Is Sushi in America Different from Sushi Found in Japan?

What’s the difference between the sushi made in America versus what you’d find in Japan?

Yes, there are indeed a few differences between the two when you look at how it’s made, the seafood used, and even the “sushi bar” atmosphere itself. While it’s not necessarily the case that one is better than the other, there are a few distinctions, which we’ll elaborate on in this article.

Rice & Fish – Ingredient Differences

Let’s begin by highlighting the primary differences with the rice and fish selections.

If you ever get to enjoy a visit to Japan, you’ll notice that their rice looks a little different from what Americans typically use. Their version has a more short-grain, white variety, whereas Americans will make sushi wrapped in standard white or brown rice. The Japanese approach to preparing the rice also includes seasoning it with vinegar, sugar, or salt.

The seafood choices reflect the freshest options around each location. Japan’s waters have an abundance of eel, which they use in much of their sushi. In the U.S., it’s more common to find other sources like tuna or salmon. The Japanese have other seafood dishes, like Sashimi, making use of items like mackerel, squid, and several others. Our menu, for example, has 17 different seafood selections for sushi and sashimi.

The Sushi Chef & Preparation Methods

There’s usually a size difference between American and Japanese sushi as well. Japanese chefs typically cut them into smaller pieces than Americans. They’re also more likely to make use of seaweed along with the rice when they wrap sushi.

American chefs place more emphasis on complementary ingredients than their Japanese counterparts. They may insert less traditional enhancements such as avocado or cheese. Japanese chefs also use a greater volume of rice. In Japan, they view the role of “chef” as more of a lifelong vocation, requiring several years of apprenticeship, mastering rice preparation, and selection of the best seafood portions.

Sushi Bars in Japan Versus America

Finally, you may notice differences in the overall sushi bar ambiance. Japanese generally favor larger sushi bars for business or family meals, while American sushi is often more of a fast-casual, take-oriented experience. There are plenty of variations of both restaurant styles in the United States, however.

We hope this clarifies some distinctions between sushi in America and Japan. Our sushi and hibachi restaurant incorporates a hybrid of both styles to provide the most well-rounded dining experience.

Visit us anytime at Tsunami Sushi to experience the best Japanese food and cuisine anywhere around Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch. Even if you’re not a huge sushi fan, we have plenty of other delicious entrees like Yakisoba or General Tso’s Chicken. Call us anytime to learn more about sushi, in-person dining, delivery, or catering at 941-366-1033.

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