Konbanwa! I just came back from eating out! I went to Japanese restaurant today. I ate Sushi. I am so satisfied with the food I ate earlier. With the being said, I have decided that I want to talk about the most famous food from Japan. I think if I would ask somebody what is Japanese food and see what they would come up with at first, they would say Sushi. Yes! I will talk about Sushi today! To be a modern Sushi, of course, Sushi has developed with the background of Japanese history and circumstances of Japan from the past. Let me talk about that! ヾ(´c_,｀*)
Contents ε=ε=┏( >_<)┛
- 1 What is Sushi?
- 2 History of Sushi
- 3 Why is a ginger at Sushi shop?
- 4 The order to eat Sushi
- 5 Chopsticks or hands to eat Sushi?
- 6 Why is Wasabi on Sushi?
- 7 A green tea for Sushi
- 8 What are Bara-Zushi(ばら寿司), Chirashi-Zushi(ちらし寿司), and Gomoku-Zushi(五目寿司)?
- 9 Rolled Sushi or Sushi Roll(Maki-Zushi/巻きずし)
- 10 Summary
What is Sushi?
Sushi is the most famous of Japanese cuisine! It is so popular all over the world. Sushi came from Sumeshi, Sumeshi is vinegar + rice. Su means vinegar in English, and Meshi means rice in English. Somehow Sumeshi’s me got shortened and started being called Sushi.
Sushi is made of rice and raw fish. the raw fish is put on the rice like the picture above. Sushi is also wrapped up with seaweed. If you go to Japan, there so many Sushi restaurants for all kinds of people. There are expensive Sushi restaurants that the chefs serve you right at your table. They have expensive fresh raw fish that they would serve you. Another one is a Sushi restaurant that has a conveyor belt. Sushi goes around on the conveyor belt until somebody eats it or it has been sitting there a long time.
Nowadays, in Japan, there are many family types of Sushi restaurants that carry all kinds of Sushi. Fish is not the only food that those places serve! You will see a hamburger, ice cream, jello, and so on. Usually, those places are selling one plate for around 100 Yen(about 1 dollar). You see now what I meant about family type! Those restaurants are so popular in Japan right now.
In foreign countries, there is so many unique Sushi that you can get to see. An example is here in the USA, California to be exact there is a roll, that is considered unique Sushi. It has avocado in it, it tastes good, though! （*＾ワ＾*）
History of Sushi
Sushi’s roots go so deep. It goes back to 400 BC from South East Asia. Back then, there was no fridge so to keep fish as protein food, they used to put cooked grain(rice or wheat) with the salt inside of the fish. To do that, using lactic acid bacteria help to make a fermented food like cheese. Those material contain much nutrition. The fish around this time was basically river fish like carp. They put heavy things like rocks on fish which had cooked grain inside. They let them keep like that for a couple months to a couple of years. To do so, caused those fish to have different delicious tastes. When they eat them, they remove rice from fishes and eat. They could keep them for a long time without having a fridge.
That method went to China from southeast Asia and came to Japan. That method is called Narezushi in Japan. The style of cooking came to Japan while Heian period(794 – 1185 AC). Actually, this way to make Narezushi still exist in Japan. In Shiga prefecture, they have a local special product, it is called Funazushi. Funa is a crucian carp in Japanese. Zushi means Sushi in Japanese. This Sushi has been made since 1000 years ago, they used to give this special product to the Imperial Court. It was that important of a cuisine for Imperial Court. If you have any chance to go to Shiga prefecture, you must eat that or bring me some back lol.
As time goes by, in Muromachi period(1336 – 1573 AC) the span of letting them ripen got shorter. They found out that about 2 weeks was a good time to eat rice and fish together. This was called Namanare, this was spread around everywhere in Japan. But to ripen them longer(around 4 years) was the best time for good flavor it was said.
Now let’s fly to the Edo period(1603 – 1868 AC)! While in this period, there were many street stands that got popular in Edo which is Tokyo now. At this time to make Sushi, they started using Vinegar with Sushi. Vinegar has preservative efficacy. They didn’t have to wait to ferment long, so what they did was put fish in a box and put a lid on it, this gave pressure onto the box. That was called Hakozushi. Hako means box in Japanese. Around this time, they started to roll Sushi with their hands. This was a fast way to make Sushi called Hayazushi. Hayai means Fast in Japanese. Now you know the reason why that street stand was spread in Edo. They also used fish, clams, and seaweed from Tokyo bay. This Sushi from Tokyo(Edo) is called Edomaezushi. They used to roll Sushi the size of tennis balls at this time lol.
After this, unfortunately, 1923the Great Kanto earthquake happened. It is said the people who were making Sushi in Tokyo went back to their hometown and spread the modern day of Sushi in Japan.
Why is a ginger at Sushi shop?
When you go to Sushi shop, you will see the thing like a picture above. This is a ginger and it is called Shouga(生姜). But at a Sushi shop, this is called Gari. Gari is the slices of ginger pickled in sweetened vinegar. Aren’t you curious about why it is on the table all the time? I let you know the reason!
At first, I want to let you know why it is called Gari. When you eat Gari, the sound of chewing it is like “Gari Gari”. This is how Japanese expresses this sound in Japanese so it is called Gari.
Do you know a ginger is good for your body? A ginger has a couple of the efficacy of a drug or medicine. For example, a prevention from a food poisoning, it gives you a perspiration, it helps your digestion, a prevention from getting older or cancer, and more! It is good for you to eat a ginger.
By the way, at a Sushi shop, the meaning of a ginger is for taking away the aftertaste from your mouth so you can eat the next Sushi fresh in your mouth. That is what Gari is for. A ginger is good for your health so let’s start eating it!
The order to eat Sushi
To eat Sushi, there is an order. You are supposed to start to eat Sushi that has a light taste and gradually, start to eat the stronger taste Sushi. As you know, the strong taste always kills the light taste. so if you follow this way, you can enjoy tasting Sushi better.
But this is actually nothing! You can eat whatever you want to eat! You don’t have to be strict for this order!
Chopsticks or hands to eat Sushi?
Some people use chopsticks and some people use their hands to eat! If this confuses you, I give you an answer. If you want to use chopsticks, use it! If you want to use your hands to eat Sushi, use your hand! It doesn’t really matter! It is up to how you want to eat Sushi!
Why is Wasabi on Sushi?
Do you know what is Wasabi? Wasabi is a Japanese horseradish. It is hot to eat it but I love to eat Wasabi. Usually, Wasabi is put between a rice and fish for Sushi. The reason why Wasabi is put on Sushi is the same way of Gari. Wasabi can prevent a fish from smelling strong, it can tighten the taste of Sushi, and a bactericidal effect. That is why Wasabi is used for Sushi.
A green tea for Sushi
If you go to Sushi restaurant, you usually drink a green tea. Of course, there is a water to drink too but the most Sushi restaurants serve a green tea. A green tea is like Gari or Wasabi too and it has a reason. A green tea contains catechin. This prevents a bacteria that causes a food poisoning from being active and a bactericidal effect.
Gari, a green tea, and Wasabi are not only for eating with Sushi. Japanese people think about those effects too from a long time ago!
What are Bara-Zushi(ばら寿司), Chirashi-Zushi(ちらし寿司), and Gomoku-Zushi(五目寿司)?
Chirashi(su) means scatter in English so this is a scattered Sushi. They put the raw fish and sliced strips of egg on rice. This rice is mixed with vinegar. When they put the fishes and eggs, they decorate them like they scatter them so this is how it is called. The fish for Chirashi-Zushi are various. For example, tuna, Japanese scallop(Hotate), salmon, salmon roe, shrimp, octopus, squid, crab, sea urchin, and so on. You can pour soy sauce over the fish in the bowl or you can use a small plate to pour soy sauce and eat the fish.
Chirashi-Zushi is similar with Kaisen Don(海鮮丼) but the difference between them is vinegar. Chirashi-Zushi takes vinegar for rice but Kaisen Don doesn’t take it.
Bara-Zushi(ばら寿司) = Gomoku-Zushi(五目寿司)
Bara-Zushi is also called Gomoku-Zushi(五目寿司). So, you can understand them as the same thing. The reason why it is called Bara-Zushi is because the rice comes apart with vinegar. Bara means to come apart in English.
They cut fish that are grilled or pickled in vinegar into small pieces and mix vegetables with rice which is blended with vinegar. At last, they put ginger, seaweed, and Kinshitamago(thinly shredded egg omelet).
The vegetables are various. They usually use Shiitake(Japanese mushroom), Kanpyo(dried gourd shavings), boiled carrot, lotus, and so on. The fish are usually salmon row, shrimp, grilled sea eel, simmered squid, boiled octopus, and so on.
Around Kanto area(around Tokyo), this is sometimes called Maze-Gohan.
Did you understand the difference between Chirashi-Zushi and Bara-Zushi(Gomoku-Zushi)?
- Chirashi-Zushi is to put fish on top of the rice.
- Bara-Zushi(Gomoku-Zushi) is to mix all of fish and vegetables with the rice.
*(Every local place has its own way to make them. Therefore, you might hear the different definition. )
Rolled Sushi or Sushi Roll(Maki-Zushi/巻きずし)
Normal Sushi is called Nigiri-Zushi. This is what you will see if you go to Sushi restaurants. The row fish are on top of the rice. I have talked about it above but I think I have to explain what rolled Sushi or Sushi roll is. Have you seen the Sushi is wrapped by seaweed? This is rolled Sushi or Sushi roll.
If you live in the US, California roll is popular, right?
Sushi has a deep history and keeps on evolving! Which Sushi do you like? This conversation makes me hungry and wants to go to Sushi restaurant. My appetite wants them so bad! I hope this page helped you to understand what Sushi is!
If you want to know about Sashimi, check this page out!
Sashimi vs Sushi is here.
I have to go now!
||Bye||Ю o(▽｀ o) ＝３ ＝３ ＝３♪