Japanese food is well known for its Nigiri sushi – the famous, delicately crafted pieces of authentic Japanese rice mixed with vinegar and fresh, raw ingredients as toppings. Nigiri sushi often features raw ingredients, mainly fish like Salmon or Tuna, but not everyone is eager to try one especially if they usually consume only cooked meat. With this being a challenge for some Japanese food starters, the urge to try unique dishes is there, but the fear is haunting the creeps out of their minds.
The courage to start right off the bat consuming raw Salmon for the very first time can be nerve-wrecking.
However, with the starter Nigiri sushi recommendations, Japanese food newbies can slowly leave their cage of fear and embrace originality through gradual build-up of Nigiri menus – starting from cooked ones to raw ones. Although this may take time, trying out new things will always keep perspectives wide, and most of all, enable starters to have their ‘aha’ moment for the very first time.
Trying out the Salmon Nigiri or so called ‘Sake-Nigiri’ for the first time may be a little risky for those who always go with cooked sushi toppings. With this being the challenge, it is safe to start with cooked toppings like the ‘Ebi sushi’. Ebi sushi or the cooked shrimp topping sushi is known for its popularity among children for its soft, yet chewy texture. This Nigiri sushi is most often enjoyed with Shoyu sauce or the Japanese soy sauce, but it can also be accompanied with Wasabi dabs that will spice up the flavors of cooked shrimp and Japanese rice. The Ebi sushi is also among the top most searched and most consumed Nigiri sushi due to its simplicity, yet original flavors that allows Japanese food starters to feel the unique chewy texture of fresh, cooked shrimp. Sliced thin and placed on top of the authentic Japanese sushi rice, Ebi sushi is a great start for all novices.
Once Ebi has been devoured with a great understanding of how even the odor of cooked shrimp can make your stomach growl, next up is the ‘Eel Nigiri’ or often referred to as the ‘Anago-Eel Nigiri’.
Most people would see it as a similar dish to the ‘Unagi-Eel Nigiri’, however it is different as the Anago-Eel sushi has lesser fat. Its lighter taste compared to the general Unagi-Eel fish flavor makes the Anago-Eel Nigiri topping a great start for those who despise the exotic tastes of Eel. Although Anago-Eel is a little harder to find than the general Unagi-Eel toppings, Anago-Eel Nigiri lovers will always find a place where it is offered to get the best delicate flavors of its meat. The good thing is that this dish is served ‘cooked’ and never ‘raw’ – so it is a great Nigiri menu starters would love to try out, especially if the taste of Nitsume sauce makes their taste buds go crazy.
Moving on to the next Nigiri before quickly jumping to the raw Salmon sushi, the Kurage-Jelly fish Nigiri is worth the try. Often eaten from a plate and not as a sushi topping, this Nigiri dish might be a rare gem to find in the sea of swarming sushi toppings. Its interesting crunchiness along with the flavors of Japanese seasonings made it among one of the easiest Nigiri toppings to enjoy. Try the Kurage-Jellyfish topping for once and you will find it addicting.
The first raw Nigiri sushi to try before reaching out to the other toppings would be the world-famous Salmon Nigiri. Also called the Sake Nigiri, this sushi topping has won the hearts of Japanese food lovers from all parts of the world with Salmon’s unique texture. As these fish swim hard to lay their eggs, it can’t be denied that their niches have led to the sometimes chewy, yet soft and delicate texture melting in the mouth. Once starters have tried the Salmon Nigiri and loved it, the journey to trying out other raw ingredients can begin!