When thinking of Japanese food, many people instantly think of sushi. This is not strange, given that sushi is one of the most popular Japanese dishes worldwide. With more than 30 varieties of sushi on its menu, Yamazato Restaurant has a broad selection to tease the discerning taste buds of many international guests. However, there is always more to discover about this part of the Japanese cuisine. Take a peek into the different kinds of sushi and learn more about how to eat this delicate dish.
The origin of sushi
What once started as a practical way of preserving fish is the origin of sushi we know today. In the fourth Century BC, cleaned and gutted fish was salted and wrapped in fermented rice, as the natural fermentation of the rice helped to preserve fish. The fish was taken out of storage after a couple of months, after which only the fish was consumed and the rice was thrown away. At the beginning of the eight century, the Japanese started to eat the rice together with the fish while it was still partly raw and the rice still full of flavour. In the early 17th century, they started to season the rice with rice wine vinegar which allowed the dish to be ready for consumption immediately. This is how sushi became more of a cuisine on its own than a simple way to preserve food.
Broad selection of sushi
Nowadays, there are many varieties of sushi and new kind of sushi is being invented constantly. All sushi dishes have one thing in common: they include rice that is flavoured with sugar, salt and vinegar. The sushi menu of Yamazato includes maki sushi, consisting of rice and other ingredients rolled in seaweed, called nori. You will also find nigiri sushi, which are small heaps of rice pressed by hand with on top a piece of raw fish, shellfish, grilled eel, tofu or omelette. The chefs add some wasabi to each nigiri between the topping and the rice. There is also temaki sushi, better known as the hand-roll, which is rice and other ingredients rolled in a cone of seaweed. The uramaki sushi, called the inside-out roll, is not originally from Japan yet it is now also very popular there.
How to eat sushi?
Now that you know the various types of sushi, you are probably wondering how the delicacy is supposed to be eaten properly. Sushi was originally sold by street stalls. It was meant to be eaten by hand, but in restaurants, chopsticks are commonly used. The sushi is smoothly dipped in a sauce combining soy sauce with wasabi. The eating of nigiri sushi requires some skill. Care is needed to dip the topping in the sauce and not the rice, which might fall apart in the soy sauce. The hand is turned with the palm upwards and the sushi held between thumb and index finger. Turn the sushi upside down, while the fingers keep the topping from falling off. This is how the fish can be dipped properly in the soy sauce. Turning the sushi can be even a bigger challenge using chopsticks, unless the topping is tied to the rice with a ribbon of nori which is often done for convenience.