Know Your Sushi Types!

When you come to our Japanese restaurant in Bellevue, you might find yourself presented with unfamiliar names and terms for the various sushi we serve.  To the sushi-newbie, this can be an intimidating experience.  Indeed, there are many different ways to classify sushi, but by learning the following words you should be able to get along well in most restaurants:

  • Maki Sushi: (makizushi)  This term describes some of the most common sushi, particularly the most popular types served in America.  They’re frequently known in English as “rolls”, named for the distinct way they’re prepared.  Maki sushi consists of the fish or other ingredients rolled up in a layer of sushi rice, giving it that classic round shape we know in the California roll, the cucumber roll, and other favorites.
  • Nigiri Sushi: (nigirizushi) This is a simpler, more traditional variety of sushi, composed of a rectangular bed of rice topped with a strip of fish or other ingredient.  Common toppings include unagi (eel), tamago (egg), and roe (fish eggs).
  • Sashimi: Purists will say that this is technically not sushi, as it does not consist of sushi rice, but it will frequently be lumped together under the term.  Quite simply, sashimi is comprised of strips of raw fish, and nothing else.

The Amazing Power of Miso

You’ve probably encountered miso soup before. It’s that sweet and salty appetizer that accompanies many Japanese meals. Those who have developed a taste for it find it to be an engaging and versatile dish, often without even realizing how healthy it is. So when you find yourself with a bowl of miso at our Bellevue Japanese restaurant, keep the following in mind:

Miso is made out of fermented soy, which is far healthier than unfermented soy products. It delivers a good dose of protein, zinc, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin K, all of which are hard to obtain in a meatless diet. It also contains isoflavones that have been shown to fight or prevent certain types of cancer, breast cancer being chief among these. And to top it all off, it gives you all of these benefits in a low fat, low calorie, high deliciousness package. So try one of our miso soups at Flo Restaurant and discover one of Japan’s best health secrets!

Why Wasabi?

There are a lot of wasabi imitators on the market, but you can order 100% true wasabi at Flo’s Japanese restaurant in Bellevue. This is rarer than you might think, as real wasabi is a bit of a luxury item. Most places will serve you a mix of conventional horseradish and mustard seed colored green to resemble wasabi. Such concoctions can serve as a passable simulacrum for the wasabi experience, but if you haven’t tried real wasabi, or hon-wasabi, you are missing out.

Wasabi performs two important roles in the sushi world. Firstly, of course, it lends a powerful and distinctive taste that many sushi fans find irreplaceable. Secondly, it contains powerful agents known as isothiocyanates. These chemicals are not only what give the spice its flavor, but they have also been shown to inhibit the growth of microbes. Before the days of the strict health standards that sushi restaurants are held to, wasabi was able to help keep the raw fish clean and prevent the spread of foodborne illness.

Chirashizushi: Sushi the Size of a Bowl

Most of the sushi at our Bellevue Japanese restaurant is easy enough to identify as such. The rolls, the classic nigiri, these are the dishes that we all tend to imagine when we hear the word “sushi”. However, sushi can come in some surprising forms, and it may be hiding on our menu in places that you wouldn’t think to look.

This first thing to understand is that the word “sushi” refers to the special vinegared rice that is employed in sushi dishes, and not the fish that generally goes with it. The term is therefore applied to pretty much anything that makes use of this rice, be it as small as a bite-sized roll or as large as a full bowl. Bowl-sized sushi exists in the form of chirashizushi, often called “chirashi sushi” in English speaking countries. These generally take the form of a sushi-style donburi, with a scattering of sashimi sitting on a bed of sushi rice. You can try this traditional dish today at Flo’s Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar!

The Magic of Mochi

Fancy a little dessert after a night of fine Japanese dining? At our Bellevue sushi restaurant, you can do as the Japanese do and chase your sushi down with some mochi ice cream! These are lumps of real ice cream wrapped up in traditional Japanese mochi, or sweet rice cake. The final product is soft, delicious, and enjoyed far and wide both within Japan and abroad.

The tradition of mochi was introduced to Japan by China. Mochi is such an important dessert item that it is made in a special ceremony called a mochitsuki. The biggest call for mochi comes on the New Year celebration, where mochi of all kinds is traditionally eaten.

At Flo, you can order green tea, strawberry, mango, or coffee mochi. Come and try this unforgettable Japanese treat today!