anupreet Dhody have turned the sushi roll into a sushi cake and are garnering rave reviews for their innovation. Dashanzi, a restaurant at JW Marriot in Mumbai, serves Dashanzi’s maki roll, which includes hamachi, salmon loin, chutoro, and nori sheet. The sushi roll is devoid of rice because the idea is to celebrate the fish itself. The avocado perched on top adds to the rich, creamy texture and the Ikura (salmon roll) presents an explosion of flavors.
While the chefs we spoke to mentioned how carefully they stock up on fish and keep it refrigerated at the right temperature and some don’t even serve it raw, there are certain guidelines that health professionals ask people to do. follow.
Dr Keyur Sheth, Gastrologist, Apollo Spectra, Mumbai, says: âSushi is mainly made with seaweed, rice, vegetables and fish. It is a good tasty and healthy option because it can lower the risk of cholesterol and heart problems. But it is advisable not to eat sushi more than twice a week, as this also comes with hidden risks.
He cautions: âDiphyllobothriasis (or fish tapeworm infection) can be seen in many people due to the consumption of raw fish like salmon, which leads to diarrhea, fatigue, stomach cramps, weakness and unintentional weight loss. Some fish contain a high amount of mercury which can damage the central nervous system, leading to headaches, dizziness, developmental delays, brain damage and even organ failure. Swordfish, sea bass, and mackerel tend to have high levels of mercury. Pregnant women and children should limit their consumption of raw fish as they may be sensitive to allergies.
Enjoy the sushi, but as with everything, eat it in moderation!
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Posted on: Sunday 05 December 2021 at 07:00 am IST