Brief History of Sushi
It is believed that sushi originated in Southeast Asia early during the current era. With a need to keep meat and fish fresh without refrigeration, food was preserved using a process similar to sushi wrapping. The meat or fish was cured and then wrapped in rice to preserve the freshness. Once wrapped, the meats were left to ferment for several months, which would allow them to last much longer than meat or fish that was only cured. After months of fermentation, the rice was removed and discarded, and the meat was eaten.
Eventually, the idea spread to areas where fish was readily available, such as China and Japan. The Japanese would use white wine, or sake, to ferment their cured fish. Centuries later, vinegar became a common addition to the process, as it allowed the sushi to ferment much faster.
It was not until the 1820’s when chefs began to use raw fish when preparing sushi. This Edo-style sushi is the style of sushi that you will most commonly find in restaurants today. In the early 1900’s, Tokyo was overrun with
food service stalls, which encouraged the nigari-sushi trend due to its portability and simple preparation. Street stall eventually died off after World War II due to sanitary concerns, but the nigari-style still remained.
Over the past 20 years, sushi has become an extremely popular food in western culture and is a healthy alternative to other dining options. Hundreds of sushi rolls have been introduced, including those that do not include fish or seafood. Today, sushi is a common dish served all over the world.
Nigiri sushi is a type of Japanese dish made with sushi rice and fresh fish. The sushi rice is hand formed into a small clump, and the fish is sliced and pressed on top of it. In some cases, nigiri sushi uses a small strip of toasted seaweed called nori to bind the whole mixture together, although this is not obligatory. Nigiri sushi is commonly found in sushi restaurants that have a reliable supply of high quality raw fish and well-trained
Maki sushi is a roll that combines various fillings of raw seafood and veggies that are then rolled in vinegar flavored rice and a toasted seaweed otherwise known as nori. There are many types of Maki rolls. Uramaki rolls require skilled chefs who have been trained and understand the detail that is required to make these types of rolls. Others, such as temaki, are easy to make and can be prepared at home with basic direction.
Hosomaki is sushi made with a thin layer of rice around a fish filling such as smelt. The roll is then finished off with a final wrapping of toasted seaweed, or nori, around the outside. An order of hosomaki is usually served in 5-6 pieces.
Temaki is a hand rolled sushi and a popular dish in Japanese casual food. Although you may not find this type of sushi offered at a high-end restaurant, it can be easy and convenient to make when you do not have sushi tools around. This type of roll is made with rice, toasted seaweed known as nori, and a variety of fillings known as neta. It is usually served as a cone shaped roll.