Sushi is a well-known Japanese food, made from cooked rice mixed with vinegar (sushi-meshi) and combined with seafood ingredients, normally raw fish or other ingredients such as egg, carrots and more. Sushi is a Japanese food but it is originated from Southeast Asia around 4th century BC, spread throughout China around 8th century AD and was introduced to Japan in the Heian period.
Originally, people uses the fermented rice to preserve the fish, cleaned and gutted fish were kept in rice so that the natural fermentation of rice will help to preserve the fish. After several months of fermentation, the fish could be consumed while the fermented rice will be discarded, this is called nare-zushi. Later in Edo era, the Japanese begin making haya-zushi, which enable them to eat both rice and fish.
The internationally known sushi today was created by Hanaya Yohei around 1820s in Edo (current Tokyo), the sushi he invented was an early form of fast food, the fish caught from the bay was so fresh, there was no need to ferment or preserve it, so it could be prepared quickly, and it is also more convenient to eat just by using one’s fingers. This is called nigiri-zushi, and it became the new standard for sushi preparation.
Types of sushi:
1) Chirashizushi: A bowl of sushi rice topped with variety of raw fish and vegetables.
2) Inarizushi: A pouch of fried tofu filled with sushi rice.
3) Makizushi: Wrapped in seaweed (nori), normally filled with omellette, cucumber and some other ingredients. Usually cut into six or eight parts from a single roll.
-Types of makizushi: Futomaki, Hasomaki, Temaki and Uramaki.
4) Narezushi: The traditional form of fermented sushi, fermented for six months.
5) Nigirizushi: Oblong mound of sushi rice the chef pressed between the palms of hands, sometimes with a bit of wasabi and draped it with toppings such as octopus, eel, sweet egg and more. A thin strip of seaweed is used to wrapped around the sushi.
6) Oshizushi: Pressed sushi, toppings is lined at the bottom of oshibako (wooden mold) and topped them with rice, and then the lid of the mold is pressed to create a compact block, remove sushi from block and cut into bite-sized pieces.
7) Western-style sushi: Sushi with a more western fillings or toppings such as avocado and cheese. Example, California rolls.
Sushi is an international dish, the ingredients varies according to customer’s demand, but it is certainly an enjoyable treat, even in Malaysia you can get sushi in almost every shopping malls especially in KL.