This is the food which the big mayority of people will think of when you tell them Japanese cuisine or Japan. In short sushi can be explained as the raw meat with a rice wrapped together, but with this short explanation I think we devalue the art of a good sushi. Because one doesn’t need to be a shef to buy a salmon and pu it on a rice or wrap it with seaweed. But to make great and tasteful sushi is a simpy an act of art.
So how and why was a sushi invented let’s look at history of it before I will present you some classic sushi types, some facts or even recommend you a sushi restaurant in Japan if I will be lucky to find one with good reviews or some ladder of the best ones. In case you don’t want to read about it you can scroll down where I posted a video from youtube about the history of sushi.
So for making the best sushi of all time they key isn’t the fish but actually the rice you are going to use. Of course selecting the good fish is important as well but since we are taking it from historical and my personal point of view I shall give bigger credit to the rice. The word Sushi doesn’t refer to “raw fish” as many of us may think but it actually means “Sour rice”.
The origin of sushi and also so called first suhi was Narezushi. Narezushi is the traditional fermented sushi dish. Skinned, gutted fish are salted and placed in a barel made out of wood with cooked riced. And so was the fish conserved for months. The rice soaked the aroma and saltness of the fish. This fermented rice ahad an unique taste. This type of conserving fish appeared in east asian around 10-4 years b.c. The rice wasn’t eaten back then because of it strong taste.
The first mention of sushi in Japan comes from Nara period around the year 700. Unlike in other countries japanese people started eating the rice with the sushi before the rice vingar (around 14th century) was invented which later on flavored the rice to give the taste more sourness.
Sushi as a food became popular during the Edo period (16th-18th century) in those times was the fresh raw fish meat eaten with vinegared rice and the types and styles of making sushi started to grow and sushi became more and more popular.
In the 19th-20th century, period of Meiji, the isolation of Japan ended. And Japan became more open to the World. And with open japan the culture started to mix Japan was for everyone a country of a wonder and the open politics bring to Japan new and great invetions such as invetions of freezing groceries, which was a great invetion to perfecten the art of sushi preparation. In these time originally tokyo’s speciality Nigiri and Maki sushi spread to the whole Japan and also to world. Sushi got really popular in the USA around the end of 19th century. In 1883 was opened the first japanese restaurant in San Fransico.
The real fame and popularity of suhi started in the 60ties of the 20th century in Los Angeles when the california roll was invented. Expensive tuna was replaced with a savory crab and avocado. Also another speciality and revolutionary difference about this roll is that the rolld is reversed. Meat and avocado are still in the middle of the roll, covered around with seaweed which is wrapped around with rice which is at the outside of the roll.
In suhsi world eixst over a 100 types of sushi and new combinations are still being explored.
Basic types (you will know them for sure):
- Makizushi – meaning “rolled sushi”. Generally wrapped in Nori (seaweed), but can occasionally be wrapped in a thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber, or shiso (perilla) leaves
- Nigirizushi – meaning “hand-pressed sushi”. Typically made of a hand formed rectangle of sushi rice with a swipe of wasabi on top, finished with some type of topping or Neta (normally Salmon, Tuna, or other seafood).
- Temaki – “long sushi roll”
Another types of sushi (less known):
- Inarizushi – This is a pouch of fried tofu (abura age) filled with Sushi Rice.
- Oshizushi – means “pressed sushi”. It is also known as hako-sushi which means “box sushi”
- Ikura gunkan
- Tamagoyaki – sushi with fried eggs
Healthy or not?
*) Start eating sushi with the fish with the whitest meat– then silver – and eat your way to the red meat fish – and now continue with salmon – then the sushi with a fish with a lot of fat in meat – and egg sushi as a dessert
*) Be carefull how to you use your chopsticks!! You can look up many rules and table etiquettes on the internet and it is also acceptable to eat sushi with hands
*) Don’t eat ginger together with any sushi it is for cleaning your mouth of a previous taste
- Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo, Japan (Jiro; dreams of sushi – youtube)
- Komuro, Tokyo, Japan
- Kiku, London, England
- Isami, Paris, France
- Aida, Paris, France
- Matsuhisa, Los Angeles, USA
- Jewel Bako, New York, USA