Sushi is one of the most popular and sought after dishes in America and other western countries. Though many of us associate sushi with Japanese Cuisine it was in fact a culinary discovery made in China. Here are some interesting facts about sushi its origin and evolution!
If you were eating Sushi in China in the 7th Century then you would have been quiet surprised when you are served fermented fish. But that is exactly what sushi consisted during that age. The traditional sushi consisted of fermented fish and rice.
In China fish caught had to be preserved, so they were cleaned, filleted and then pressed between layers of salt for months. With time they figured that if they rolled the fish in rice that was soaked in vinegar the fish fermented faster. They used to throw the rice out and then eat the fish until drought and lack of food forced them to consume it all. Thus the traditional sushi was born.
Modern Day Sushi
Sushi traveled to Japan and it is here that it evolved into various types of sushi. The modern day Sushi was invented by Hanaya Yohei in the 17th century in Tokyo. Hanaya was an innovative chef who took his chances with sushi that had fish that was not fermented. To his surprise it instantly took up the status of fast food as it could be easily made and everyone seemed to like it.
Types of Sushi
There are numerous types of sushi that evolved from the original Sushi. The sushi rice is common to all sushi types, it is the type of filling, condiments, topping added and how it is presented that makes one Sushi different from the other.
1. Nigirizushi – This sushi will have small hand clumped rice balls with fish or shelfish on top of it. You can use tuna, shrimp, eel, squid, octopus and even fried egg
2. Makizushi – This is the cylindrical rolled sushi that is created with the help of bamboo mat, called a makisu. Here is a descriptive video on how to make Makizushi. This wrapping for this sushi is generally Nori or seaweed mat. You can also use thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber, or parsley.
3. Gunkan Maki Sushi – This sushi is made of small cups of sushi rice and dried sea wood filled with seafood like sea urchin or different types of fish eggs.
4. Temaki – Temakizushi have cones made from nori seaweed within which the sushi rice, seafood and vegetables will be filled.
5. Oshizushi – This sushi is a pressed sushi in which the the fish is pressed into the sushi rice in a wooden box and then served.
6. Inarizushi – This is a special type of Sushi where the sushi rice and seafood is filled into aburaage or deep fried tofu bags.
7. Chirashizushi -This is a simple sushi preparation in which seafood, mushroom and vegetables are spread over sushi rice.
In America especially the sushi has been adopted and adapted and even renamed. The most importat sushi variety that kick started most of the other adaptation is the California roll which consists of avocado, kani kama (imitation crab stick), and cucumber, often made with rice on the outside, nori on the inside. Some other common Western Sushi dishes are Caterpillar roll, Dynamite roll, Rainbow roll, Spider roll, Philadelphia roll, Salmon roll, Crunchy roll and Seattle roll.
Guess you know enough about sushi to make things easier the next time you choose sushi for dinner or when hunting for sushi recipes, Go ahead and indulge in some sushi.
— Mary Anne Durkee