Sushi, in simple words is a Japanese food preparation that consists of cooked vinegared rice, seafood and vegetables. It has its origin in South East Asia along the Mekong river.
The word, “Sushi” in the ancient form of the language, literally means, “Sour tasting”. This is because originally, sushi consisted of fish wrapped in soured fermented rice. This oldest form is still made in Japan and is called narezushi.
The contemporary sushi consists of a roll made of the of the following ingredients;
Nori - Sheet of Dried Seaweed
Many people think that the dark outer covering on sushi is non-vegetarian. It is actually edible seaweed paper, which is totally vegetarian and is made from the Pyropia seaweed. Its taste may be described as salty, reminding one of sea food.
This is the one ingredient which is common to all types of sushi. Shari is made by cooking Japanese short grained rice or California short grain rice with rice vinegar which is seasoned with salt and sugar.
Shari or Sushi-meshi - VinegaredRice
Sea food and Vegetables - As Ingredients for Sushi Rolls
While traditional sushi has seafood like tuna, eel, sea urchin and shrimp. Now, it’s not uncommon to find vegetarian sushi, with ingredients like; Avacado, radish, eggplant, cucumber, carrots and even kidney beans. Many innovations have also been done with Sushi. For example; Sushi Junction’s very own, Chicken Tori Karage in Kabayaki Sauce.
Condiments That are Served With Sushi
Gari, Wasabi and Soy Sauce (From left to right)
Sushi is mainly served with three condiments;
Gari or Pickled Ginger - It has a refreshing, sweet and sour taste, acting like a palate cleanser and is usually eaten in between different types of Sushi.
Wasabitastes like hot mustard with strong pungent aroma. It adds contrast, removes the smell of fish and also brings out it’s flavour.
Soy Sauce or Shoyu is sweet and salty tasting. It adds contrast to the subtle flavours of the sushi. Care must be taken to use it in moderation, otherwise the flavour of sushi will be overpowered.
So, now that you know what sushi is, would you like to have some? :D