Mysteries of Sushi Revealed

BY: Groupon Guide |Jul 8, 2015
Mysteries of Sushi Revealed

Once considered too exotic for American palates, sushi is quickly becoming one of the country’s most popular cuisines. Given that, it’s really no surprise that Minneapolis sushi spots are popping up all over the city. But not everyone has taken the leap and tried this Japanese delicacy, which is why Groupon has put together this brief guide to the basics. Read on to learn more, and you’ll be a sushi expert in no time.

What is sushi exactly?

Sushi's core element is always the same: impeccably fresh raw fish. From there, chefs can create an infinite variety of sushi, from a single slice of yellowtail atop a bed of rice to a delicate maki roll that combines eel, avocado, and bits of garlic and seaweed.

That sounds intriguing, but is it really safe to eat raw fish?

It is! According to FDA regulations, most fish intended for raw consumption must be frozen first to destroy parasites and other pathogens, meaning that most fish destined for the sushi counter—though still fresh—has been cooled to between -4 degrees F and -31 degrees F before preparation.

I’m sold. So what are the best sushi restaurants in Minneapolis?

Obento-Ya Japanese Bistro is a perennial favorite thanks to its proximity to the U of M campus, as well as its flavorful summer roll filled with tempura shrimp, ponzu-marinated yellowtail, and crunchy bits of carrot and daikon radish. Locals also flock to Midori’s Floating World Cafe, a casual neighborhood joint known for its ultra-affordable sushi menu.

What are some good rolls for a sushi newbie to order?

If you’re still nervous about sampling raw fish for the first time, you have several options. Try ordering a maki roll that features fried seafood—such as a spider roll loaded with tempura crab—instead of raw. Or taste-test a spicy tuna roll, which balances the flavor of raw fish with plenty of chili-pepper-infused mayo. If you’re still not convinced, don’t fret—many sushi spots also offer a handful of vegetarian rolls that don’t have any fish at all.

What if I want to make my own sushi at home?

Amateur sushi chefs should either use cooked seafood (also an option at most sushi restaurants) or buy sushi- or sashimi-grade fish that has been pre-frozen according to the FDA’s safety guidelines. And try signing up for a cooking class—many culinary schools and restaurants offer beginners courses in sushi making, so you can learn straight from the experts.