When sashimi appears on your plate, it probably seems like an extremely simple dish. After all, it’s just a collection of small slices of fish flesh. However, the craft of making sashimi is still one that requires a lot of practice to do correctly.
An itamae-in-training needs to learn how to slice fish with superior precision. As easy as it may be to cut a bit of fish flesh, not everyone can do it with the kind of grace it takes to make for an attractive dish. The tenderness of fish flesh causes it to break easily, so a chef needs to be able to cut with less force to produce clean, straight, aesthetically-pleasing sashimi.
Further, a skilled itamae needs to have a heightened sense of how a fish tastes. They need to be able to know, at a glance, how a piece of sashimi should be cut in order to get the best of its particular flavors. Certain parts of the tuna, for example, benefits from thick cuts to bring out its taste. The tuna belly, on the other hand, needs to be cut thinner so as to not overwhelm the diner.
Tofu has served as a health food for centuries, since the days when Buddhists circulated it among converts as an alternative to meat. Indeed, its chief benefit is that it is a lean and meat-free source of protein. Of course, since there are many plant-based proteins in the world, why has tofu enjoyed such a special reputation?
While it is true that there are many vegan-friendly sources of protein, very few of these qualify as what is called a “complete protein”. To be a complete protein, a food must contain all nine of the different amino acids that the human body requires to stay healthy. An improper understanding of these amino acids has been the downfall of many people trying to maintain a vegetarian diet.
Tofu is special in that it is one of the very few complete proteins that doesn’t come from an animal. The one problem with tofu as a source of protein is that you need to eat more tofu to get all the protein you need. The good news is that there are many great ways to get all the tofu you need at our Japanese restaurant in Seattle, including our kitsune roll, our golden tofu roll, our tofu tempura, and more.