Do you really know what Sashimi is? Let’s know it depper!

Sashimi

 

Hello! How is your appetite doing? Today, I want to talk about Japanese food that tastes so good and great to eat! Make sure your appetite is not low if it is your tummy will be growling by the end of this post! How much Japanese food or cuisine do you know? I’m sure if you have been to Japan or you are a freak for Japan’s things, you probably know a lot! Japanese foods are known for being so delicious in the world! There are so many kinds of foods and cuisines in Japan, and each local place has different tastes and flavors! You will not get enough to eat as trying each  Japanese food! Let me introduce you to the Japanese food world! ( ゚д゚)_旦~)`ν゚)・;’

By the way, do you know sashimi? The picture of sashimi is above! Have you eaten that before? I know not many people like to eat fishes as raw. Some people say good but some don’t! It is up to you! Let’s not say you don’t like it until you try it lol. I suggest giving yourself at least a try! When I was a kid, I used to hate a couple of foods without trying to eat! I became an adult and somehow I got to have a chance to eat some of what I used to hate! You know what happened? I actually thought that it tasted good lol, so I suggest that way~! If you don’t grow up in foreign countries, sometimes you will see weird things to you, but let yourself make an adventure! Try new things and expand your life! That is my motto! Here this might be your first new thing to try!

 

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What is Sashimi?

 

Sashimi(刺身) means sliced raw fish in English, but it is not for only fish. Sashimi also includes clams and meat too. They slice them so thin and eat them with soy source and Wasabi.

There are a couple of kinds of sashimi.

1.Otsukuri

 

Otsukuri

 

This is the fancy way of sashimi. Fancy way means they decorate the fish to make the plate and dishes look gorgeous. They usually use plates that are like a big fishing board and they put the fish on the special plate. Sometimes to make it look gorgeous, they put the head of the fish on the plate too. Basically, they use all kind of sashimi and decorate in a fancy way!

By the way, the chef captures the fish in a tank and then cuts them while they are alive. That is called Odori gui. Odori means dancing and gui means eat in English. This way pursues freshness.

 

2.Arai

 

Arai means wash in Japanese. They use fish that has crunchy meat when you eat it. They put the crunchy meat of the fish in cold or icy water. As doing this, they can get rid of the oil from the fish, and the smell of the fish. As dipping the meat of fish in cold water, the fish’s meat get tight and make the food feel better and plain!(No picture for this because it looks same as sashimi pictures above)

The fish which has crunchy meat are sea bream, carp, sea bass, and so on.

 

3.Tataki

 

Katsuo no tataki

 

Tataki means chopped in English. They cut the meat of blueback fish on the cutting board with a knife like they chop them. Japanese usually eat tataki with garlic, miso, ginger, green onion, and so on. Comparing sashimi, a slice of tataki is thicker than a slice of sashimi.

Tataki has the other way too. After they cut them, sometimes they roast them on the surface of the meat a little quick. Famous roasted Tataki is Katsuo no tataki(Roasted bonito. Picture is above).

The fish which has blueback are horse mackerel, sardine, and so on.

 

History of Sashimi

 

It is said sashimi started from Muromachi period(1336~ 1573AC). This is written on an old document “Suzukakaki(鈴鹿家記)”. According to this document, they used to eat a carp(Koi). While in this period, they invented soy sauce so they ate Sashimi with soy source.

But before this period, Japanese had a habit of eating a row fish. That is called Namasu(). They used to chop the fresh fishes into the small pieces and cook with vinegar.

The difference between Namasu and Sahimi is a size of the way they cut. Sashimi is cut thicker and bigger than Namasu.

 

Why isn’t Sashimi called Kirimi?

 

Samurai Battle

Sashimi used to be called Kirimi. Kiri means cut in English. Mi means meat of something(in this case, fish). But in Samurai society, they tended to hate the word of cut, because they used the word of cut when they killed somebody with a sword. So cut was bad luck for Samurai people. That is how sashimi was named.

Buuuuut Sashi means stabbed in English. Back then people also didn’t use the word of sashi. Especially in Kansai(around Osaka area now) area with their dialect, cutting fish is Tsukuru so as I said earlier they called sashimi is Otsukuri.

In detail, Otsukuri is also called tsukuri. O is a polite word in Japanese(not all the time.In this situation). Otsukuri is originally from Kansai area.

Sashimi is originally from Kanto area(around Tokyo area now).

 

The sauces for Sashimi

 

Sashimi with soy sauce

Sashimi with soy sauce

Nowadays, when you eat Sashimi, you eat it with soy source but this eating style started from late Edo period(1603-1868). Before they started to eat Sashimi with soy sauce, they used to eat it with vinegar. They also used vinegar with Wasabi, vinegar with ginger, and water pepper vinegar too.

Right before they started to use soy source, they used Irizake(煎酒). Irizake is an old Japanese seasoning, which is made by putting pickled Japanese apricot into Japanese sake and boiling it down.

Except for Irizake, there were Sanshomisozu(山椒味噌酢)(Sansho is a Japanese pepper and Miso is a soybean paste), Sumiso(酢味噌)(vinegared miso), and so on.

There are many sauces that have been invented for Sashimi until they started to use soy sauce in late Edo period.

 

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The spices for Sashimi

 

Utamaro Kitagawa - Sashimi

Sashimi by Utamaro Kitagawa {{PD-1923}}

Do you know what they are doing in the picture above? The lady is grating Daikon(radish). To eat Sashimi, Wasabi is the most popular spice but except for that, grated Daikon was popular too in Edo period. They eat it with soy sauce or without it. Japanese paper was popular to eat Sashimi with. I have seen the people eat Sashimi with them nowadays too.

Those spices are called Karami(からみ). Karami is something that you can get to smell.

When you eat Sashimi in Japanese restaurants, generally, you will eat it with soy sauce and Wasabi nowadays.

By the way, Wasabi has a different reason to put with Sashimi. Wasabi has a bactericidal action and an antimicrobial activity. That is why Wasabi is liked to be used for Sashimi.

 

What are the slices of stringy white noodle stuff?

 

Sashimi with Daikon

This white thing is Daikon(radish). You will see this with Sashimi but do you know why they put it with Sashimi? Daikon is like Wasabi. It has a bactericidal action and an antimicrobial activity. It is said that if you eat Daikon, you won’t get food poisoning.

It is also said that Daikon is to make Sashimi look better. This is true. Daikon makes Sashimi look nicer than they don’t put it, right? v(。・ω・。)

Let me tell you one more thing. Sometimes, you will see Daikon that is put aside like a sword. This is called Ken(けん). Ken in Japanese means a sword.

Therefore, if you see Daikon is put aside like a sword is Ken and Daikon are under Sashimi is called Shikizuma(敷づま).

Usually, they put Daikon as Tsuma but sometimes, you will see the seaweeds, vegetable, or yellow chrysanthemum instead of Daikon(You will see all of them together with Sashimi too sometimes.)

They all are called Tsuma(つま). Shikizuma is also Tsuma.

(In Edo period, Daikon was recognized as Ken. Because Tsuma means edge in Japanese. So, The word of Tsuma was used for a smartweed, an inflorescence of shiso(Japanese herb), a seaweed, and so on with Sashimi in Edo period.)

 

Which fish is most used for Sashimi?

 

This is difficult to answer because it really depends on the restaurants or how much you pay to eat Sashimi. The most popular fishes for Sashimi are tuna, bonito, red snapper, octopus, squid, shrimp, and more…… Many of fishes can be Sashimi.

Red Snapper Sashimi(Tai)

Red Snapper Sashimi(Tai)

But the red snapper is special because of the name. The red snapper in Japanese is Tai(). Have you heard this phrase “Medetai(めでたい)”? This means happy or matters for congratulation in English. Now, you see the red snapper is good fish for Japanese. It is said that the red snapper has a good looking, taste, and good luck so you will see the red snapper much! Even though Ieyasu Tokugawa ate the Tempura of the red snapper(deep-fried red snapper) and died…… Well, it is said that he had a stomach cancer.

Suidobashi Surugadai(Natsu no Bu) by Hiroshige Utagawa

Suidobashi Surugadai(Natsu no Bu) by Hiroshige Utagawa This is a carp but Koinobori {{PD-1923}}

Before the red snapper was most used fish for Sashimi, a carp() was used much. It’s said that Shogun or the Imperial Family used to eat the carp long time ago.

Tuna at Tsukiji fish market

Tuna at the Tsukiji Fish Market

The tuna is most used fish for Sashimi nowadays too. But this fish was not popular in old days. The reason is because of the different name of the tuna. Tuna is Maguro(マグロ) in Japanese but the different name is Shibi(シビ). Shi is death and bi is a day in Japanese so death day…… The samurai society made much of good fortune so there was no way to eat tuna! Top of that, they used to like the plain taste so the fish like tuna has much oil. No wonder they didn’t like the tuna before.

But the tuna was eaten much by the common people. Do you know why? This answer is simple! It used to be disliked to eat by the samurai people so the tuna used to be a low-rank fish. Therefore, it was cheap to have them and the common people loved the tuna.

Fugu Sashimi(Globefish)

Globefish Sashimi(Fugu)

Talking about a low-rank fish, do you know Fugu? Fugu is a globefish in English. At the present time, the globe fish is so expensive to eat. It has a poison but if you get rid of a poison, you can get to eat.(You shouldn’t cook it by yourself. If you want to eat it, let the chef who has a license to cook a globe fish serve you!) The reason why this fish was a low rank is obvious already! It has a poison. Among the samurai society, they made a law to prohibit them from eating a globefish. I have never eaten the globe fish but it is said that it is very delicious. Do you want to try it?? ヽ( ´¬`)ノ

In Edo period, they used to eat a shark as Sashimi too. I don’t see Japanese eats it as Sashimi at the present time but I don’t feel like eating a shark so no thank you!

Anyway, there are many fishes are used for Sashimi.

 

Sashimi restaurant in Edo period?

 

Nowadays, if we want to eat Sashimi food, we have to go to the Japanese restaurants but in Edo period, you could eat it without going to the restaurants. So, where did they used to eat? They used to eat Sashimi outside in the street. Actually, there were many street stalls that sold the foods. One of the street stalls used to serve Sashimi to the people. These sellers were called Sashimiya(刺身屋). They used to sell the tuna and the bonito.

Comparing to the real restaurants, the quality was lower but the people could have Sashimi cheaper. So, they were so popular among a common people. They used to bring their own plate and let the sellers arrange what they wanted.

It won’t happen nowadays, huh?

 

Summary

 

1.Sashimi means cutting meat of something not only fish!

2. In Sashimi, it is not only about slicing, they also chop the meat of the fish on a cutting board and dip them into icy water!

3.Generally, if you see raw fish, that is called Sashimi. In Sashimi, a couple of genres are categorized!

That is all! I hope you will get to like Sashimi and enjoy eating it!

Well, now it is my time to go! Thank you for reading today!

If you want to know Sushi or the difference between Sushi and Sashimi, check those pages!

 

 

 

Have a good day everyone~! ヽ( ^∀^)ノq□

 

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