Sushi may appear to the untrained eye to be just a little ball of rice with a piece of raw fish on top, but there is much more skill involved in producing sushi than first appears. Sushi is regarded as a real art form in Japanese culture since both its beauty and flavor are significant. Sushi needs to be the proper hue, taste, and texture. And as many people have discovered after seeing movies like Jiro Dreams of Sushi, mastering the art of creating sushi can take years or even decades.
The harmonious arrangement or proportion of components or elements is referred to as balance. And just as in life, finding the right balance is crucial to creating sushi properly. Sushi won’t fit in the mouth if there is too much rice in it. The taste of the fish will dominate if there is not enough rice. Sushi will break apart if the rice and fish are not mixed tightly enough, or if they are combined too loosely.
The perfectly balanced sushi is made by following a number of exact stages. Chefs first need to understand the proper way to chop fish before they can even blend rice and fish. The fillet must first be surgically sliced lengthwise by the chef using a razor-sharp knife. Next, each piece is cut diagonally to enlarge the fish’s tail end. Then, the plump Japanese short grain rice must be combined with an exact amount of vinegar, salt, and sugar. The fish slice is then gently put on top of the wasabi-coated rice. Although this procedure appears to be fairly straightforward, maintaining ideal simplicity and balance is a difficult goal for artists and skilled sushi chefs to achieve. Or, in the words of sushi master Jiro Ono, “Ultimate simplicity equals purity.”