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Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/2 00:50
Hi all,

I've always been a huge fan of Japanese food but at the same time I'm on a low GI diet. Since japanese rice has a relatively high GI I generally avoid it when dining at japanese restaurants. I'd usually have sashimis instead of sushis plus an array of other appetizers (edamame, tofu, chuka idako, wakame, natto etc).

However, after doing a bit of research online I realized that it seems not as common for sashimis to be served in Japan without the rice. Is this really the case? Also, will it be rude if I were to order the fish slices without the rice? Thanks in advance for all your inputs!
by Czapangel (guest)  

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/2 07:34
Outside of Japan, most Japanese restaurants serve sushi alongside other types of Japanese food.

Inside Japan, sushi is mostly available at specialized sushi restaurants only. Other restaurants rarely serve any sushi. So, to the opposite: sushi is rarely available unless you go to a specialized sushi restaurant:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2036.html

As for sashimi, it is served widely at izakaya and seafood restaurants.

But the vast majority of restaurants in Japan serve neither sashimi nor sushi, but a huge range of other Japanese, Japanized and non-Japanese dishes:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2035.html
by Uji rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/2 10:14
Thanks for the reply! So in other words, sushi ya and kaiten sushi eateries will not carry sashimis as they specialize in sushis and my best bet would be an ikazaya? What about those sushi restaurants around the fish market? Do they not serve sashimi too?
by Czapangel (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/2 12:35
Sashimi is a very common dish in Japan - you can find it in most izakaya, and as a first course in multi-course meals at many Japanese restaurants. You can find it in supermarkets, and you can find it at many mid-priced sushi restaurants, although not at conveyor-belt places.

The traditional way of eating at a sushi restaurant is to start with sashimi and sake, then order sushi at the end when you're finished drinking. It sounds like you might enjoy izakaya more though - there's a greater variety of food, and it's very easy to avoid rice; many places don't even serve rice.



by Umami Dearest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/2 20:24
Sashimi is slices of raw fish. Sushi is slices of raw fish on vinegar rice. So you could, you know, just take the fish off and eat it without the rice. It is a little different, but honestly not really that much. I do that sometimes when I take too many plates of fish at my favorite kaitenzushi restaurant.

And just to put it into perspective cost-wise, at my local izakaya, one plate of sashimi moriawase can cost me 3000+ yen including the seating fee. Now, this stuff is GOOD quality, but sometimes it comes with things I don't eat, like ikura. Or, I could go to a kaitenzushi place, which is 105 yen a plate. Say I usually eat 5 plates with rice, so without is maybe 10-15. That is still going to be cheaper than the izakaya, AND I get to pick the fish I really like instead of getting some I don't. Now you'll get weird looks for leaving the rice and just eating the fish, but whatever.
by scarreddragon rate this post as useful

rice or alcohol 2013/1/3 22:49
The golden rule is that you either have rice or alcohol.

Just like the British must have potatoes with their meals, or perhaps like many need either cereal or toast for breakfast, a Japanese meal always should come with rice.

However, rice and alcohol isn't supposed to go good together. In other words, if you're drinking beer, sake, wine, whiskey or any other alcoholic beverage, you don't eat rice. You eat all the other stuff.

So, if you don't drink, you typically order some dishes like sashimi, vegetables etc., and you eat them with rice. Perhaps you might drink tea along with them.

But if you are drinking, you drink with dishes like sashimi, vegetables etc., and then once you've had enough alcohol, you might want to finish your meal with some rice and soup and switch to tea while you're at it.

That said, it's not actually unusual to order sashimi without rice. But traditionally speaking, sashimi is supposed to go best with either sake or rice, so at an authentic restaurant, the chef might expect you to order at least either of them.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/4 00:20
Sake/beer/wine definitely will raise blood sugar. As a person with diabetes who loves sushi though I will eat it in moderation with a lot of other vegetables or low GI foods and it does not spike my blood sugar. Fried and deep fried foods, sauces or others w/sugar in them will raise it. I always take a nice walk after eating sushi to burn some of the calories/carbs.
by stevenjv (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/4 11:45
Thanks all for the reply! But I do neither alcohol nor rice (unless its unpolished brown rice which is not a Japanese staple) so I guess my best bet would be an ikazaya.

But roughly how much should I expect to pay for a plate of sashimi at a typical ikazaya? If its gonna cost a lot I might just dine at a kaiten sushi place and leave the rice out.
by Czapangel rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/4 13:27
Since you asked in your original post if it would be rude to order sushi without the rice, I would suggest against going to a kaiten-sushi place and picking the toppings off - that would be very rude.

Also an izakaya is more in line with your overall goal - the point of a low-GI diet isn't just to eliminate items like rice, but to replace them with vegetables and other fibrous foods, which you won't find so much of at a kaiten sushi place.

Budget izakaya will serve sashimi platters for well under Y1000 (maybe closer to Y500 for a single type of fish).


by Umami Dearest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/4 13:35
Eating just the fish fillets from sushi, as suggested by scarreddragon and some others, is rude. The chef put together the sushi, considering a good balance between the rice and the fish, so discarding the crucial half is rude.

I believe that izakaya is the place to go for you - and you don't have to order a "moriawase" (assorted plate, normally for at least 2 to 3 people), but you can also order by fish type as well :) Enjoy!

by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/4 20:58
Noted with thanks :) I shan't do that since it is considered rude. At the very least I think that each chef should get the respect they deserve :) Ikazaya it shall be!
by Czapangel rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/6 14:16
You can order sashimi at kaitenzushi as well.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/7 11:56
Most normal sushi restaurants offer sashimi as well, either as set meals or as just ala carte dishes made with fish or as just ordering a single order (2-3 peices) of fish or egg. (But will not have much else, some have a dish of a few pickles or have a salad with sashimi on top or such, but a meal of just soup and sashimi seems weird to me, so if you want more vegetables you might want other sorts of restaurants.)
by w (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/10 10:19
I ate in a few izakayas in Tokyo on a recent holiday to Japan, and I remember plates of grilled mushrooms, quails (?) eggs, grilled fish, lean grilled chicken and sashimi alongside all the other stuff that was served up. So I do agree with other folks that if you want a little choice in your diet you'd probably do best in that kind of venue.
by guest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sashimi instead of sushi 2013/1/10 11:45
Thank you all for the inputs! Will definitely add more ikazayas on my to-go list :)
by Czapangel (guest) rate this post as useful

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