Mostly, it comes down to whether or not rice is involved, but there are other differences between these two superstars of Japanese cuisine. But sashimi is raw fish too—so what is the difference between sushi and sashimi?
Sashimi is traditionally prepared using a variety of seafood, though various meats including beef, pork, chicken, and horse are also available.
Whether fish, fowl, or four-footed, the featured protein is sliced thin and served raw to stand as the main ingredient; accompaniments such as soy sauce and wasabi are used sparingly. The featured protein is sliced thin and served raw; accompaniments include shiso, daikon and shiso-soy sauce.
The name “sushi” actually refers to rice, despite the fact that most people associate the dish with raw fish. Think of it as a Fleetwood Mac situation: The name “sushi” actually refers to rice despite the fact that most people associate the dish with its most notable partner, raw fish—the Buckingham/Nicks, if you will (which leaves soy sauce and wasabi as its Christine McVie, to round out the analogy).
Today, sushi is most often served in the style of maki (sushi rolls) and nigiri.
Nigiri begins with thoroughly washed white rice that is cooked and then delicately seasoned with vinegar (a nod to its fermented origins). Once cooled to room temperature, the rice is formed into a palm-sized ball and often spiked with a dab of wasabi. Next comes the topping—primarily a slice of raw seafood, though cooked items such as eel, shrimp, and egg are also used. A gentle dip in soy sauce provides the finishing touch.
Maki involves layers of fish and other ingredients layered on top of sushi rice then rolled inside a sheet of toasted seaweed.
Maki can either be served whole as a hand roll or cut into bite-sized pieces, usually accompanied with wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger (it is not available in Kyodai Sushi). Maki can also be served as a hand roll or cut into bite-sized pieces.
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