The A to Z of Sushi, Sashimi & Japanese Bento
A IS FOR AVOCADO アボカド
Avocado was only first used in sushi by a Japanese chef in Canada, to replace raw toro (fatty tuna) for a similar ‘melty’ taste in the 70s. Subsequently, many visitors came from Los Angeles to patronage and hence the name California roll was coined and it became popularized globally.
B IS FOR BAMBOO SUSHI MAT 巻き簾
It is a mat woven from bamboo, that is used to roll and form the sushi by wrapping the rice with seaweed.
C IS FOR CHIRASHI ちらし
Literally it means “scattered Sushi”. Usually served in a bowl with assorted fish, chopped eggs and fish roes over rice.
D IS FOR DAIKON 大根
Daikon is a large, long white radish, usually served shredded as garnish and eaten with sashimi.
E IS FOR EBI 海老
Ebi means Shrimp in Japanese. Ebi sushi is one of the popular Nigiri worldwide.
F IS FOR FUTOMAKI 太巻き
Futomaki is a large and thicker version of makizushi that contains various ingredients, such as cucumber, omelette, and pickled daikon radish. As it usually turns out to be a colourful roll, it is often made for festivity events and holidays.
G IS FOR GINGER 生姜
Eat ginger is used to cleanse the palette, so one consumes between pieces of sushi, in order to appreciate the taste of the next sushi.
H IS FOR HASHI 箸
Hashi means chopsticks in Japanese. Chopsticks are utensils used to pick the sushi, dip it into soy sauce and consume it. For honorific, Japanese refer them as o-hashi.
I IS FOR ITAMAE
I is for Itamae- san, the All Important Sushi Chef 板前 –
Literally translated, Itamae means “in front of the Chopping board”. He has an important role in the creation of your sushi or Japanese meals.
J IS FOR JUBAKO 重箱
Jubako is tiered lacquered boxes, which are mostly used to serve Osechi Ryori (お節料理)- the traditional Japanese New Year delicacies. They are often stacked before and after eating.
K IS FOR KOME米
An essential component to sushi is the rice blended well with vinegar. It is more commonly referred to as o-kome.
L IS FOR LIVE SHRIMP 躍り海老
Live shrimp sushi or sashimi are a delicacy in Japan. These shrimp are taken from an aquarium, peeled and immediately dunked into sake, then dipped into a special sauce for consumption.
M IS MORIAWASE 盛り合わせ
It is a usually a platter where there is a combination of assortment of sushi, sashimi or tempura.
N IS FOR NORI 海苔
It is the Japanese word for Seaweed and it is used to wrap and hold the vinegar rice, fishes and other fillings.
O IS FOR O-CHAお茶
O-cha mean Japanese tea in general. Cha means tea, but “O” is a prefix of respect and hence the term “O-cha”. They are often taken together with sushi and Japanese meal to complement
P IS FOR PHILADELPHIA ROLL フィラデルフィアロール
A roll which is created in America. Made of cream cheese (hence the “Philadelphia” brand reference) and raw or smoked salmon.
Q IS FOR QUAIL EGG ウズラの卵
Raw quail egg which are put on top of gunkanmaki sushi. They are used on top of roe and sea urchin sushi as well as other soft or slippery toppings, so that these quail eggs give a firm grip to hold the sushi and prevent the diner to consume, without making a mess.
R IS FOR ROE 卵
Fish eggs or roes are usually generously spread over sushi and Chirashi.
It adds some saltiness and crunchy texture to the food and is favoured by many. Japanese use many types of roes in their cuisine, ranging from ikura (from Salmon), tobiko (from flying fish), masago (from Capelin) and ebiko (from prawn) just to name a few.
S IS FOR SHOYU 醤油
Shoyu is the soy sauce that you dip your sushi into, to add saltiness or flavor to it
T IS FOR TEMAKI テマキ
“Te” stands for hand while “Maki” simply means “Rolls” (rice rolled by bamboo sheets). It is rolled into a cone shape for easy holding.
U IS FOR UNI ウニ
Uni means sea urchin in Japanese. It has a soft, creamy texture and has a briny sea taste which some describe like foie gras of the sea. It is often one of the most expensive sushi as it is not easy to raise or harvest. Plus, if not consume as fresh as possible, the quality plunges drastically.
V IS FOR VINEGAR お酢
The rice in sushi is always seasoned with Vinegar and some salt and sugar. Traditionally, vinegar was first added to the rice to preserve the rice and preventing the food from harmful bacteria such as Bacillus Cereus that can cause food positioning.
W IS FOR WASABI わさび
It is Japanese Horse Radish, the green paste often placed beside sashimi or sushi. Wasabi is eaten with the sashimi or sushi as its primary function is to kill the bacteria in these raw fishes.
Y IS FOR YANAGI BOCHO
Yanagi Bocho is a type of fish knife with long slender blade, typically used for cutting and slicing sashimi and sushi
Y IS FOR YUBA SUSHI ユバ
Yuba is tofu skin or bean curd skin, which is a thin pale yellowish film derived from boiling soybeans. They are gathered to wrap around the rice to create Yuba Sushi and have a chewier texture.
Z IS FOR ZAIRYO 材料
Zairyo in Japanese means materials or ingredients. What kind of zairyo or ingredient to make a sushi…
We hear you, our dear diners!
You love sushi & want a sushi cake for your birthday! ????
So, for all you birthday boys & girls who are going to have dinner buffet with us @Katong Square, we have specially created this savory sushi cake, just for you on your birthday month, as we are also celebrating our Grand Opening ? !
Come, celebrate your Special Day with us and have this special cake on us! ?
3 days in advance notice required. Only at Katong Square outlet.
Kindly quote in booking message “Sushi Cake ” in advance when booking online. Limited period only.
Celebrate Every Victory in Your Life!
We are so proud of the ACS Independent School boys and girls who have won in the 2017 Schools National Swimming Championship. Boys emerged as Champions in A Division, B Division and C Division. Girls in A Division as Runners- up. Congratulations!
It was truly a joy to see them celebrate their victories with their team-mates, coaches and committee members while enjoying a hearty meal with gusto, at our restaurant!
We believe that behind every victory holds many hours of strenuous hard work, mental strength, tears and sweat.
Everyone of you deserve the applause, glory and fun celebration!
Keep up the good work and continue to Shine!
As the weather slowly turn cold and we ease into the dreamy autumn season, let’s look at some of the delicious food that the Japanese love to savor during this cool season.
Here are some hot favorite which we serve in our restaurant, which you might want to try with your loved ones:
1) Sanma Shioyaki
Sanma fishes or mackerel migrate from north to south seasonally to lay eggs and has 20% more fat in autumn, compared to about 10% during summer. These fishes are rich in omega 3, DHA and EPA, so they are good food source for the development of brains.
This whole fish is typically served grilled with salt in Japanese restaurants, till its skin turned crispy. You can squirt some citrusy lemon on it, dip it into soy sauce and eat it with the daikon radishes usually served on the side. Goes well with rice and miso soup. Tasty meal!
2) Alaska Snow Crab Nabe
Fancy some warm, hearty and savory soup to beat the cold?
Then you should try one of our most popular soup, the Alaska Snow Crab Nabe. It is boiled slowly with vegetables, tofu and golden mushrooms.
To get this dish worth S$32.00 free, all you need to do is simply present the print out voucher (you can print from this link http://shinminori.com.sg/promotion ) when you order 2 lunch ala-carte buffets at our restaurant.
There are also seafood soup served as steamboat or in a teacup for variety.
However, if you prefer soup which is non- seafood, we also have other soup which you can consider like the Pearl Mushroom Soup with Miso or Pork belly Miso Soup.
Sukiyaki is one of Japanese’s most sought after comfort food when the season turns cold. It is simmered in a hot iron pot filled with thinly sliced beef, mixed with nutritious tofu, leafy vegetables, eggs and chewy mushrooms.
The delicious, hot soup is often shared and is a welcoming sight in any social gathering, warming the stomach of the diners.
4) Pumpkin Egg Custard (under Appetizer)
Pumpkin is harvested during late summer and early autumn time. So, after harvesting, people worldwide make wonderful recipes using this amazingly tasty gourd.
In Shin Minori, we recommend you to try our smooth, rich and yummy pumpkin steam egg or chawamushi. It also contain ginko nuts and fish cake. Pure delight!
Other pumpkin dish we have is our simmered pumpkin with special sweet sauce, also another flavorful, soft and subtly sweet dish to relish.
5) Niku Jaga
Enjoy the aromatic stewed pork belly simmered slowly with potatoes and carrots in soy sauce broth. It is the perfect dish for any cold evening to enjoy with a bowl of rice.
So tantalizing, it is easy to fall in love with. Niku Jaga is often referred to by the Japanese as a dish that reminds them of their mother’s home cooked food or in Japanese, “ofukuro no aji “, meaning the taste or flavour of a mother.
Sake, which is Japanese fermented rice wine, is an integral part that completes the Japanese cuisine. It is often used in their traditional rituals and important celebratory occasions such as wedding. Sake is brewed in winter, pasteurized and age in the spring and summer season, so autumn is the prime time to drink it and enjoy with loved ones.
How about warm cups of sake for toasting with families and friends? Sake is not only a good source of drink as the temperature turn cold, to warm our bodies, but also for cultivating closer bonding.
May these autumn food (and drink) bring warmth to your stomach and joy to your hearts!
I recalled one of William Shakespeare’s quote “Can one desire too much of a good thing?” (In “As You Like It”). To a lot of foodies, I presume, the answer is unanimous… Yes! That is why we have buffet! Buffets are definitely one of Singaporean’s favorite thing to do with families, colleagues and friends. Singaporeans love food, be it eating, talking, sharing, blogging and some even making them too.
So, we had a little fun food challenge held at Shin Minori on 2nd August evening. We were the main sponsor for the venue and food. 4 wonderful food influencers were invited to this interesting food challenge. They can be found in instagram by their names: mshannahchia, evilbean, nahmj and mightyfoodie. For this challenge, more than 50 assortment items such as chawamushi, sushi, maki, tempura, ramen, soup, yaki tori, handroll, onigiri, garlic fried rice, gyoza etc. were chosen from Shin Minori ala-carte Japanese buffet menu.
Normally, when we dine and eat slowly, we can enjoy the taste and consume more. But for this challenge, it was all about speed and these 4 food influencers were given a mere 15 minutes to consume as much food as possible. The one who completed the most plates/ bowls within the stipulated time, would be announced the winner.
After 15 minutes, the winner was birthed. He was none other than Mightyfoodie, who lived up to his good name! He finished whopping 16 plates of food. Applause!
After the challenge, all Influencers were given Enzyplex to help improve their digestion. We had an enjoyable time afterwards, chatting about what else… good food again!
We had a blast with our Wine Pairing Session on the 12th July!
Many connoisseur of wine or oenophile came and enjoyed a fun- filled event with us!
Partnering with Top Wines, a renowned and reputed wine distributor in Singapore, we have the pleasure of tasting 4 different types of wine for the evening. The 4 wines are Astoria 9.5, Astoria Lounge, Astoria Fashion Victim and Elena Walch Pinot Nero.
The Japanese food we prepared for wine pairing are namely:
~ Sashimi Moriwase
~ Foie Gras Sushi
~ Aburi Salmon Sushi
~ Grilled Scallop Wrapped with Wagyu Beef topped with Black Pepper Sauce
~ Grilled Mekajikai (swordfish)
The wine bottles are individually wrapped and covered for each guest to vote for their best pairing wine with the food.
The result? The winning wine: Astoria Fashion Victim, Rose NV from Italy, Veneto.
And we gave this as a prize to Mr Low, who voted for it.
With delightful sashimi and sushi, exhilarating wine and lovely company for dinner, we declared this wine pairing event a success!
Missed this event? Fret not. Watch out for our next event via our Facebook!
Different Types of Sushi Rolls寿司
Do you know that in Sushi itself, there are so many variations?
How many types do you know?
The origins of sushi is found in “Narezushi”. It began as a form of preserved fish from China between the 5th and the 3rd centuries BC and was introduced to Japan in Edo Period (1603-1868).
They were eaten during festivals and was an integral part of the celebration. Narezushi was made of fish and rice, mixed with salt, rice vinegar and sake and left to ferment. The rice was used solely for the fermentation process and discarded later.
This sour- tasting sushi took months to ferment and make. Shops sold this packed in boxes and that was the birth of sushi.
Towards the end of the Edo Period, a young man, Yohei Hanaya, created his first kind of “Nigiri” (hand- squeezed) sushi. He sold them by carrying a box on his back. Around 1828, Yohei started selling them at sushi stand. People got to know about this new type of bite- size sushi, which is like an early form of fast food conveniently eaten. His popularity rose resulting in prosperity in his business and the widespread of sushi.
Nigirizushi 握り寿司 –
For this type of sushi, you will find seafood like fish, octopus or shrimp on top of the sushi rice. It was invented about 190 years ago as bite sized finger food. It is the most popular kind of sushi in Japan.
Gunkanmaki 軍艦巻 –
Gunkanmaki is a type of nigirizushi with a strip of seaweed wrapped around the sushi rice to form like a warship (hence the name). The toppings can be filled with various kinds of seafood or even roes or corn etc.
Breaking it down, “maki” simply means meaning “roll”. So, Makizushi means “rolled sushi”. Generally, it is wrapped in seaweed, but occasionally it can be found wrapped in cucumber, a thin omelette or perilla leaves.
Inari is a pouch made of sweet deep- fried tofu skin, filled with sushi rice, shredded omelette, carrots and sesame seeds etc. If you like something sweet or fried tofu, you will like this tasty sushi in a tofu bag.
Futomaki 太巻 –
Futo literally translated means, thick or fat. It is usually a large cylindrical piece with nori wrapped around it. They are often made with two or more fillings and form a mixture of interesting colours, using cucumber, omelette, tiny fish roes, chopped tuna etc.
Hosomaki 細巻 –
Hoso is “thin” in Japanese, hence it is a small cylindrical piece, with seaweed on the outside. A typical hosomaki generally contain only one filling, like cucumber, pickled radish or tuna. It is small and easy to eat. As there is a very small amount of filling for each roll, the price is very reasonable at restaurants.
Temaki 手巻 –
“Te” stands for “hand” and it is shaped in a cone, wrapped by nori or seaweed for easy holding and eating using our hands. Temaki must be consumed quickly after being made as the nori cone loses its crispness, after absorbing moisture from the fillings, making it difficult to bite through. For this reason, the nori for take-out temaki is often sealed in plastic film, which is to be removed before eating.
1) Nori or Seaweed that are used to wrap the vinegar seasoned rice were considered as luxury food till a British Botanist, named Kathleen Drew Baker, discovered their reproductive process or cycle. It is now harvested and mass produced.
2) Traditionally, Apprentice Chef have to work for more than 10 years before they are allowed to handle any sashimi or meat. During the apprentice years, they are assigned manual task of washing rice and serve tables. Today, the increasing demand for these skilled chef or food artist has resulted in many starting work just after two years of training.
3) Originally, the sushi rice was never consumed. Rice was inserted into the belly of the fishes to ferment it and hence creating a unique sour taste. This method was said to originate from China and introduced into Japan during the Edo period. After a few months, when the fermentation process was completed, the rice would be discarded and only the fish would be eaten.
4) Traditionally, women were not allowed to be sushi chefs because women were believed to have comparatively higher body temperature, especially during menstruation. This means that their warm hands pose a higher chance to spoil the food or chilled fish.
5) Sushi is commonly referred to as aphrodisiac because of the common sushi fishes used- salmon and mackerel, which are high in omega 3s. Omega 3s are fatty acids that are known to help in the production of sex- hormones. Additionally, tuna is also a source of selenium, which helps to increase a male’s sperm count.
6) Do you know that there is a sequence to relish and enjoy the taste of sushi? To enjoy the full flavor of sushi, start with the white fish first, silver next, then red fishes, next onto heavier taste such as fish roes and then lastly fatty fishes.
7) You may be wondering why is there always some green plastic grass in your take- out sushi box. What you did not know is that historically, the chefs used to use real grass to let the sushi stay fresher longer. Now, these plastic grass also serves a divider, to separate the various sushi or ginger and wasabi from bleeding onto the sushi.
8) The ever popular California sushi, was invented for the western market to suit their taste buds around the 70s. Then, they were not open to eating raw food, so the Japanese chef, Toyo, who migrated to Canada, created its ingredients using avocado, crabstick, cucumber and fishes roes with mayonnaise. Then, he even put the seaweed inside out (and not wrapped around the rice), as not to put them off, as they were not familiar with the taste and were often put off by the colour.
Sushi has evolve a long way to become what it is today- popular and embraced by a lot of people and foodies worldwide, who love the taste and visual sight of it.
Hope you find these 8 facts about sushi interesting!