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What’s the best type of sushi to end a meal on? Japanese survey picks the pieces

4 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Kaitenzushi restaurants, where you grab plates of sushi off a conveyor belt as they stream past you, are a fantastic choice for indecisive diners. Since you’re not locked into any sort of set meal, you can grab whatever you like, in whatever quantity you like, on a whim, allowing you to make adjustments on the fly like a seafood-loving dynamo.

But while the freedom and flexibility of kaitenzushi may be limitless, your stomach capacity, of course, is finite. So as you feel yourself getting full, at some point you’re going to have to answer a difficult question: What should your last piece of sushi be?

That’s one of the things Japanese fishery company Maruha Nichiren asked Japanese diners in its annual kaitenzushi survey, which this year collected responses from 1,000 participants (500 men and 500 women). Let’s take a look at the top 10 choices for how to cap a sushi meal (and if you think you can never have too much sushi, you’ll be happy to know that thanks to ties and Japanese linguistic quirks, there are actually 12 types of sushi in this “top 10”).

10 (tie). Otoro (3.2 percent of respondents)

10 (tie). Negitoro (3.2 percent)

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Otoro (extra-fatty tuna) and negi toro (minced tuna belly with green onions, as seen above) are tasty, but also two of the more decadent items on the menu at a sushi restaurant, and perhaps a bit heavy of an ending note for some people’s tastes. There’s also the fact that otoro is just about the most expensive kind of sushi, so if you’ve already plowed through several other plates of premium-priced selections, you might find yourself reaching for something that’s lighter in your stomach and on your wallet (as proof, we’re too cheap to even have a picture of otoro).

8 (tie). Uni (3.5 percent)

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8 (tie). Hamachi/buri (3.5 percent)

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Another tie, one half of which is uni (sea urchin). On the other end, we’ve got hamachi and buri, which are both actually the same fish: yellowtail. Certain species of fish get called by different names in Japanese depending on how old the fish is, so younger yellowtail are hamachi while more mature specimens are buri, highly prized for its firm texture and especially sweet flavor when caught in winter (and while we’re at it, there’s also inada, yellowtail that’s even younger than hamachi, which is also delicious, though somewhat harder to find in restaurants).

7. Maguro akami (3.6 percent)

We’re going to see tuna on the list several times, but in this case we’re referring to the standard, lean cut of the fish, which has always been a sushi stalwart.

6. Engawa (3.9 percent)

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If you’re learning Japanese, engawa is a two-for-one vocabulary word. Not only does it refer to the outer edge of a cut of flounder (seen here sitting atop slices of shiso, or Japanese basil), it also means “veranda,” since that’s the part of a house found at its outer edge.

4 (tie). Tekkamaki (4.7 percent)

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4 (tie). Ebi (4.7 percent)

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Tekkamaki, thin tuna rolls, usually comes sliced into either four or six morsels, making it a convenient thing to share with friends if you’re all craving just a bit more sushi, but don’t think you can finish off a whole plate by your selves. Meanwhile, ebi (shrimp) being served boiled instead of raw provides a clean, non-fishy flavor to finish on.

3. Chutoro (5.4 percent)

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Medium-fatty tuna is more moderate in price and fattiness than otoro, and so it’s a comfortably affordable luxury to have lingering on your taste buds as you walk away from the counter.

2. Tamago (5.8 percent)

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The humble tamago (egg) might seem like an anticlimactic closer, but Japanese-style omelets have an enticing sweetness to them, and so making your last piece of sushi tamago is almost like eating a refreshing dessert.

1. Salmon (10.5 percent)

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And finally, the survey participants’ favorite finale was salmon, which gets called by the corrupted pronunciation saamon as often as it does the indigenous Japanese “shake.”

Salmon has a number of things going for it. Delicious as it is, it’s also got a clean finish, so you won’t find yourself in need of a palate cleanser. It’s also low-priced and light in oil, making it a guilt-free option in more ways than one.

But salmon no doubt owes a lot of its first-place finish to the simple fact that it’s consistently picked by Japanese diners as their favorite kind of sushi, and that trend continued in Maruha Nichiro’s most recent poll. In addition to being the top choice for final piece of sushi, salmon was the number-one pick for “first piece of sushi to eat,” and also for “type of sushi you often eat” at kaitenzushi restaurants. Oh, and it swept those ranking regardless of whether you’re counting the 1,000 respondents as a whole or dividing them into responses from men and women. Just one more arrow to have in your quiver should some ill-informed foodie try to tell you that “people in Japan don’t eat raw salmon.”

Source: Maruha Nichiro

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Here’s what a 10,000-yen Sushi Cake from Japan looks like

-- There’s only one place in Japan where this kind of sushi isn’t red, but why?

-- Japanese diners pick their eight favorite types of sushi, create mouthwatering dinner blueprint

© SoraNews24

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4 Comments
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I think tuna is the best because the taste is simple, so you should eat tuna at the end of a meal.

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I always have Saba for a happy ending. The depth and complexity of flavors, plus the sensation the slight oiliness creates on the tongue, makes this the perfect sushi "dessert".

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"In addition to being the last piece of sushi people like to eat, it's also the first...."

You know what? it's also the second, third, fourth, fifth, and so on. Which is to say, there is no set trend, and none of it matters. Eat what you want, and enjoy it. Don't leave it to others to try and tell you in what order something at a rotating sushi restaurant of all places should be eaten.

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I always end with gari and a sip of green tea. I feel satisfied upon completing that.

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