This piece was originally published May 21st, 2012.
In the last 25 years Japanese cuisine has become as easily obtainable as a trip to your local supermarket or a quick walk down the block to a nearby Japanese restaurant.
However, with the rapid influx of this delicacy, what quality are we getting?
What standard is upheld within the industry?
And just how dedicated to sushi is the person making it to sell in the prepared food section of your nearby mega chain supermarket?
Sushi, one of the mainstay items almost always offered at a Japanese restaurant, by its simplest definitions is cooked vinegared rice (shari) and whatever the rice is combined with (neta). Added to that can be the condiments such as wasabi, soy, ginger etc. The neta can be cooked egg or other things, but is most often raw fish that has been carefully selected and sliced, then presented with the rice by a highly trained and skilled chef who knows how to prepare it so as to avoid any illness that can be had by eating the raw fish.
There are many variations of sushi, such as the common ones here in the US: the rolled sushi which is calledmakizushi, and the nigirizushi which is the classic small mound of rice shaped by a chef’s hand with the slice of fish placed atop the rice. So sushi always has the rice, while sashimi, also often served in a Japanese restaurant, would be the slices of raw fish alone, either on a dish or over a bowl of rice.
Here at Mystery Box H.Q. all of the above, sushi, sashimi, etc. (along with the many other variations and other dishes that are usually served in a Japanese restaurant like miso soup, actual ramen noodle soup, oyakodon, and tempera, just to name a small few) are among our all time favorite culinary delights.
So it was with a much anticipated long time wait we were finally able to experience the documentary Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (2011) by director David Gelb.