The definition of SUSHI is: Japanese cuisine made with vinegared rice(vinegar + rice) + ingredients. There is over 1000 years of history for this cuisine, and there were a bunch of different ways to call this meal.
Its origin is as fermented food. In present days, a bit squeezed vinegared rice with ingredients on it, we call them as SUSHI.
SAMURAI in Edo era and SUSHI
About 300 years ago from now(Edo era), the type of sushi that we see nowadays: raw fish on vinegared rice +(wasabi) was created. Back in these days, the size of vinegared rice was almost as big as your hand. It was very big, so it was very popular to eat as fuel meal among ordinary people.
Edo era is the era for SAMURAI. SAMURAI as people with that hair style(image picture below) and KATANA by the side for the looks.
They patrol around on horses and work for their BOSSES.
They, SAMURAI were living in the city of Edo like the most people even though they are in a special class. Living in a city near castle, and we imagine they were enjoying huge SUSHI with other people in the city.
SUSHI bars in back in the days in Edo era, it usually appears as the food stalls.
The owner use the wheelbarrow to carry ingredients and sell SUSHI on streets. When customers come, they stop the wheelbarrow there and sell SUSHI there. The SUSHI bar is ready for the customers.
People were eating sushi by hand back in the days. In this present days, SUSHI professionals think SUSHI would taste the very best if you eat with hands. SUSHI professionals squeeze vinegared rice very gently and carefully. Not too soft, not too hard.
When you squeeze the rice gently, it contains air. Plus the fresh ingredients, these sushi will taste great for sure.
NOREN is a piece of big cloth, that is usually hanging at the entrance. In edo era, people wipe their hands with NOREN after they eat at the sushi bar. So in Edo city, people often say that “When NOREN is not clean, ingredients for sushi are fresh ” (Because many people wipe their hands because the sushi bar is popular )
What kind of fish are used as sushi ingredients?
Multiple kinds of fish are used as ingredients for sushi. Not only fish but also meat and sausages and the variety is developing by the time passes by.
・ Sea urchin
・ Conger eel
Those are just examples, so many types of fish can be used.
SUSHI is very popuar among the world, widely known as Japanese traditional cuisine.
There is a new type of sushi called “Californian rolls”. To make Californian rolls, first mix crab stick, avocado, and mayonnaise.
Then rolls up and sparkle some white sesame and flying fish roe.
Californian rolls is popular among kids in Japan as well,
also popular among non Japanese people as a beginner step to more traditional type of sushi.
Does SUSHI professionals fish those fish for SUSHI?
Where and how do SUSHI professionals obtain fish for sushi from?
SUSHI professionals don’t get those fish by fishing. There are some fish markets that is only for business use. Fish from all over Japan are gathering at this fish market.
There are middle trader who buys fish then sell those to even bigger markets. When the
Some big chain SUSHI bars, they often have their own ships and people do fish so that you can supply customers SUSHI with always same price tag. When its individual owned business, they usually just buy from fish market.
About fish market
Fish market has not only fish but also other things such as meat, vegetables, and fruits. They come from all over Japan then after fish market, they goes to more local restaurants. There are no price tags at fish market, it’s usually auction style to decide prices,
Prices are decided by supply and demand. When it’s new years, Tuna often sells with higher price such as one hundred million yen. Usually all the best quality food are in TOKYO. TOKYO is city of gourmet.
There are a lot fish market all over Japan but yet each are very different. Osaka has developed very uniquely. People in Osaka prefer things in cheaper price. On the other hand, people in Kyoto, they prefer things expensive and in quality. Tokyo is a unique market too. Both cheap things and expensive things are preferred.
About SUSHI price
we count 1 set as 1 kan. Most of the times, big sushi chain such as “sushi-ro”, “kappa sushi”, “kura sushi”, “sushi zanmai” are conveyor belt sushi, and they usually serve sushi 2 kan 1 set.
You can eat sushi from conveyor belt sushi for 1 set (2 kan) for 100 yen + tax ~ 300 yen + tax.(1USD~3USD) Because it is very affordable price, very popular among families. It’s cheaper because the vinegared rice isn’t squeezed by hands. Its squeezed by robots. Robots create the rice then part-time workers put some ingredients like fish on top of it then squeeze a bit so it looks better. On the other hand of this affordable price sushi, there are some expensive sushi bars that charges more than 3000 yen per 1 kan. (30USD)
At these sushi bars, you can expect some really nice facts other than the taste such as English explanation and traditional style looks of the sushi bar.
However, isn’t it so expensive that they charge like 3000 yen per kan? Local sushi bars are sometime much better and smarter choice. There are nice local sushi bars in almost every cities. Those sushi bar owners go to fish market every opening days seeking for good and fresh fish for sushi.
You can enjoy conversations, obtain some local information, and enjoy much more space in the sushi bar without so many people.
The price range is usually 500 yen – 800 yen. (5USD – 8USD) So, enjoy sushi at local sushi bar near your hotel during your stay in Japan.
Let’s eat with hands.
We recommend to try out eating sushi by hand. If your culture and regions allows you to eat by hand, you for sure need to try this at least once.
Sushi is only Japanese cuisine people eat with hand. SUSHI that made by professionals are very airy and well calculated for you to taste the best when you put the SUSHI in your mouth. We recommend you to eat SUSHI with just by hands or even if it’s a bit difficult for some people, use chopsticks.
Because if you use chopsticks or spoons, the shape of SUSHI might break a bit. Again, people don’t eat Japanese cuisine by hand except for SUSHI.
How to use soy sauce
You can become “Connoisseur” if you use soy sauce with sushi. Make sure to put soy sauce to the ingredients not to the rice part. Sometimes, the sushi already comes with some sauce so you don’t have to put more soy sauce in that case. Don’t afraid to ask the SUSHI professional if the SUSHI is already comes with the sauce or not.
Seaweed is dried marine plants. It’s also called KAWAKIMONO, and it is used to put vinegared rice and ingredients put together. There are multiple types of seaweed such as flavored seaweed and Korean style backed seaweed with sesame oil, but the ones that are used for sushi are normally the original type of seaweed without any flavors.
You probably not so familiar with this, WASABI unless you are a big fan of Japanese cuisine, however it is really significant for Japanese cuisine.
It gives you a big stimulation through your nose, so actually, not all Japanese people like this.
We recommend you to order “without WASABI” when you eat sushi for the first time.
Vinegar has functions to protect rice from going bad and to be an accent for the flavor.
Vinegar is used all over the world so as for SUSHI. Not only there is liquid type of vinegar but also powder type of vinegar.
It’s usual to cook with vinegar when you use raw fish. It tastes healthy and it is healthy.
Probably connected to why there is less obesity in Japan.
Usually, SUSHI is made by professional by their hands. Ingredients are cut by knife but the rice,
they make into SUSHI by hands. Some people might feel it’s not very sanitary.
Recently, many stores use disposable gloves to prevent them from being touched directly.
So please feel free to eat. In Japan, people have a habit of eating raw fish,
hygiene is taken into consideration, and food poisoning rarely occurs at sushi restaurants.
Enjoy sushi at sushi bars! You can eat in any order.
Some people say it’s common to start with eggs, while others eat only tuna. Even Japanese people are different.
Ginger pickled in sweet and sour sauce is also delicious,
and let’s enjoy sushi to the fullest while enjoying the change in taste! However, please make sure to chew well.