With World Sushi Day coming up on Tuesday, June 18, it’s only natural that we chat all about this beloved snack. It’s favoured for its versatility and tastiness, but did you know that there are also a tonne of health benefits to eating sushi regularly? Not that we need any more convincing…
Sashimi, nigiri, temaki, uramaki… there are so many options when it comes to sushi. With sushi restaurants – particularly sushi trains – found in just about every corner of the globe, it’s no surprise that an international day was created to celebrate the delicacy.
A staple of Japanese culture and cuisine, sushi actually has origins in China. Apparently, it was first developed in Southeast Asia but was introduced to Japan around the 8th century. Originally, fish would be salted and wrapped in fermented rice for preservation, then left for weeks or even months at a time! The rice, which was really only there for preservation, would be discarded and the fish eaten as a valuable source of protein.
Over 1000 years later, in the early 1800’s, a Japanese cook called Hanaya Yohei created what we today would recognise as sushi. The bite-sized pieces of rice and fish could be eaten with chopsticks or fingers, and were allegedly designed to be eaten in public or the theatre – the original fast-food!
These days, sushi is one of the most popular foods in the world – whether it’s being eaten in a restaurant, as a takeaway, made at home or packed in a lunchbox. And no wonder… along with being delicious, sushi is actually surprisingly nutritious, too!
Apparently, the high levels of iodine present in sushi mean that eating it can help to prevent hypothyroidism and the low levels of oil mean it is relatively good for weight loss. It’s also meant to be a good source of antioxidants as well as omega 3, protein and calcium when made with fish. We’re sold!
Have you tried making sushi before? Check out these tips for making it at home:
- It’s all in the rice – turns out, there’s a difference between ‘sushi rice’ and ordinary rice. Sushi rice is smaller and stickier, making it less likely that your roll will fall apart as soon as you pick it up! You can make it by adding a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar and salt to short grain white rice.
- A bamboo mat, just like the ones the pros use, is a cheap and easy way to ensure that your sushi is rolled to perfection. You can find them online, along with loads of tutorials to follow to master your rolling technique!
- Having a small bowl of water on hand will help you to form the sushi without the rice sticking to your hands. This will make a world of difference when you’re lining up all of your fillings on the rice – precision is key!
- When it comes to your knife, the sharper, the better. There is nothing worse than finishing the perfect roll, only to squash it when you try to cut it into smaller pieces!
- Get creative! Of course, the tried-and-tested ingredients like tuna, avocado, cucumber, chicken and salmon are delicious, but have some fun with new combinations and presentations.