Life has never been the same ever since sushi made its way to the Western world
Japanese food, and sushi in particular, conquered the West several decades ago. Let’s pay our respects to this fabulous fare by taking a look at the different types of sushi and, most importantly, which wines they best pair with.
Any mouthful containing rice, fish or seafood, nori and mirin, and which is accompanied by wasabi and ginger, can be considered sushi. The authentic Japanese method of preparing sushi is nothing short of a ceremony. We first have to wash the rice seven or eight times, add the rice vinegar little by little and mix in the mirin before we can start to create our different shapes of sushi. Straight-forward or sophisticated? Well, there are types for all tastes… and budgets.
Nigiri is the most common way of preparing sushi. It consists of a handful of rice and a very thin slice of fish, or whatever you choose to put on top. You can also add nori, although it’s not for everyone. The most popular toppings are prawn, tuna and salmon. And a glass of Cava Faustino Brut Reserva is the perfect complement to help cleanse the palate between bites.
With maki, nori takes centre stage. These are the typical rolls of sushi filled with avocado that became all the rage in the USA following the end of the Second World War.
Hosomaki is the most popular way of preparing it, which is when we wrap the rice in nori and fashion it into a cylinder. White wines such as Fortius Blanco Chardonnay can give this food a special, transformative flavour.
Temaki, another of the more well-known methods of creating maki, are cones of nori filled with rice, vegetables and fish, and are eaten just like you would a cone of ice cream. Our Marqués de Valcarlos rosé wines add the ideal finishing touch. Fresh, joyful and stimulating; a true winning combination. Inarizushi go very well with whites that have spent a while in the barrel, as the fried tofu fuses incredibly with the flavours of the barrel.
Next up is oshizushi. These are the crème de la crème of all sushi varieties. Also known as ‘pressed sushi’, you’ll need a wooden mould to give the rice its compact block shape. They are usually eaten with mackerel, and there’s no better accompaniment to this oily fish than Marqués de Vitoria Crianza.
Finally, here are some tips to ensure you have an unforgettable experience when eating this mighty food from the Orient:
- Don’t eat it with chopsticks. Pick it up with your hands; it was especially designed to be eaten quickly in the street. Dip it in soy sauce and enjoy.
- However, never dip sushi containing roe or eel in soy sauce.
- Eat nigiri upside down, with the fish at the bottom so that it is contact with the tongue, further enhancing the flavours.
- Don’t mix soy sauce and wasabi together. Instead, with a chopstick, spread some wasabi onto the sushi and then dip it in the sauce.
- Even though it has a very strong taste, you should always add some wasabi. Do you know why? Traditional wasabi has outstanding microbial properties, meaning it kills any parasites that may be hidden in the raw fish or seafood.
All that’s left to do is uncork a bottle of our favourite wine from the Martínez Zabala family and propose a toast – to sushi!