One of the greatest things about sushi is that it can be every bit as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. If you really want to push the boat out you can go as wild as you like – it’s perfectly possible to blow a small fortune on a single portion of the stuff. At the same time though, it doesn’t have to cost a great deal to enjoy pretty stunning sushi dishes – the sushi takeaway has become an institution that’s well within anyone’s budget.
What Makes the Difference?
Thousands of newbie sushi fans ask the same question every day – why are some types of sushi so much more expensive than others? Some plates will set you back £5 and others closer to £100, so why the big difference?
The answer is actually pretty simple and obvious to a degree – it’s all about the ingredients used. The most affordable component of any sushi dish is of course the rice. As such, you’ll generally find that the higher the ratio of rice to filling, the cheaper the sushi will be. And then of course the nature of the ingredients used comes into the equation too – some fish, vegetables and garnishes are inevitably more expensive than others.
What’s more, it’s worth remembering that a sushi takeaway will almost never be as expensive as a full-service restaurant. If dining in a restaurant, you may find the most affordable way to go is with a fixed-price sushi set. Prices of course vary hugely, but where the sets have been graded by the chef, ‘ume’ is usually the cheapest and ‘matsu’ the most expensive.
Sushi for Cheap
So let’s say you’re looking to either buy or make sushi for cheap – what are the best options out there?
Well, as mentioned above it’s important to think of the price of the ingredients and how much rice you’ll be using/eating in relation to fish. Maki rolls are a perfect example of simple and affordable sushi – a single ingredient is used in the centre of the rice and can be anything from salmon to tuna to green pepper to mushroom. Stepping up to futomaki which is essentially the same only a little larger need not make a big difference in price either. Some of the most popular futomaki fillings of all include things like surimi, cream cheese, omelette, smoked salmon, cucumber and chives – none of which are pricey.
It’s also possible to make nigiri sushi very cheaply as it’s again a very simple combination – opt for affordable fish and nigiri need not be overpriced.
On the other end of the spectrum, sushi has the potential to be phenomenally expensive. It all comes down to the choice of ingredients used and the effort that goes into making the stuff.
For example, nigiri sushi made with minimal rice and the finest cuts of raw fish on Earth will set you back a pretty penny to say the least. The same also goes for any standard sushi rolls that happen to be garnished with expensive caviar, laced with rare seafood or presented as something of a work of art. Sashimi is notoriously expensive as this is the kind of sushi that consists of nothing but generous slices of the finest fish in the world – no rice at all.
And just for the record, the most expensive sushi ever created features African diamonds and 24-karat gold leaves – it was valued at just under £1500 for five pieces…not your average sushi takeaway!