The ABC of Sushi
Sushi ABC: Here is how to explore these little mouthfuls of delight, packed with a mighty nutritional punch.
Sushi - you either love it or hate it. If you fall into the latter category, prepare to be swayed. Once you learn about the health and nutritional benefits (looking at you, life longevity, bone strength, mood enhancer…) you’ll be rushing off to your nearest deli, supermarket or revolving-table restaurant to reap its rewards.
What is sushi and where did it come from?
Sushi originated from the paddy fields of Japan in the 8th century, where fish was salted and wrapped in fermented rice to keep it preserved while working. This early form of eating fish stopped being a method of preservation and became the new dish of Japan. Impressive to think we’ve been eating this for centuries and the sushi trends continue to roll, with a forecast of 5% expected up to 2022.
The nutritional benefits of eating sushi
The Okinawa diet could help you live to 100, according to this close-look at centenarians by The Guardian. Apparently, three portions of fish a week can increase the length of your life. Salmon, mackerel and other fish contain Omega-3 which helps towards fighting heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and inflammation.
Increases bone strength:
Let’s look at nori - that little green wrap of sushi containing a plethora of nutrients. With more calcium than milk, it promotes healthy bone growth and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Nori/seaweed is not only there to blanket the parcels of nutrition together, but to add to the health benefits. Packed full of vitamin A,B,C,D.E and K, as well as nutrients including manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, iron and potassium - it’s no wonder our bodies love nori.
Sushi is a happy little rocket of nutrition, fuelling our feel-good factor and helping us reach for the stars. Packed with vitamin B12, it’s said to help with low mood, depression and other mild mental health conditions.
Great for weight loss:
Sushi is low in fat, full of protein and jammed full of vitamins and nutrition from the raw vegetables. The oil in the fish is essential oil and is brilliant for the body, as opposed to unhealthy processed oils. Unlike some really tasty foods, sushi is far from calorific - it fills us quickly with the carbohydrates from the rice, making it an excellent food source when working on a weight-loss plan. The small portable packs where sushi is often served in, makes it a wonderful convenience product - no reason to reach for that fast junk food.
How to prepare sushi at home
This super simple and highly nutritious recipe is for a traditional sushi roll.
What you’ll need:
● Bamboo sushi mat (If you haven’t got a mat, a tea towel will suffice)
● Nori (edible seaweed)
● Sushi rice (this sticky rice is the most important ingredient to make sushi)
● Fish such as salmon, mackerel, prawns or crunchy raw vegetables cut into thin strips
● Rice vinegar (for flavouring)
● Pickled ginger (optional and not for everyone)
● Wasabi (for the brave)
● Soy sauce (for a condiment)
How to do it:
1. Cook the rice as indicated on the packaging, adding just enough rice vinegar to taste. Leave to cool completely.
2. Place a strip of cling film on top of the mat or tea towel. This will help with rolling and making it compact.
3. Place a sheet of nori on top of the cling film.
4. Cover the nori with the rice and pat down to compress.
5. Add the filling of your choice along one side of the rice being careful not to overfill it.
6. Using the cling film, start rolling carefully with a gentle but firm hand.
7. Leave to settle in the refrigerator until required.
8. Cut into slices and serve with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.
9. Eat, enjoy and reap the benefits.