But are you willing to swap your white rice for brown rice?
Don’t let the fresh ingredients at a sushi restaurant fool you into think it’s a nice, healthy dinner. While it’s certainly true that eating fish and vegetables is better than a number of other options, pairing them with salty soy sauce and coating your bite-sized food in tempura batter turns that healthy meal into a serious calorie counter.
The Cleveland Clinic has put together a handy infographic that offers some helpful hints about how to stay healthy when dining on a staple of Japanese cuisine.
Fun Fact: Since the 1960s, the Japanese government has a tradition where they present newly turned centenarians with a US$66 silver cup to celebrate such a great achievement. But, as there are now so many of them there’s talk of switching to a cheaper option.
With regards to roe, there isn’t one catch-all word for fish eggs at a sushi restaurant, nor only one kind of fish egg. In fact there are nine widely used roe in sushi. Look out for words that end in “ko” or “go” as well as ikura and karasumi when trying to identify if your sushi is going to come with some small balls of edible pleasure. The exception on the menu would usually be tamago, which is simply “egg”. Other common types of sushi are uramaki (rolled sushi with the rice on the outside) and temaki (looks like an ice cream cone of sushi).
You will be hard pressed to find restaurants in Japan that serve brown rice as well as white rice, but never be afraid to ask. The term in Japanese is genmai (玄米), but even if you have the right word, they might still give you a strange look. Sushi restaurants in Japan are also starting to add excessive amounts of mayonnaise and extra toppings. You can keep those off your plate by saying, “_____ nuki” meaning “Without ______”. For example, “mayo nuki” or “cream cheese nuki”.
Hopefully with these points in mind, every sushi outing can be a fun evening of healthy food and good eating. On your “cheat days”, when you’re not too worried about what’s going in your body, feel free to tempura-fry everything. Your taste buds won’t regret it!