While some may not understand the fascination, if you’ve ever eaten sushi made by a master, you’ll know that it’s an unforgettable experience which is difficult to recreate. If you’re interested in the origins of this incredible cuisine, get started with these 10 interesting facts about sushi.
The Origins of Sushi
Today Japan gets full credit for sushi, but the inspiration for this cuisine actually originated in Southeast Asia. Fermented fish wrapped in sour rice, known as narezushi, originated along the Mekong River before spreading into China and later Japan.
Sushi as Fast Food
With the price of sushi today, you may be surprised to learn that it actually began as a cheap street food. In the early days of sushi, it became popular as cheap snack to eat by hand while watching a theatre performance.
The Real Wasabi
While we all eat our sushi with a green paste called wasabi, the truth is that real wasabi is made from the root of the wasabia japonica plant in Japan. What we eat with our sushi in most restaurants is actually processed horseradish.
Don’t Eat the Rice
Originally the sour, fermenting rice was only wrapped around the aged fish in order to aid in the creation of the umami flavour. Once this fermentation process was complete, the rice was discarded and only the fish was eaten. Think about over your next sushi and online gambling casino session!
Origins of Nori
While pre-packaged nori is readily available today, in truth the origins of the seaweed used in making sushi are far less glamorous. Once scraped off wooden piers and the underside of boats, the substance was then pressed into sheets and left in the sun to dry out.
The Most Dangerous Sashimi
Fugu sashimi is the most dangerous form of sushi you can consume as the pufferfish from which it’s made has lethal amounts of poison in its glands and organs. In order to be certified to make fugu sashimi, sushi chefs in Japan have to undergo a rigorous certification process.
The Art of Maki Rolls
You may be most familiar with the popular California roll, but the best maki rolls are made with ingredients chosen by sushi masters so that the taste, texture, and colours complement each other.
Forget the Chopsticks
Your friends have probably laughed at you for attempting and failing to eat sushi with chopsticks, but the good news is that as its true origins are in street food; sushi is meant to be eaten with the hands.
Wasting soy sauce is extremely bad form in a sushi restaurant and you shouldn’t mix the wasabi with the soy sauce either. Instead, pour only a small amount of soy sauce into the sushi cup and top up as required. The wasabi should be lightly brushed onto each piece of sushi.
Eat Nigiri Upside Down
While nigiri is served fish-side up, sushi connoisseurs recommend that nigiri should be placed fish-side down onto the tongue to get the ultimate enjoyment.
Now you’re a sushi master too!