Don't know your nigiri from your uramaki? Help is at hand
Time Out Bahrain staff
September 29, 2014 11:25 AM
Nigiri In Japan sushi means one thing, and that’s nigiri. It’s all about perfectly cooked sticky rice, fish so fresh it’s barely stopped wriggling and just the right amount of pressure as the chef moulds each rice pellet. Sounds easy? It isn’t. Chefs spend years perfecting their techniques.
Uramaki Otherwise known as an inside-out roll, the rice and seaweed are inverted with an uramaki. California rolls, packed with crab and avocado, are a popular choice, but there are plenty of other fillings on offer.
Temaki Akin to a savoury-filled ice cream cone in appearance, these rolls are made by hand rather than with a sushi mat. Order them fresh and eat them straight away before the nori wrapper goes soggy. Chopsticks are definitely not required.
Hosomaki From sandwich chains to supermarkets, you can find thin (‘hoso’) maki rolls all over. Finding a good one is another matter, though. A perfect maki should not be rolled too tight, or too loose, and the seam should be properly sealed, creating an edible cigar-like tube.
Gunkan Maki Fancy a game of battleships? That’s what ‘gunkan’ means. Wrapped in a tall collar of ironclad-dark nori seaweed, they’re topped with ingredients that won’t stay put unless coralled. See how many you can sink.
Temari You might not have seen these little sushi balls in the supermarket and on menus here yet, but they have become more popular around the rest of the world in the past few years. Modelled on a traditional silk children’s toy, temarizushi is a trend we’re expecting to see a lot more of.
Futomaki Otherwise known as ‘thick’ or ‘fat’ sushi, these rolls are more than double the diameter of the average hosomaki. Stuffed with fillings such as Japanese omelette, cucumber and kampyo (simmered gourd strips), they make a substantial mouthful.
Inari These sweet fried tofu pouches stuffed with sushi rice are named after the Japanese fox god, Inari. Like the vulpine deity (who’s said to be partial to a rice parcel), they have a pointy orange ‘ear’ at either side.
Sashimi This one’s a red herring. Any decent sushi restaurant can knock up an impressive plate of raw, sliced fish (sashimi), but sushi is not just raw fish. It’s only sushi if there is vinegared, short-grain sticky rice (sushi-meshi). So, no meshi = no sushi!