Six Simple Sushi Tips

Do you know how to eat sushi?  The answer may surprise you.  Even if you’re a veteran of the sushi menu at our Lynnwood Japanese restaurant, take a look through this list of simple sushi-eating pointers to see if there’s something that you could be doing to enhance your dining experience:

  • Sushi is traditionally a finger-food!  Though there are some fusion rolls covered with sticky sauces and roe that you might want to use a utensil for, it is perfectly acceptable to eat most sushi with your hands.

  • Don’t use your ginger as a condiment!  A slice of ginger is eaten between pieces of sushi in order to cleanse the palate.  Eating it with your sushi is only covering up the delicate taste of the rice and fish.

  • Always try to eat an entire piece of sushi in one bite.  This is the best way to enjoy the the sushi’s full bouquet of flavors, and also a good way to avoid having the sushi fall apart in your hands.

  • If you’re eating nigiri sushi, put it into your mouth so that your tongue comes into contact with the fish.  This may be counter-intuitive, but it gives you the best flavor.

  • Don’t use too much soy sauce!  This can break down the sushi rice that is holding your sushi together, and it can also be seen as an insult to your chef.  If you’re eating nigiri sushi, remember to dip the fish in the sauce, and not the rice.

  • Be careful with your wasabi!  It can quickly overpower the rest of the sushi.

Sushi History

From its ancient origins in Asia to our Lynnwood Japanese restaurant, the history of sushi is a long and interesting one. It is believed that sushi’s origins go back to the eastern regions of Asia, where fish was packed in rice as nothing more than a means to preserve the meat. After a fish was cleaned, it would be stuffed with uncooked rice and doused with rice wine in order to ferment the meat. This rice would actually be thrown out before the meat was eaten.

It was eventually discovered that the fermentation of the fish could be sped up by adding vinegar to the rice. This is where we get the term “sushi”, which is an archaic word which translated to “vinegar rice”. After this, sometime during the early nineteenth century, vendors in Edo first came up with the idea of serving the raw fish of sashimi with the vinegar rice that used to get discarded. They sold this dish in the streets, where it quickly became popular as a sort of urban “fast food”. This was the first Edo-style sushi.

Sushi remained largely the same until it was introduced to the States in the 1970’s. In an effort to appeal to American sensibilities, sushi chefs began to get creative and brought whole new innovations to their craft. This was the start American, or “fusion”-style sushi, which has exploded in popularity across the worldwide sushi scene. You can join in on this ever-developing history today with Wild Wasabi!

Sushi and the Power of Omega-3

You need to get your omega-3 fatty acids if you want to live a healthy life.  Fortunately, our Lynnwood Japanese restaurant can offer you the easiest, most delicious way to satisfy your omega-3 requirements.  Omega-3 is best acquired from seafood, and nutritionists recommend eating about two servings of fish every week in order to gain the full benefits of this crucial nutrient:

  • Cardiovascular Health: Omega-3 has been shown to reduce inflammation in blood vessels and reduce elevated levels of triglycerides, both of which can prevent heart disease.

  • Mental Health: There is significant evidence that fish oil can protect you from mental diseases associated with old age, like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or senility.  In younger people, it may also help reduce the symptoms of ADHD.  It also seems to fight depression, and reduce the depressive effects of bipolar disorders.

  • Prenatal Health: Pregnant women require omega-3 for the development of healthy brains and nervous systems in their growing children.

  • Asthma Prevention: As asthma is linked to inflammation of the lungs, Omega-3 can help to reduce the severity of asthma attacks.

  • Pain Reduction: The anti-inflammatory attributes of omega-3 reduces the stiffness and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and similar conditions.

The Sharp Edge of Japanese Knives

What You Should Know About Japanese Knives

If you’re a serious chef or wishing to become one, you’d dream to possess one of those tools you can’t do without – the Japanese kitchen knives. Known worldwide for their excellent quality and artistic beauty, Japanese kitchen knives are also cloaked in heavy mythology and romance. This makes it difficult to see through the glint and make the correct choices. But truly, Japanese knives are great treasures to keep.

Hagane is a type of carbon steel that Japanese knives are traditionally made from; and they come in various gradations. Knives and other cutting tools made with hagane can hold an extremely sharp edge. This is the material they forge samurai swords. However, the relatively soft steel has to maintained regularly or they will become dull, chip and rust. That is why professional chefs sharpen and take care of their knives every day. So if you are willing to put much time and effort in knife care, this is the one for you.

The type of Japanese knife that is very easy to maintain is made of stainless steel. It also holds a sharp edge and doesn’t rust. However, once a stainless steel blade loses its edge, it takes skill to sharpen these knives properly so it is best to have these professionally sharpened. Ceramic knives are ultra sharp and stay sharp 10x longer than steel. They are ideal for slicing fruits, vegetables and boneless meats. They also won’t brown foods or transfer metallic taste or smell. They are rust-proof, stain-proof and germ resistant.

Do you prefer a single- or double-bevel bladed knife?

Most traditional Japanese-style knives have a wide, deep-angle bevel on one side of the blade, while Western-style knives (and most popular modern Japanese knives) have a shallow, narrow bevel on both sides of the blade. Double-bevel knives are also generally thinner and lighter than single-bevel knives of similar size. Double-bevel types are more for home use, easier to handle and not too difficult to sharpen. Both stainless steel or hagane-clad stainless steel knives are best for home use.

Need a sturdy knife for everything – meat or fish to vegetables – go for a chef’s knife, which is called a gyūtō (cow knife). If you prefer lighter, thinner knives, a santoku bōchō is great choice. Santoku means “three virtues,” meant for meat, fish and vegetables. If you have small hands, a smaller version of the santoku called a petty knife, is for fine cutting tasks or general chopping.

Other knives are the nakiri or vegetable-cutting knife, with its square, thin, double-bevel blade; the deba, single-bevel pointed knife used for breaking down fish and meat; a smaller version of the deba called the ajikiri, for small fish like Pacific saury (aji); and the long, thin, elegant yanagiba (willow blade), to delicately slice fish for sashimi and sushi.

Visit us at Wild Wasabi Lynnwood

If you love sashimi or nigiri, you can see how our fishes are carefully sliced at Wild Wasabi Lynnwood by our sushi chefs.

What Japanese Foods Kids Enjoy

Japanese Children: One of the Healthiest in The World

Published in The Lancet were results of a major worldwide health study concluding that, children born in Japan today are projected to enjoy the longest and the healthiest life due to the lifestyle and eating patterns. Even as childhood obesity and diabetes increase the world over, Japanese childhood obesity levels have historically been much lower, and have been declining overall in recent years.

It is said that Japanese-style eating is very efficient- it is filling and comes with quality nutrients. With these, your body has fewer cravings and yet have less room for junk food. They eat more plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and healthy fats from omega 3-rich fish, and less processed food with added sugars and salt. Food pattern is relatively low in calories, high in nutrients, minimizing the risks of obesity and the hosts of illnesses it triggers.

Rice is the meal foundation, not bread or pasta. The advantage of their short-grain rice, preferably brown, is that it is water-rich when cooked, fluffy, and super-filling, and much lower in calorie density than bread.

Also, children enjoy occasional treats and snacks, in the proper amounts and frequencies, which are much smaller and less frequent in Japan than those that are typical in the West.

Over time, what children may like or dislike about food will change, with their parents gently guiding them towards healthier patterns, exposing them to a wide variety of choices and by setting an example themselves. The earlier and wider a child’s experience with new healthy foods, the healthier their diet will become through childhood.

So what are some of the kid-friendly Japanese foods that children will enjoy? One is udon. The thick noodles have a nice texture, prime ingredients being wheat, water and salt. Udon noodles aren’t really too nutritional but they are filling. Tamago Sushi is good to eat with kids’ hands and ranks high in all nutrition factors. Oyakodon is “parent and child rice bowl” because it features both chicken and eggs, provides great protein for kids. Surprisingly, there’s also edamame or green soybeans, natto, a health booster rich in calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin C and magnesium among other minerals and vitamins, and curry rice.

Chicken and the different ways of presentations and styles are another enjoyable treat and healthy choice for kids. Karaage, fried chicken without the bones, is especially loved.

Fun with Kids’ Japanese Menu in Lynnwood

Dining out Japanese today and bringing along the kids? Then look no further to spend that bonding time. Here at Wild Wasabi, sushi restaurant in Lynnwood, we’ve got a menu just for tots to enjoy.