The Masterpiece of Japanese Cuisine: Sushi

The Masterpiece of Japanese Cuisine: Sushi

A masterpiece of Japanese cuisine that everyone can agree on. That is sushi!

This is one of Japan's most famous cuisines that sparked the global Japanese food boom, but what makes it so appealing? It would be a waste to eat sushi just because it is "rare" or "famous." The taste of sushi will be different if you know more about the profound fascination it holds.

That is why this article is dedicated to sushi! We will uncover the appeal of sushi from every corner.

The History of Sushi

Sushi is now a well-established image of Japanese food, but in fact, its origins do not lie in Japan. Sushi was first made by a tribe living in the mountainous regions of Southeast Asia, who fermented precious fish with salt and rice to preserve it for a longer period of time. The dish, called nare-zushi, was introduced to Japan around the 8th century, and at that time was considered a luxury food for the noble class. However, narezushi was only a way to eat fish, and the rice used for fermentation was thrown away. It is totally different from the sushi that we see today. 

It was not until the 19th century that sushi came close to its present form. "Nigiri-zushi" was invented, using rice vinegar and eliminating the time and effort of fermentation. Since it could be eaten quickly at a yatai (food stall), it was a great match for the impatient Edo people, causing it to spread rapidly all over the country.

Incidentally, it was served in two pieces because it was about five times the size of today's sushi at that time. The reason why sushi is still served in sets of two even today is because of the remnants of that time!

Sushi quickly became popular at the turn of the 20th century. The increase of the variety of the fish types put on the vinegar rice and the size of each kind also become smaller and easier to handle. Over the past 1,000 years, sushi has been refined to meet the needs of the people and has reached its modern form!

The Appeals of Sushi

Why does sushi continue to captivate so many people? The key lies in the existence of the "raw food culture" and "sushi chefs."

The Raw Food Culture That Gave Birth to Sushi

Since long ago, the idea of respecting nature in its natural state has been deeply rooted in Japan. The same holds true for the ingredients that nature provides us. Therefore, it was only natural that the culture of eating raw fish, which is to eat foods caught in the wild in their original form without any unnecessary cooking, took root.

In some countries, there are people who are not comfortable with the idea of eating raw fish. However, the raw food culture is the reason why Japanese food, including sushi, has become the world's most popular cuisine!

If you taste the sushi you will know what real "freshness" means. If the sushi is cooked, it is difficult to perceive its freshness. It is only when you eat it raw that you can clearly feel the texture, taste, flavor, and you can directly sense the "freshness" of the ingredients themselves.

The abundance of nature! The high level of cleanliness and sanitation! It is precisely because Japan possesses such strengths that its raw food culture was born! Once you have experienced it, you will be able to enter a new world of eating.

Works of Art Created by Sushi Chefs

Sushi is considered a work of art, created by a craftsman who has spent decades mastering the art of sushi making. The pressure and speed at which the rice is shaped in the hand are adjusted to create a texture that melts in the mouth, and the use of different types of vinegar rice brings out the natural flavors of the fish. The sushi is always served best by the hands of the sushi chefs.

If you want to try sushi but can't afford it, don't worry at all! You can enjoy sushi at a reasonable price at a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant. The sushi is made by machine, but the quality is excellent because the skills of the sushi chefs are closely replicated!

Fine Dining Etiquette Makes Sushi More Tasty

Sushi has its own set of detailed eating etiquette. Some may find them annoying... However, each and every one of them is there to ensure that the sushi tastes as delicious as possible! If you sincerely want to eat delicious sushi, please learn these dining manners.

No. 1 - Do not come to the restaurant wearing any fragrances! Smell is also important in order to appreciate the delicate taste of sushi. The strong scent of fragrances will deprive not only yourself but also the customers sitting next to you of the enjoyment of sushi.

No.2 - when dipping the sushi in soy sauce, turn the sushi over! And just a little bit on the tip of the fish is enough. If the soy sauce soaks into the rice, you will not be able to taste the original flavor of the sushi.

No.3 - Sushi should be eaten in one bite! It is made to be most flavorful when it is eaten in one bite. If you have difficulty eating sushi in one bite, notify the chef to provide you with the size that suits you best.

What do you think? By practicing these manners, you will be able to experience the appeal of sushi for the first time! Please be sure to challenge yourself and give it a try.

Pretend to Be A Connoisseur and Enjoy Sushi

In this issue, we have introduced the appeal of sushi, a masterpiece of Japanese cuisine.

One last thing. Sushi is one of the few Japanese dishes that are allowed to be eaten with your hands. Do you know why? Because if you use chopsticks to grab the sushi, the shape that the sushi chef has carefully calculated may collapse and spoil the flavor.

Nowadays, eating them with chopsticks is normal. However, it might be a good idea to pretend to be a connoisseur and just one time, try eating them with your hands.