A traditional staple rice dish of Japanese cuisine called sushi is usually made with vinegared rice and some salt and sugar. The dish is often accompanied by various other ingredients such as vegetables and seafood, often raw. The sushi presentations and their styles vary widely, but the most common ingredient key to the dish is the sushi rice, often referred to as sumeshi or Shari. Traditionally the dish is made with medium-grained white rice, but it can also be prepared with short-grained rice or brown rice.
The dish is mostly prepared with seafood like eel, yellowtail, squid, tuna, imitation crab meat, or salmon, but the dish also has a vegetarian twist. It is mostly served with wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger. The pickled daikon or the daikon radish serves as the most common garnish of the dish. Sometimes, this traditional dish gets confused with another Japanese cuisine called sashimi, which comprises thinly sliced raw fish or some meat.
Interesting Sushi Facts:
Sushi was not originally from Japan- in today’s world, everybody knows that sushi originated in Japan. Still, originally the roots of this practice of wrapping the raw seafood with rice belonged to south-east Asia, and it is one of the amazing facts of sushi. People indulged themselves in the practice of packing raw fish with a ball of rice leading to rice spoiling but also at the same time keeping the raw fish inside fresh for a much longer period.
Originally sold as an affordable snack- one of the interesting sushi facts is that sushi was originally not considered a delicacy. It was sold as a quick and cheap street food snack that can be eaten with hands-on go.
The word sushi stands for rice- To be considered authentic; sushi doesn’t always have to be prepared with rice because the word itself stands for rice used for making this dish. The rolls containing vinegared rice are considered sushi.
The sushi rice was once considered trash- The most interesting fact about sushi is that when sushi originated, the rice was used as a wrapper around the raw fish to add more unique flavors and keep it fresh for a longer period by protecting it from insects. Thus once the fish was eaten, the rice was discarded and was considered trash. But someone came up with a better idea of not wasting the grain and instead incorporated the discarded rice in the recipe by replacing the fermented fish and rice with raw and fresh seafood and vinegared rice.
Seaweed is not the only wrap for sushi- seaweed is the most common wrap for a sushi roll, but there are certainly some other things that can be used as a wrapper for the dish. People who are not fans of seaweed can opt for alternative wraps such as thinly sliced cucumber, soy paper, egg, and semi-firm avocado, which is one of the amazing facts about sushi.
1923 earthquake that made the dish famous- one of the fun facts for sushi is that the dish was traditionally seen as street food sold by vendors who could not afford to open their shops in brick and mortar locations. But the 1923 earthquake changed the fate of this dish when the prices of the properties dipped so low that it became sustainable to own a restaurant and serve it as an eatery rather than street food.
The real wasabi is quite expensive- one of the interesting facts about sushi has is that most restaurants that serve wasabi are not authentic wasabi. Those are originally the horseradish with mustard powder to give it a green color to make it look real wasabi. It is done so because typically, the original plant is very expensive, and thus the restaurants that offer you authentic wasabi charge you extra to offset the cost.
Hanaya Yohei- the inventor of sushi in Japan– during the Edo period, in the mid-1800s, hanaya yohei introduced sushi to Japan. He used the tuna fish for the dish and slightly marinated it in soy sauce to prevent spoilage. Then he served those fish slices wrapped with vinegared rice, which is considered the cradle for modern-day sushi.
The first US state to embrace sushi was Los Angeles– America is unique for it’s diverse food culture. Los Angeles first adopted Sushi as a part of American food. You will also surprised to know that there is a restaurant for Sushi in Japan. It first started in 1966
Sushi in Japan reflects the season- one of the amazing facts about sushi is that a sushi diner in Japan mostly reflects the country’s season and provides its diners with a feeling of fall, winter, summer, and spring. It is so because the sushi chefs mostly go for the fattest and tastiest sushi, which is ready to be reproduced in that particular season.
To become a sushi master, you need to be trained for over 10 years- the most interesting facts about sushi is that sushi chefs often get trained for over 10 years to become sushi masters. Their initial years of training include how to hold the sushi knife correctly, and over some time, they learn the art to create perfect balance with great textures, forms, and flavors.
Nori is originally from scum- in the past, the seaweed was scrapped off from the wooden pier legs and the boat undersides. This scummy material was then prepared into thin sheets and dried outside to form Nori, and it is one of the fun facts for sushi.
Six different types of sushi- there are about six different types of sushis, namely the scattered sushi or Chirashizushi, maki sushi or sushi rolls, sushi served in deep-fried tofu pouches called the Inarizushi, the Nigiri sushi or the fish over rice, nare sushi which is the original form of sushi and the oshi sushi.
Wasabi was used to kill pests and parasites- the real heat of wasabi comes from an antimicrobial chemical originally present in the plant. Thus before using it in sushi, the plant was used to kill parasites and microbes present in raw fish.
Nigiri sushi has to be eaten in upside down style- Nigiri sushi is made up of a fish slice placed on top of the vinegared rice and is meant to be eaten upside down. To eat it correctly, you can either use your hand or with a chopstick. Then turn the sushi upside down, dip the fish in the soy sauce, and eat it all at once and this is one of the interesting sushi facts.
Makizushi got its name from the sushi mat- in Japan, makizushi means the traditional rolling mat used to give the sushi its cylindrical shape. This kind of sushi is made up of nori as the top layer with various fillings, including seafood, fish, fruits, or veggies.
Some Other Interesting Sushi Facts:
What is sushi famous for? The question about what is sushi famous for has various answers. The popularity of sushi in the western world is due to its wide variety of ingredients that make it a pretty healthy and tasty dish and is quite affordable. The dish has an artistic and visually appealing appearance and provides a wide range of unique tastes to the diners.
Sushi etiquettes are a real thing- one of the interesting facts sushi has is while going for sushi dining, there are certain rules and etiquettes that you need to follow so that you do not hurt your fellow diners and chef. These etiquettes include not playing with your chopsticks or never asking if the fish in sushi is fresh and not slathering your soy sauce all over the sushi.
Sushi can be eaten with hands, too- many people face the problems of using chopsticks when they go for sushi dine. But the fact is that you can also use your hand instead of chopsticks to enjoy your sushi experience. The chopsticks are often used to eat sashimi as they contain a lot of raw fish that is thinly sliced.
Machine Ichiro- the man behind the famous inside-out sushi rolls- during the 1960s in little Tokyo, it is believed that the concept of Uramaki was first originated and was invented by a Los Angeles-based chef, Machita Ichiro. He replaced the tuna with avocados and hid the nori sheets with rice parts by turning them outside. This technique was used to attract foreign customers, and it turned out as a hit instantly.
The makizushi can be rolled with other things also- the makizushi can use other forms of substitute for rolling the sushi, unlike the traditional way of rolling the sushi rice and filling it with a nori sheet. There are various substitutes for these nori sheets: rice paper, soy wraps, cucumber sheets, cabbage wraps, egg sheets, and collard greens.