Sushi is one of the most famous Japanese cuisines. Teriyaki chicken is very well known as well and may now be the most known and consumed Japanese food worldwide. Even if you eat Sushi frequently as your favorite meal, do you know Sashimi and Tataki as well? Are you able to tell the difference between “Sushi”, “Sashimi” and “Tataki”?
Some people misunderstand Sushi by thinking that it always contains raw fish. However, Sushi can also be made with cooked food only.
There are two major types of Sushi. They are “Nigiri” and “Maki”. When we talk about Sushi in Japan, in most cases, that indicates “Nigiri” and it is pricier than “Maki”. “Maki” is Sushi rolls that are originally very simple and “Nori” (seaweed paper) is outside in Japan. In the U.S., so many kinds of rolls have been created and the authentic taste of Sushi seems to have faded out. Now, let’s get back to our original Japanese Sushi concept. Basically, Sushi is a combination of “Shari” and “Neta”. Shari is Japanese short grain rice seasoned with sweet rice vinegar and Neta is a slice of fish (seafood) topping the rice. In Nigiri, rice is hand-molded and Neta is laying over it. Sashimi is slices of raw fish (seafood). It is usually enjoyed with soy sauce and spices such as Wasabi (Japanese horseradish) or Shoga (ginger).
Tataki is also raw fish, but the surface is cooked; lightly seared. For example, when making Tuna Tataki, we sear a block of raw tuna (oblong, about 8″x3″x1″), cool it down, coat it in seasonings, pound it with the back of a knife, and then, slice it to eat. Tataki literally means to “pound”. We enjoy it with “Ponzu Shoyu”: citrus soy sauce. I usually enjoy Sushi and Sashimi with orthodox Wasabi-joyu (Wasabi + soy sauce), Tataki with Ponzu Shoyu, and adding a little Wasabi in Ponzu Shoyu creates an innovative flavor.