Japan is known for its unique flavours and high-quality dishes. Japanese cuisine is popular across the globe – and Poland is no exception. In addition to sushi, Japan’s most recognisable food, Japan is also known for another dish – sashimi.

What is sashimi?

Sashimi literally means “pierced body” in Japanese, where sashi can be translated as “pierced, slashed”, and mi as “body, meat”. The name reveals a method of making and serving raw meat – most often beef, seafood or basashi (horsemeat). Sashimi is one of formal Japanese dishes.

Sashimi – how is it made?

Sashimi is most frequently made with seafood sliced into small pieces and arranged on a plate. It is not uncommon for the fish used for the sashimi to have been killed moments before serving – this is usually done in front of the customer, should you decide to visit a Japanese restaurant. Various types of meat require different cutting techniques.

Sashimi cutting techniques

The most popular technique is hira-zukuri – cutting in rectangular slices. This technique is used for most types of sashimi, and is most often used for fish. The slices resemble domino blocks and are 10 mm in thickness. Another technique is uzu-zukuri – cutting in thin slices used for fish such as flounder, merling or bream. The thickness of the sashimi cut in this way usually does not exceed 2 mm and is usually 2 cm in length. Other techniques include: kaku-zukuri – cutting into squares (every piece is 2 x 2 cm) and ito-zukuri – cutting into very thin slices (thinner than 2 mm), used for garfish and squid.

Sashimi – how to eat?

Food culture is extremely important in Japan. If you want to follow the rules and customs of the Land of the Rising Sun, you should keep in mind a few simple tips. Sushi, one of the most popular Japanese dishes, is one of the few, which can be eaten with your hands. Sashimi, however, can only be eaten with chopsticks.

How to serve sashimi?

Sashimi is often served as the first of the main courses, accompanied by rice and miso soup – all in separate dishes. It is recommended to serve sashimi before dishes with strong flavours to avoid distorting its aroma and taste. Sashimi is usually served arranged on a plate and dressed with condiments – white raddish (daikon) cut into long slices or shiso leaves. Sashimi is also served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

Sushi vs sashimi

Sashimi is served as a main course. Sushi can be consumed at any time of day. The two also differ in the way they are made and served – sashimi only consists of slices of seafood served with soy sauce and condiments, while sushi also contains rice, seaweed or vegetables.

Popular Japanese dishes

Both sushi and sashimi are tremendously popular in Japan. Both dishes have been growing in popularity worldwide. Sashimi is served as a main course and is made with seafood and meat (beef or horsemeat) – always raw and thinly sliced. The method of serving and the unique taste of sashimi cause more and more people to fall in love with the dish, which serves to further promote Japanese cuisine across the globe.

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