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Truly Healthy Sushi Secrets

Truly Healthy Sushi Secrets Sushi was one of the hardest foods to give up after I resolved to adopt a vegan diet. After all, my passion for sushi was one of the things that brought me to live in Japan in the first place. And while Japan is infamous for exclusive sushi shops that charge $500 per person, even low-end sushi (such as kaiten, or “conveyor belt” style) is fresh and inexpensive compared to other countries, making it hard to resist. For some time after I had bid sayonara to meat, eggs and dairy, I continued the Japanese institution of going out for sushi with friends and family. At first, I ate varieties consisting of mostly vegetables such as natto (fermented soybeans) and green onions, cucumber, takuon (pickled radish), kampyo (dried gourd), as well as inarizushi (fried bean curd filled with sushi rice and black sesame seeds). As an omnivore, I had always considered sushi not only umai (delicious), but healthy compared to traditional convenience food like sandwiches or burgers. However, eventually it dawned on me, that even minus the fish, restaurant or store-bought sushi wasn’t particularly healthy for 2 reasons: 1. The main ingredient in sushi is white rice with vinegar. Since going vegan, I had switched to eating only foods made with whole grains. I became used to making genmai (brown rice) at home for its nutritional benefits (3 times the fiber, more vitamins and minerals) compared to white rice, and I could no longer reconcile eating white rice sushi from a taste or health perspective. 2. Sushi vinegar contains katsuo dashi (extract of dried tuna). Other ingredients used in sushi, such as pickles, umeboshi (sour plums), and sauces are also prepared using sushi vinegar and/or dashi. In fact, I discovered recently that the only food at most sushi shops that doesn’t contain fish extract is the powdered green tea! I am not sure why many people seem to have difficulty eating brown rice. Westerners either eat it or they don’t, while Japanese who say they enjoy eating genmai frequently mix it together with white rice, so apparently they are eating it for its health benefits rather than its taste and texture, which I actually prefer. Once I stopped eating sushi out, I still longed for a vegan substitute, so we began making temaki zushi (hand-rolled sushi) at home using vinegared genmai, nori (seaweed laver), and various fillings such as avocado paste, natto, umeboshi, cucumber slices, etc. When there’s time, and for special occasions, we lightly pan-fry sliced eggplant (nasu), and eat it on top of sushi genmai as well. Warm (aburi), and dipped in a bit of soy sauce with wasabi, it tastes as good as otoro (fatty tuna), uni (sea urchin), ikura (salmon roe) or any other traditional sushi delicacy ever did! So, if you think you can’t start a plant-based diet because you could never give up your favorite food, think again! There are infinite tasty plant-based alternatives if you will just start down the vegan road. I am not a nutritionist – just a guy with heaps of useful advice and encouragement to offer those considering eliminating meat and other animal products from their diets.…

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Find a Sushi Bar Anywhere You Live

Find a Sushi Bar Anywhere You Live For those who prefer international cuisine, a sushi bar is one of the places that must be visited. Unlike a standard restaurant, a sushi bar is very analogous to a modern bar or tavern in the western cultures. Meant for group socialization and finger food stuff, a sushi bar allows for good food stuff to be served without it taking up space. With entertainment, be it shows, television or sports, the bar blends western and eastern cultures. However, it is significant to realize that there are many differences between Japan and the United States or Canada. In Japan it is a fast food stuff style eatery, where sushi is moved along a conveyor and is selected by guests. The guests then pay for their sushi based off of the color or size of the plate they have selected. In the western cultures, it can be like a bar and grill, or more imitate a regular sushi restaurant. In some cases, a sushi bar in the United States or Canada may be a counter with already made sushi waiting for purchase. If you are a admirer of the sushi bar in American, you may get a surprise if you were to go to one in Japan. Where Americanized sushi is readily available in the sushi bars in the United States, bars in Japan are more traditional. This means there are less vegetarian friendly dishes, and more true forms of sushi. Octopus, squid and other seafood stuff is used as components, which often disgusts those not used to these components in sushi. The main difference between a sushi bar and a restaurant is seating and how the restaurant operates. In most circles, it is considered to be a cheaper, quicker version of the sushi restaurant. Due to this reputation, and the fact that it is more equivalent to take out, the sushi may be of lower quality at a bar than you would find at a restaurant. When you go to a bar to order sushi, you will have a variety of diverse condiments to select from. Normally, sushi is served with a soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi. Ocha is the most common drink served with sushi, a traditional green tea. In American, sake or ocha is served. The higher the quality of restaurant, the more likely sake is to be given as an choice. In Japan, mecha is a high quality green tea that is preferred over ocha.…

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Finger Foods for a Wine and Cheese Party – Avocado Sushi Roll

Finger Foods for a Wine and Cheese Party – Avocado Sushi Roll Sushi at a wine and cheese party has to be the most innovative way to have people talk about your food for weeks after the event is over. Most people think of sushi as this rice thing wrapped in seaweed just like the stuff their feet were tangled in the last time they swam in open water. To make matters worse it is topped with raw fish. The truth is you can have that kind of sushi or you can make non seafood based sushi. Sushi is small pieces of food and that makes it perfect for a wine and cheese party. The easy kind of sushi requires the following ingredients, sushi rice, rice vinegar, seaweed wraps avocado, cucumber, wasabi paste and a sushi mat for rolling. Over all these are very inexpensive ingredients. The wasabi paste can be purchased already prepared in a tube. This is preferable as it is good quality and made just right with no effort on your part. The rice comes with instructions right on the package. It must be rinsed first before cooking. Sushi rice needs to be cold when you use it. Making the rice the day before is a great way to ensure you have enough time to let the rice cool down and flavor it with the sushi rice vinegar. Once you have completed all the rice steps for cooking simply place it in an airtight container and store in the fridge you are ready to make sushi. The day of the party skin the cucumber, cut lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice the cucumber into skin long strips and set aside. The avocado should have been bought a few days in advance to let them ripen. People tend to squeeze dark avocado which bruises them and turns it black inside. Open the avocado with a sharp knife, pop the pit out and slice length wise. Now you are ready to make sushi. You will need all your ingredients a sharp knife and a tall glass with cold water. First place your mat flat on the counter. Put one piece of sushi paper on mat. Wet your hands and grab a large handful of rice and spread it out on 2/3 of the sushi paper only using your finger tips. Place a line of avocado and cucumber on top of the rice in a straight line. Grab the mat and begin to roll the paper. Tuck the end into the wrap and continue rolling until complete. Some times the roll will try to unwrap simply the roll with the seam facing down. When cutting the sushi wrap always use a wet sharp knife. The water will allow the knife slide through the rice instead of sticking to it. Give this a try at home a couple times to get used to making sushi.…

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Asian Foods You Must Try

Asian Foods You Must Try Are Asian foods healthier and less caloric than Western foods? It depends. Certainly, a bowl of dashi garnished with cubes of tofu and chopped scallions isn’t very caloric, but a similar bowl of chicken soup isn’t either. But here are some Asian foods you must try before the bucket is kicked. Sushi and Sashimi Yes, some people are a bit revolted by the idea of eating raw fish, but these two Japanese dishes are oh so good, especially when the vinegared rice is prepared just right and the fish is so fresh that it’s still in rigor mortis. Fish and seafood used for sushi include salmon, tuna, though not the overfished bluefin, eel, flounder, octopus, shrimp, abalone and salmon roe. If the dieter really can’t bear raw fish, they can have sushi made with avocado, sweetened egg, or cucumber. Dashi Dashi is a broth made with a sheet of kombu seaweed and dried bonito flakes, bonito being a fish. It has a delicate taste and aroma and is the basis for many Japanese soups. It is wonderful to drink with nothing in it on cold winter nights. Tempura The calorie count with this dish might be fairly high because it involves dipping food in batter and deep frying it. The great thing about tempura is that it can be made out of anything, including chunks of seafood, sliced Japanese eggplant, carrots, tofu, green squash, slices of lotus root and green onions. It should be drained and eaten while it’s hot, for cold or left over tempura has lost much of its appeal. Hot and Sour Soup This delicious soup is made from tree fungus, dried tiger lilies, dried shiitake mushrooms and tofu in beef stock. All of the ingredients can be found easily in an Asian market and they’re inexpensive. The dieter shouldn’t worry about the tree fungus. It’s also called cloud ears and is a black mushroom that’s grown on logs. It’s dried and when it’s rehydrated it seems to grow ten times its size, then it’s sliced and added to the soup. The soup only needs one or two to suffice. Peking Dust This dessert is a bit fussy to make, but it’s heavenly. It uses raw chestnuts, sugar, a pinch of salt, heavy cream, one orange and glace?�d walnuts. The chestnuts are pureed, then garnished with the orange and walnuts and slathered with whipped cream in a mold. Lamb Korma This is an Indian dish where chunks of lamb are cooked in a creamy curry sauce and served with rice, chutney, raita or onion sambal. Made with coriander, cumin, cardamom seeds, ginger, cloves, red pepper and garlic, it smells as good as it tastes. Wontons Stuffed with Pork, Cabbage, Scallions and Ginger Though a lot of people may have bought wontons at their take-out place, there’s nothing like making some at home. They’re not that hard to make, and practice makes perfect. Onigiri These are rice balls and are very popular in Japanese picnic boxes. The ingredients include fresh salmon fillet, one sheet of dried nori, which is also used for wrapping sushi, bonito flakes and umeboshi, pickled and salted plums. Onigiri are a bit labor intensive to make, but, again, worth it. Miso Soup with Oysters and Bean Curd Miso is soy bean paste and this dashi-based soup uses red and white miso, fried bean curd, regular bean curd, about 16 oysters, Japanese parsley, fresh ginger root and sansho powder. It’s very, very delicious indeed.…

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How To Eat Sushi Succesfully

How To Eat Sushi Succesfully So you waltz into your local sushi joint and are assaulted by a multitude of aromas. Behind the bar sushi chefs are dicing and slicing with the greatest of finesse, while everywhere people are slurping up their miso soup, chowing down on their ginger salad, spearing shrimp tempura on the end of their chopsticks or savoring their salmon teriyaki. They’re guzzling dumplings and swilling Sapporo beer, they’re chowing it up like it’s the end of the world and this is their last meal, but what matters, what everything centers around, the alpha and omega of any true Japanese meal is the sushi, the sashimi, the raw fish and slivers of vegetables and crab and shrimp and eel that embellish rolls of rice or stand alone. But how to win at this? How to win? The trick is to realize that not all Japanese food is made equal, and that when it comes to your heart, that plush beating center which all of us must consider when dining out, when it comes to your heart, some Japanese food is positively deleterious, while others are excellent. How to tell? You scan the menu frantically, sweating bullets, under the gun, seven waitresses tapping their order pads in unison, swaying and staring at you with the intensity of lazer beams. What to order? How to win at this most deadly of games? The first thing you should blurt out is that you want sesame seeds on your sushi rollls. A murmur will immediately shiver through the assembled ranks fo attendant diners as they all confirm the wisdom of your choice. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of brain enhancing magnesium. Now, should be visiting a restaurant of poor quality, and all seven waitresses cast themselves down in apology, stating that they have none, don’t panic: order masago caviar for the win! It’s a great source of omega-3’s, yo. Then, move onto the next part, don’t hesitate, don’t squander your hard earned edge. If possible, order sushi that has either Atlantic salmon, farmed rainbow trout or Pacific halibut. Those should be your fish of choice, due to their excellent protein content and high omega-3’s. Leave the tuna alone, don’t be a hoodlum. They’re being fished into extinction, so try some trout. Remember! Don’t eat anything fried! Leave the tempura for the unhealthy who care not for their hearts! Ignore Philadelphia rolls, ignore California rolls, and stick to the raw, the pure, the extreme! Finally, avoid fake crab meat. I mean really, what’s the point?…

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Sushi in Vancouver

Sushi in Vancouver Vancouver is a west coast town. Like many other cities on the west coast of North America, Vancouver has a large Japanese population. Japanese immigration has played a large role in the history of the city, and with this immigration has come a fusion of Canadian and Japanese culture. Without a doubt, Sushi is quite a popular food in North America. While it is now pretty much ubiquitous, even staple, in most cities on the continent the Sushi we have come to adore has its roots on the west coast, particularly in Los Angeles and Vancouver. The well known California roll and the B.C roll play homage to this history. As one would expect, Vancouver has a wide variety of excellent sushi restaurants. These restaurants all have an authentic feel, as they use fresh ingredients from the Pacific and traditional Japanese recipes. Bistro Sakana Japanese Restaurant – 1123 Mainland St Bistro Sakana is a Sushi Bar located in the trendy Yaletown district of Vancouver. While the Sushi Chefs use only the freshest ingredients, and every sushi roll ordered is delicately hand made it still is not an expensive restaurant! Entrees start at $8 and go up from there. One particular dish to order is the $11 Super 7. This allows you to sample everything they have to offer on one plate. In addition, they have a full selection of beers, wines, and sake from their bar. Miko Sushi Japanese Restaurant – 1335 Robson St Miko Sushi is one of those places that you might pass by and think nothing of it. However, if you were to step inside you would find a place that has been called one of the best Japanese restaurants in Canada, and is nearly universally lauded by every restaurant critic. The dishes at Miko Sushi are small, and a bit more expensive than other places but once you take your first bite you’ll remember why you paid the extra money. ShuRaku Sake Bar – 833 Granville St ShuRaku Sake Bar is a restaurant and lounge on the Granville Strip near many of the nightclubs and theaters. They offer elegantly prepared Sushi, Sashimi, and other Japanese culinary delights. While you will notice above average prices, the thoughtfulness of the food’s presentation more than makes up for it. They also have an excellent selection of Sake, which is a Japanese liquor that tastes somewhat similar to warm vodka and green tea. While Vancouver has many excellent Sushi restaurants, as the three examples have highlighted, there are many establishments which are less than exemplary. Remember that Sushi is raw fish and utmost care must be taken to ensure that it is prepared in a safe and hygienic fashion.…

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Three Japanese Dishes to Try – Cold Ramen, Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki

Three Japanese Dishes to Try – Cold Ramen, Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki Sukiyaki, teriyaki, tempura, and sushi are only some of the many foods eaten in Japan. In this article, I would like to suggest three Japanese dishes for you to try. I love these dishes, but I had never heard of them before visiting Japan. 1. Cold ramen Cold ramen is served in restaurants from May through September. Ramen is boiled and then chilled in cold water. The ramen is then poured into a bowl without any broth. Sometimes the ramen is served over ice cubes or with a few ice cubes in it. A soy-sauce based or sesame seed sauce is generally used for the cold ramen and a dash of hot Japanese mustard is on the side of the bowl to mix in with the ramen. The ramen is then covered with cold toppings. Cucumbers, eggs, and ham or pork are the most common. They are served cut in long strips, but you can also find other toppings on your cold ramen. 2. Okonomiyaki Okonomiyaki is a giant Japanese pancake, but this unique pancake is not to be confused with the pancakes we eat for breakfast in the states. In Japanese, okonomi means what you like and yaki means grilled. Okonomiyaki has two parts: the batter and the ingredients added to it. The batter includes eggs, flour, and shredded cabbage. The ingredients added to the batter vary widely and can be one or more of the following: pork, octopus, squid, shrimp, clams, scallops, oysters, vegetables, natto, kimchi, mochi, and cheese. While okonomiyaki is made and eaten at home, eating it in restaurants is far more common. Some restaurants serve a standard okonomiyaki. That is, the table server brings you a plate with an okonomiyaki on it, but most Japanese prefer to eat their okonomiyaki in restaurants specializing in it, restaurants where you cook it yourself. The server will bring you the batter and the ingredients. You can mix the batter and add the ingredients, cooking at your table on a hot grill in the middle of your table. You can cook, play with, and eat your okonomiyaki. 3. Takoyaki The word takoyaki uses the same yaki as you can find in okonomiyaki and many other Japanese foods. If you look yaki up in a Japanese to English dictionary, you will find it defined as roast (for pork), broil (for fish), grill (for chicken), bake (for bread), and do (for meat, fish, and chicken) as well as a host of other definitions. Like okonomiyaki, takoyaki also uses a batter. Octopus and a few minor ingredients are mixed into the batter. The batter is then poured into a mold that cooks the batter into small balls while evenly heating them. You could think of takoyaki as miniature octopus muffins, although they are a little heavy to be muffins. Takoyaki, unlike the okonomiyaki and cold ramen, is not a meal, but a snack. You will often find it sold at festivals. Poorly cooked takoyaki is heavy, doughy, and sits in your stomach like lead. Properly cooked, the hot dumpling tastes of octopus and a bread-like dough covered with a thick soy sauce like sauce. As Japanese food continues to disseminate around the globe, you are more likely to find these three tasty foods. I recommend that you try each of them. If you cannot find any of the three where you live, you might want to think of coming to Japan for a food trip.…