What is meant by “clean cut” in Japanese gastronomy?

Japanese cuisine differs from other cuisines in the world in that the food is very “clean”.
This applies from everyday food to fine dining.

In Japanese cuisine, the ingredients are prepared as little as possible.
To highlight the unique flavors and aromas of the ingredients, the way you use the knife is crucial to how tasty the dish ends up being.
This means that there are other requirements for the way you use your knife. In Japan, your knife can be used in many thousands of different ways; it is the raw materials in question that determine which technique to use.

The fewer raw materials used in a dish, the more important it is that knife techniques are used, made as “clean” as possible, i.e. do not make notches or marks in the raw materials in order to get the full benefit of the raw materials.

At Sushi course for beginners, you will be introduced to the most commonly used Japanese knife techniques.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

What kind of fish can be eaten raw?


Basically, all fish can be eaten raw. However, there is a big BUT.

Not all types of fish are suitable for eating raw. There are several reasons for this.

  1. In some fish species, the structure of the fish meat is of a quality that makes them unsuitable for being eaten raw. It requires you to be a Japanese trained sushi chef to be able to see that.
  2. The place where fish has been caught plays an important factor. There are some places where the world’s oceans are having a hard time due to local pollution. Fish caught in those places should never be eaten raw.
  3. Fish sold at fish auctions is divided into quality grades. Everything that is eaten raw must be of the best quality to avoid getting sick. It requires you to be a Japanese trained sushi chef to be able to see that too.

Read more about Sushi course for beginners

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

How is sushi seaweed produced?

Sushi seaweed is produced in the sea.

In autumn, seaweed grower in small boats sails out to sea. Small seaweed plants are attached to the mesh and lowered just below sea level. Here the seaweed is allowed to grow at its own pace until spring. When the seaweed plants are approx. 20 cm long, they are ready to be harvested.

Small boat sails out to sea and the seaweed grower picks up the many mesh nets on board. The boats sail directly to the seaweed factory which is right next to the coast. Seaweed is filled in large plastic containers and poured directly into large containers that wash and clean the seaweed. Air is supplied to make the mass softer. The seaweed must go through several processes, where it is both cleaned and chopped into smaller pieces.

Once the tongs have been given the right consistency, the tongs poured into, long in square shapes and air-dried by several rounds. Before the final forceps are fine-sorted, the forceps are checked for microscopic irregularities that cannot be seen with the eye.

The tongs are then divided into grades and packed in airtight packaging.

Read more about Sushi course for beginners

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

How has wasabi become part of a Japanese sushi meal?


Wasabi became part of a sushi meal several thousand years ago.

Japanese sushi is originally a poor man’s dish. Japan is originally a fishing community.

Many years ago (8th century), many poor fishing families lived along the coasts of Japan. At that time, people did not earn much as a fisherman and it was difficult to feed the family. Most meals consisted of rice and fish.

At that time, the Japanese fishermen did not have a refrigerator either. To ensure that a few of the fish caught in the early morning hours for the family could also stick to be eaten in the evening, wasabi was smeared on the fish slices just before it was to be eaten. Wasabi was smeared on the fish slices to take some of the smell and to kill bacteria.

Since then, the meal has been refined to what we know today. Today, wasabi is used as a kind of spice on sushi pieces. It’s a way for sushi restaurants in Japan season a meal.

Read more about Sushi course for beginners

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

What is Japanese Sea urchin?


Japanese sea urchin also called uni in Japanese is a sea animal. It is round and has a lot of spikes, like a hedgehog.

Japanese sea urchins can be found on the menu of Japanese sushi restaurants in Japan and exclusive sushi restaurants in the US. It is a very fine and delicate taste.

In Europe, more and more people gets to know sea urchins, there are several European chefs who have traveled to Japan in recent years. The food experiences they have had in Japan have been taken to Europe. More and more restaurants in Denmark have got sea urchins on the menu.

In Denmark, sea urchins most often come from the Faroe Islands.

In Japan, many different kinds of sea urchins are found in the sea around Japan.

Sea urchins do not taste the same. The Japanese sea urchins are divided into what area of ​​Japan they come from and their quality. It is bit like prawns.

In Europe you can buy cheap prawns, where the quality is not so good. Then you have the Greenlandic, which have a much finer quality. Similarly, there will be a difference in sea urchins.

Read more about Sushi chef & sake sommelier

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

Can you make sushi without nori seaweed?

Sushi roll futomaki with prawns, web: http://chefzoeescher.comYou can make sushi without seaweed.

Except from nigiri sushi, I would not recommend making e.g. sushi rolls without nori seaweed. It’s never really going to taste good.

Nori seaweed is the vegetable in the world that contains the most vitamins and minerals; it plays a very important role in relation to sushi. Seaweed adds an extra taste experience to the other ingredients in the roll. Seaweed also keeps all the filling in place when you eat a piece of sushi. Then it is a good dining experience.

If you don’t use nori seaweed, the sushi pieces will have a completely different taste and consistency. You may also risk the rollers falling apart.

If you do not like seaweed, then my best advice is. Try eating a few single pieces of hosomaki (the small roll) with cucumber. It can take some time before the taste buds get used to sushi.

Read more about Sushi course for beginners

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

How many levels are there in sushi in Japan?

There are many sushi levels. In Denmark there are 3 levels and in Japan there are 5 levels.

In Denmark you can divide sushi into 3 different levels.

The first level is sushi that is served on a transport belt. These are sushi restaurants where you can eat as much as you like for a fixed price.
The second level is where you can find most sushi restaurants in Denmark. This type af restaurant can be found in small and large cities thoughout Denmark.
The third level is where sushi restaurants  have developed their very own concept and sushi. There are not that many of them.

In Japan, you can divide sushi into 5 different levels.

The first level is sushi that is served on a transport belt, they are primarily found in large cities in Japan.
The second level are restaurants, which are found in most cities in Japan.
The third level are sushi restaurants, which have refined their techniques used by sushi restaurants at level 2. They  often have a bib gourmand in the michelin guide.
The fourth level are the sushi restaurants that have received 1, 2 or 3 stars in the michelin guide.
The fifth level are sushi restaurants where the professional level is so high that they are too good to be in the michelin guide or any international lists.

In a Sushi course for beginners, you will learn how to make high-quality sushi that is suitable for being served for a wonderful sushi dinner at home.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

How much seaweed do the Japanese eat?

The Japanese eat a lot of seaweed.

In the sea around Japan, many different types of seaweed grow. Seaweed used for sushi and seaweed used for various kinds of Japanese dishes. Many thousands of years ago, the Japanese began drying seaweed. Seaweed was dried in such a way that vitamins and minerals remained intact. It was also a way to extend the shelf life.

Today, seaweed is grown on the sea bottom like as wheat is grown in other parts of the world. It is an agriculture that takes place on the sea bottom. The companies that produce seaweed have facilities that can dry large quantities of seaweed every single day.

Read more about Sushi course for beginners, where you learn about nori seaweed used for sushi.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

Are there different kinds of ginger for sushi?

There are different kinds of ginger for sushi.

In Japan, there are many different types of pickled ginger for sushi. Ginger is a very common ingredient in Japanese cuisine it is used daily in various dishes.

In the exclusive sushi restaurants in Tokyo, you will find that the restaurants make their own pickled ginger. They taste different than it can be bought by the glass in a supermarket or in an Asian store.

An exclusive sushi restaurant has their own unique recipe for pickled ginger. The ingredients they use to make the ginger are provided by their supplier.

In the Sushi course for beginners, I talk more about what Japanese sushi chefs look for when buying ginger for sushi.

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.

Is there a big difference in rice for sushi?

There is a big difference in sushi rice.

There are many countries that grow sushi rice. Japan, the United States, China and Korea grow large quantities of sushi rice every single year.

Within each country there are many different types of sushi rice. It can be compared to if you buy a bottle of white wine from France. In France, there is not just one who produces white wines. No, there are many different types of grape and wineries that produce white wines.

Like grapes for white wines, there are also types of sushi rice that are complex, ie. very difficult to cook and that has an impact on sushi restaurants, but also for you at home who want to make cook quality sushi rice.

In the Sushi course for beginners, you learn step by step how to cook sushi rice, so that the rice you cook at home is of a quality that is suitable for sushi.

Read more about Sushi course for beginners

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Zoë has lectured and held sushi courses for A. P. Moller – Maersk, Hugo Boss Nordic, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, Velux, Gorrissen Federspiel, Beierholm revision, Elbek & Vejrup and many more.