If you’re a newbie to this delectable delicacy from Japan, knowing the difference between your sashimis and temakis can appear confusing. That’s why Hugo Chetcuti and his team have compiled some useful information about the two most common sushi types: nigiri and maki.
Munch on these Maki facts
Those cute little circular rolls wrapped in black and filled with rice and other ingredients are known as maki. Roasted seaweed sheets called nori are rolled around a mound of vinegared rice, along with layers of raw or cooked fish, shellfish and vegetables. Here are 3 of the most popular maki selections ordered by Hugo Chetcuti’s customers.
These are basically maki in reverse. Usually made with avacado, cucumber and crab meat, it’s served with the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside. The rice is often seasoned with sesame seeds or Japanese fish roe like masago or tobiko.
Served with a combination of salmon, cucumber, avocado and of course creamy Philadelphia cheese, topped with black sesame seeds.
Chicken Nuts maki
A recipe for the chicken lovers out there, made with deep fried breaded chicken, Japanese mayo and crushed peanuts.
Presentation is as important as consumption when it comes to maki. This is why the rolls are always served in slices so the colourful arrangements of the filling can be displayed in an artistic manner.
Nibble on some Nigiri Knowledge
Nigiri are a little bit more filling than maki but just as appetizing. They’re usually the preferred choice of sushi in Japan, whereas Westerners usually favour maki rolls. Slices of raw shellfish or fish are pressed onto small oblong pieces of rice with vinegar. Sometimes a thin sheet of nori is used to bind certain ingredients on top, such as eel, prawn, octopus or squid.
Sushi etiquette dictates that sushi should be eaten without the rice being destroyed; this is where an advantage of eating nigiri comes in as it’s easier to dip into sauce or wasabe without breaking it. To enjoy the taste of the seafood more fully, eat it upside down so you can place the fish side on your tongue. Use your fingers as opposed to chopsticks so you can rotate it more easily and keep it together. In fact, Nigiri is Japanese for “two fingers” – the size of a rice portion.
Ready to sample some sushi?
Stop by Hugo’s Lounge in St. Julian’s, owned by Hugo Chetcuti and home to some of the best nigiri and maki sushi in Malta. We offer some particulary exciting selections of rolls, divided into Maki, New Maki and New Modern Maki. Experiment with different Nigiri pieces with smoked eel (unagi) tuna and salmon, or even better, mix them up with maki to form a tasty and assorted platter for the full-on sushi experience.