How to Approach Sushi for the First Time Ever

Seafood appetizers

Trying sushi for the first time can be an interesting experience. You need to ensure that you were eating a good sushi restaurants or you could get a very bad experience of this seafood platter. Don’t settle for the first seafood restaurant that you come across. Good sushi restaurants will specialize in top cuisine and fresh seafood. Sushi is one of those things that people either love or hate it but it is also an acquired taste. Don’t be surprised if you don’t like it at first. There are about 3846 sushi restaurants that are located in the United States but about 45,000 in Japan. This tells you something. Sushi originated in Japan so when you were looking for good sushi restaurants you need to make sure that the owner is Japanese or at least very well trained and knowledgeable in Japanese cuisine.

Cooked Sushi
Eating raw seafood can be very different from anything that you have encountered before so you might want to try the cooked items before delving into the raw ones. There are some sushi that are cooked such as eel which is typically served with a sweet and savory sauce. California rolls usually only have imitation crab meat as well as avocado and cucumber. Grilled squid or octopus and shrimp is a good place to start. Keep in mind, however that the rolls are typically made with seaweed between them so there may still be a strong fish flavor. You can ask your waiter to see if any of the rules can be cooked differently.

Begin with what’s familiar
This is always wise when trying new food but especially with sushi. Trying to think of sushi is just another type of fish. If you like grilled salmon then try a roll of salmon sushi so that you were getting the sushi experience without going too far out of your comfort zone. If you like calamari then try the squid role. Many people like scallops and scallop sushi is almost exactly like the seared scallops served in any other restaurant; fried on the outside, raw in the middle. By starting with what you know you will introduce your taste buds to the way that sushi is made and the flavors that are used without overloading or overstimulating yourself with new flavors.

Start mild
Starting out with the milder food items is a good idea too. Red snapper, halibut and tuna are all great place for beginners to start at good sushi restaurants. These fish or a very mild tasting fish and very common for sushi restaurants to carry. If you were extremely adventurous starting out with a mouthful of mackerel maybe to your liking but it may put you off sushi for life if it is not what you were expecting. Keep in mind that the less oily the type of fish is, the less fishy it will taste. This is a good rule of thumb when trying out sushi for the first time.

Cut rolls
Maki, or cut rolls is a way of serving sushi so that all the components of the role are inside. This might be more appealing and easier on the mental side of eating sushi. If you were hesitant about trying sushi then coveralls are the way to go. They are covered in rice which helps the texture and flavor as well as sealing all of the food inside. This is a perfectly acceptable way of eating sushi until you become more comfortable with the idea of raw fish. It may take you awhile to really get in to the whole concept and that is perfectly fine.

Everyone has different tastes and ideas about food, especially when it comes to seafood so there is no good or bad way to approach sushi for the first time. Keep within your comfort zone but don’t be afraid to take a few risks a little at a time. Sushi may be one of those things that has to grow on you and you may eventually grow to love it but there is nothing wrong with you if you hate it. Also, good sushi restaurants are used to people trying to sushi for the first time so they will have some great recommendations for you.

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Francis Pitt

Francis Pitt

Francis Pitt has made a name for himself in farm-to-table organics, working at restaurants in Portland, Seattle and Burlington, Vermont. While he has a taste for the extreme, most of his restaurant’s top sellers are much more down-to-earth, regularly featuring mushrooms gathered from the slopes of the Cascades, and fresh wild-caught seafood from the Oregon coast. Inspired by trends in Portland, his latest restaurant offers the ultimate chef’s table: dinner begins in the morning at his island collective farm, and 4 lucky guests every week get to follow the food, literally, from the field to the plate! Francis is a firm believer that you are what you eat — do you really want to be a chemistry set?