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WASABI? The little dab of green stuff you may find on your plate that looks like avocado is NOT avocado...it is Wasabi, or Japanese Horseradish, and it is a wee bit Hot! Not 'heat' hot...we're talking spicy hot! Not hot enough to send you screaming out the door, but hot enough to be a bit surprising if you are not expecting it. Don't be afraid to try it though. It is typically used to season your fish. Wasabi is different from most hot spices in that it doesn't attach itself to your tongue or lips like the oil based components of peppers and such, so the 'burn' rarely lasts more than a few seconds...a sip of water or a bite or two of your meal and the zing will be gone. So go easy at first, and you may find yourself addicted to it.
What is SUSHI? The word "Sushi" is a general term that refers to fish or other seafood served with a vinegar rice. Though Sushi as we know it has most of its roots in Japan, it originated in China where the term referred to fish preserved with salt in layers of rice. The fermenting of the rice infused the fish with a slightly sour taste which many people enjoyed, and which we now duplicate by adding a small amount of vinegar to the rice as it is cooling. In it's original form, the Chinese usually removed the fish from the rice and threw the rice away. So the word "Sushi" does not refer to raw fish, but rather a style of food preparation, much the way "Pizza" refers to a preparation style as opposed to specific ingredients. What follows are the most common ways in which Sushi is prepared and served.
MAKI or MAKIZUSHI refers to sushi rolls wrapped in seaweed (Nori) and generally cut in to 6 or 8 pieces.
TEMAKI means "Hand Rolls", usually cone shaped, which are generally simpler rolls with just fish and rice wrapped in seaweed. Picture a fish and rice ice cream cone. On second though, don't! Just try it...you'll like it.
NIGIRI is fish or other seafood on small thumb sized balls of rice. This is what most people picture when they think of Sushi. Most Chefs automatically put a small dab of Wasabi under the fish, but feel free to ask for it to be left off if you wish.
SASHIMI is small slices of chilled raw fish. That's it. Just the fish.
CHIRASHI is Sashimi served on top of a bed of rice.
Ichiban Sashimi "A" with Saki and Ponzu Sauce
Futo Maki means Large Roll.
How Many? In most Sushi restaurants, including Ichiban, an 'order' of Nigiri is comprised of two pieces...but there are exceptions. If you are unsure...just ask.
It's more than just raw fish!