It is a fact that the traditional food of Japan is based from noodles and rice. The conventional cuisine covers commonly of side dishes of vegetables, pickled or cooked in broth; and, seafood, often grilled or served raw. Today, wherever you may be, when one speaks of Japanese cuisine, one of the first words that always pops into mind is sushi.
Many is confused of what sushi really is and what it contains. Literally, sushi means “sour-tasting”, this reflects the plates’ fermented origin. Primarily, setting aside the fact of sushi as a Japanese food, it comprises of vinegared rice or sushi-meshi, thus, the name. This palatable dish is combined with ingredients such as vegetables, tropical fruits and much often…seafood. The fish served in this dish is commonly prepared raw. Maybe the idea of raw dishes, or dishes that contain raw ingredients, is somehow uncanny for some, but most food critics (besides the local citizens of Japan, of course) still patronize the untimely plate of Sushi for its rich colonial taste and appetizing texture.Now, because of this traditional dish becoming known to everyone who knows the word “food” and “Japanese”, different types of this plate is made. The first on the list is the Chirashizushi means “scattered sushi”, eaten annually on Hinamatsuri or Doll’s Day in the month of March. Literally scattered, for it is prepared and served in a bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of raw fish and vegetable/garnishes. The patron may either choose between the chef’s choice of toppings or their own preferred top. This type is commonly favored by the patron for its quick and easy preparation and not to mention satisfying. Next up is a pouch of fried tofu typically filled with sushi rice alone called Inarizushi, named after the Shinto god Inari, who is believed to love fried tofu. Normally fashioned as deep-fried, variations include pouches made of thin omelet. Another type of sushi is the Makizushi (“rolled sushi”) or Makimono (“variety of rolls”).
The Makizushi is wrapped in nori or seaweed, sometimes wrapped in a thi omllete, soy paper, cucumber or shiso leaves. This sushi is usually into six or eight pieces, which creates a single roll order. A famous Makizushi dish is the Futomaki, Hosomaki and Temaki. The Nigirizushi literally means “hard-pressed”. Consisting of an oblong pile of sushi rice that is pressed by the chef into a small rectangular box between the palms of the hands, commonly containing wasabi and a topping dressed over it. The toppings include fish such as salmon, tuna or other seafood. Last on the list is the Oshizushi, “pressed sushi” or “box sushi”, a favorite and specialty of Osaka. Molded in a wooden mold called oshibako shaping the sushi into a block piece. The chef places toppings at the bottom of the oshibako then covers them with sushi rice, and presses the lid of the mold down to create a compressed block. The block is then removed from the mold, cut into bite-sized pieces and served.
Although these variety of sushi is well-loved by the people, experts just can’t be satisfied, so, much more varieties of sushi are made for their love of modern gastronomy and palate. So, sushi anyone?