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Walking Guide

Q. What is the correct order to eat Sushi?

There is no special order to enjoy Sushi, but some say "Begin with "Gyoku" (sweetened and soy-flavored omelet), and finish with "Kappa"(cucumber)".
"Gyoku" is usually homemade, so it is perfect for understanding the shop's taste and cooking skills, and "Kappa"'s simple flavor is suitable for the last dish.
Some also recommend to start with plain items such as white-meat fish and squids, and then move on to rich-tasting dishes such as "Toro" (fatty tuna) and "Anago" (conger eel).
Sushi-chef usually would not make sushi with fatty toppings in a row when the menu is left up to him, usually in the order of white-meat fish, shrimp, and then red-meat fish.

Q.What should I use to eat Sushi- hand or chopsticks?

Unless it is not for delivery, sushis are usually made gently, so using chopsticks might crumble the rice.
Rice of a well-made sushi dissolves in your mouth.

Q.Where should I pour soysauce? On the topping, or rice?

To avoid sushi crumble by pouring too much soysauce on it, you can pour a few drops on the end of topping.
These topping are edible without soysauce:
Boiled toppings - conger eels, crab shrimps, and boild squids
Toppings with omelettes - "Gyoku" sushi and "Date-maki"(fish omelette rolls)
Some sushi rolls- "Kanpyou-maki"(pickled gourd rolls) and "Futo-maki" ("Thick roll with variety of materials such as omelets, pickled gourds, and cucumbers wrapped inside)
Small plates for soysauce has appeared recently, but in former days the sushi chef put soysauce on sushi and served them (This custom was called "Nikiri").

How can you distinguish a good Sushi bar?

A busy shop will always have fresh toppings.
A shop serving toppings in season are also recommended.

Q. Sushi bar terminology

"kan" = Unit for counting sushi
"shari" = Sushi rice. Relates from the word "Busshari"(Buddha's bones), which were found in white, tiny bits.
"namida" = Sasabi(Japanese horseradish). Namida means tears in Japanese. Also simply called "sabi".
"murasaki" = Soysauce. Murasaki means purple in Japanese. Related to the color of soysauce.
"agari" = Green tea. Related to a tea served at the end of parties or banquets at gay quarters.
"gari" = Pickled ginger. The word "Gari" is used to describe sounds when biting or shaving something hard.
"gyoku" = Sweetened and soy-flavored omelet. Relates to Chinese character pronounciation of "egg".
"kappa" = Cucumber. Kappa is mythical Japanese water goblin which is fond of cucumbers.
"anchan" = Food materials prepared in advance. Literally means "big brother".
"otouto" = Food materials prepared after "anchan". Literally means "younger brother".
"otemoto" = Disposable chopsticks.
"osaiso" = The bill.

Q.What kinds of Yakitori are there?

Yakitori is mainly divided into "Yakitori", chicken, and "Motsu-yaki", beef and pork.
Western Japan mainly uses beef, while Eastern Japan seems to use pork.
The following are kinds of Yakitori and Motsuyaki.

Yakitori
Kashiwa - Breast and thigh meat of chicken. Also called as "Shoniku" in Eastern Japan.
Bonjiri - Chicken tail. Also called as "Bonchi".
Seseri - Meat of chicken's neck.
Sunagimo - Chiken gizzard, as known as chicken's inherent organ.
Tebasaki - Chiken Wings with bones.
Kawa - Chicken skin, grilled until crispy. Skin around the neck is often used.
Yagen - Breast gristles of chicken, with a triangular shape.
Genkotsu - Thigh gristles of chicken, with a cube shape. Genkotsu literally means "fist", which resembles the shape.
Reba - Chicken liver.
Hatsu - Chiken heart.

Motsu-yaki
Tan - Tongue
Hatsu - Heart
Reba - Liver
Kashira - Meat on part of head. Also called as "Shoniku".
Abura - Fat on part of head
Nankotsu - Windpipe
Kobukuro - Uteras
Gatsu - Stomach
Shiro - Large intestine
Teppou - Rectume
Chire - Spleen
Mame - Kidney
Tama - Gelds. Also called as "Houden".
Chichi - Breasts. Also called as "Oppai".

What is "Yaki-ton" and "Motsu-yaki"?

According to a dictionary, it defines Yakitori as "a dish of barbecued chicken with soy-based sauce or salt.
It also includes roasted skewers of beef or pork entrails ".
The dictionary does not state the word "Yaki-ton".

Regarding Motsu-yaki, it says "a dish of skewered and roasted chicken or other meat flavored with sweet sake, soysauce, or salt".
It originally meant dishes of skewered chicken or sparrows, but in later days it included Motsu-yaki, entrails of beef and pork cooked in the same way.

Entrails are defined as "organs and guts of birds, animals, and fish".

In traditional Chinese herbal medicine, entrails are "Five viscera: Liver, heart, spleen, lungs, and kidney.
six entrails: Large bowel, small bowel, liver, stomach, lymph, and bladder".

Entrails are usually called "Motsu" which is now often used for entrails of cows and pigs.
Entrails were treated lightly compared to meat and was not frequently cooked as food, however recently are called "Yakitori" or "Hormone-yaki", and being popular for nibbles accompanied with sake.

These dishes are usually cooked with soy-based sauce or salt, and pepper or mustard as an accent.
Currently some 80% of the entrails are served at bars, inspite of its background rarely seen at home cooking, and regarded as low class meat.
In Europe, nutrition of entrails are well known, and there are even speciality stores of entrails accepted equally with butchers.

"Motsu-yaki" is said to have been first made at Nihonbashi-Muromachi, Tokyo right after the Great Kanto Earthquake, by roasting and selling chicken livers, gizzards, hearts, and skins.
They became common as cheap side dishes to go with sake sold at stalls, and gradually became popular at sake-bars as well.

 

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