According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of sushi is “cold rice dressed with vinegar, formed into any of various shapes, and garnished especially with bits of raw seafood or vegetables.” But as any sushi bar guest or sushi restaurant aficionado knows, there is so much more to today’s sushi than just rice, fish, and vegetables. Sushi restaurants in the United States have greatly expanded the meaning of sushi to include things like avocado, cream cheese, and jalapenos.
While every person’s individual tastes differ, and each sushi restaurant makes their own variations of rolls and other dishes, there are some sushi ingredients that are popular pretty much across the board.
Some popular sushi bar ingredients include:
- Hamachi: This fish is commonly referred to as Yellowtail, but is really a Japanese Amberjack. It has a buttery flavor and is rich in oils, making it a popular choice for raw fish lovers.
- Kanikama: This is known as imitation crab, or “Krab.” It is often found in California rolls, and is made from various white fish that are pureed, seasoned, and cooked into sticks. It offers a buttery flavor similar to crab.
- Tobiko: These are flying fish eggs. These eggs form a bright red or orange caviar that is very crunchy and sweet. They are most commonly found on the outside of California rolls.
- Unagi: This is freshwater eel. Usually served smoked and in a sweet sauce, freshwater eel is very common at sushi bars. For many sushi beginners, it sounds like a strange thing to eat, but is loved by almost anyone who tries it.
- Wasabi: Wasabi is a Japanese horseradish that is served on the side of most dishes at a sushi bar. It has the same spicy taste as a horseradish, and is commonly mixed into soy sauce for dipping.
These are just a few of the delicious ingredients served at sushi restaurants. To try out these items, and many more, come visit us at Kabuki Japanese Restaurant. With 14 locations throughout California, Nevada and Arizona, there's one near you. We offer traditional sushi for the purists, as well as innovative rolls and dishes for those looking for something a bit different. Whatever your tastes, we promise to turn you into a sushi lover.