History of Sushi
Sushi is a Japanese food consisting of cooked vinegared rice (shari) combined with other ingredients (neta), usually raw fish or other seafood. Neta and forms of sushi presentation vary, but the ingredient which all sushi have in common is vinegared rice called sushi-meshi.
Raw meat sliced and served by itself is sashimi.
The original type of sushi, known today as nare-zushi was first developed in Southeast Asia possibly along what is now known as the Mekong River and then spread to southern China before introduction to Japan. The term sushi comes from an archaic grammatical form no longer used in other contexts; literally, sushi means “sour-tasting”, a reflection of its historic fermented roots. The oldest form of sushi in Japan, narezushi, still very closely resembles this process, wherein fish is fermented via being wrapped in soured fermenting rice.
Types of Sushi
Chirashizushi -Chirashizushi is a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of sashimi and garnishes (also refers to barazushi).
Inarizushi -Inarizushi is a pouch of fried tofu typically filled with sushi rice alone. It is named after the Shinto god Inari, who is believed to have a fondness for fried tofu.
Makizushi (“rolled sushi”), Norimaki (“Nori roll”) or Makimono (“variety of rolls”) is a cylindrical piece, formed with the help of a bamboo mat, called a makisu Makizushi is generally wrapped in nori (seaweed), but is occasionally wrapped in a thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber, or shiso (perilla) leaves. Makizushi is usually cut into six or eight pieces, which constitutes a single roll order.
- Futomaki -(“thick, large or fat rolls”) is a large cylindrical piece, with nori on the outside. A typical futomaki is five to six centimeters (2–2.5 in) in diameter.
- Hosomaki -(“thin rolls”) is a small cylindrical piece, with the nori on the outside. A typical hosomaki has a diameter of about two and a half centimeters (1 in).
- Temaki -(“hand roll”) is a large cone-shaped piece of nori on the outside and the ingredients spilling out the wide end. A typical temaki is about ten centimeters (4 in) long, and is eaten with fingers because it is too awkward to pick it up with chopsticks.
- Uramaki -(“inside-out roll”) is a medium-sized cylindrical piece with two or more fillings. Uramaki differs from other makimono because the rice is on the outside and the nori inside. The filling is in the center surrounded by nori, then a layer of rice, and an outer coating of some other ingredients such as roe or toasted sesame seeds.
Narezushi -arezushi (“matured sushi”) is a traditional form of fermented sushi. Skinned and gutted fish are stuffed with salt, placed in a wooden barrel, doused with salt again, then weighed down with a heavy tsukemonoishi (pickling stone).
Nigirizushi -Nigirizushi (“hand-formed sushi”) consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses into a small rectangular box between the palms of the hands, usually with a bit of wasabi, and a topping (the neta) draped over it. Neta are typically fish such as salmon, tuna or other seafood.
Oshizushi - Oshizushi (“pressed sushi”), also known as, hako-zushi, “box sushi”), is a pressed sushi from the Kansai Region, a favorite and specialty of Osaka.
Nori - The black seaweed wrappers used in makimono are called nori. Nori is a type of algae, traditionally cultivated in the harbors of Japan. Originally, algae was scraped from dock pilings, rolled out into thin, edible sheets, and dried in the sun, in a process similar to making rice paper.
Neta – For culinary, sanitary, and aesthetic reasons, the minimum quality and freshness of fish to be eaten raw must be superior to that of fish which is to be cooked.
Condiments -Sushi is commonly eaten with condiments. Sushi may be dipped in shōyu, soy sauce, and may be flavored with wasabi, a piquant paste made from the grated root of the Wasabia japonica plant. Japanese-style mayonnaise is a common condiment in Japan on salmon, pork and other sushi cuts.