Sunday, June 18
Is sushi a forbidden food?
Sushi might be delicious, but it is hardly a cheat meal. Sushi is primarily composed of high-protein, lean fish that is wrapped in rice and vegetables.
If you want to trace the history of sushi as we know it today, you must look at the chef Hanaya Yohei, who revolutionized the sushi world. Instead of discarding the rice, he discovered that it could be mixed with a bit of vinegar and topped with a thin slice of fish to create a flavorful, bite-sized snack that was delicious, portable, and affordable for the masses.
Why is sushi known as sushi?
History – A dish known as narezushi (,, “salted fish”), which was stored in fermented rice for as long as several months, has been cited as one of the earliest influences on the Japanese custom of applying rice to raw fish. After fermenting the fish with rice vinegar, salt, and rice, the rice was discarded.
The process dates back to the Neolithic cultures of China where rice was first domesticated. In other Asian rice cultures, fermentation techniques following a similar logic include prahok (), pla ra (), burong isda (), sikhae (), and amazake (). The rice’s lacto-fermentation prevents the fish from spoiling.
During the Yayoi period, when wet-field rice cultivation was introduced, lakes and rivers flooded during the rainy season and fish were caught in the rice paddy fields. Pickling was a method for preserving excess fish and ensuring food for the upcoming months; consequently, narezushi became an essential source of protein for Japanese consumers.
Sushi literally means “sour-tasting,” as the dish has a sour and umami or savory flavor. The term sushi () derives from the obsolete shi terminal-form conjugation of the adjectival verb sui (, “to be sour”), which is no longer used in other contexts. Narezushi still exists as a regional specialty, notably as Shiga Prefecture’s funa-zushi.
During the Muromachi period (1336–1573), vinegar was added to the preparation of narezushi for the purposes of both flavor enhancement and preservation. In addition to increasing the sourness of the rice, the vinegar significantly prolonged the shelf life of the dish, causing the fermentation process to be sped up and eventually stopped.
In Osaka, over the course of several centuries, sushi evolved into oshi-zushi or hako-zushi; in this preparation, the seafood and rice were pressed into shape with wooden (typically bamboo) molds. Not until the Edo period (1603–1868) was fresh fish served over rice seasoned with vinegar and nori. In the 1820s or 1830s, the current style of nigirizushi became popular in Edo (modern-day Tokyo).
Hanaya Yohei (1799–1858) is credited with inventing or perfecting the nigirizushi technique in 1824 at his shop in Rygoku, according to a common account of the dish’s origins. The dish was originally referred to as Edomae zushi because it was prepared with freshly caught fish from Edo-mae (Edo or Tokyo Bay); the term Edomae nigirizushi is still used today as a synonym for high-quality sushi regardless of the origin of its ingredients.
In contrast, a Japanese tourist observing “sushi” in a London shop is frequently appalled by its lack of freshness and excessive chilling. When Japanese do consume sushi, freshness is of the utmost importance, and purchasing sushi directly from a supermarket with a fresh fish section where the fish is cut up in front of your eyes is a popular option.
- It typically arrives in a sushi- oke (pictured above), a round plastic faux-lacquerware container that must be returned at an additional cost (it is typically placed outside the door to your house or apartment block after eating so that it can be picked up later).
- Soy sauce, wasabi (unless you specifically request no wasabi), and ginger slices are served with sushi.
Ginger should be consumed between each course to cleanse and reset the palate. Salmon, hamachi (Japanese young amberjack), and red tuna are the fish used for sushi in Japan. Only on Special Occasions!