September 28, 2011

10 Things You May Not Know About Sushi

By Stuart Turner

The next time you are at a Japanese restaurant, or having a sushi party, why not pull out one of these facts and wow your friends!

1. The original type of sushi, known today as nare-zushi was first developed in Southeast Asia, spread to south China before introduction to Japan. Literally, sushi means "sour-tasting", a reflection of its historic fermented roots.

2. Sushi rice is prepared with short-grain Japanese rice, which has a consistency that differs from long-grain strains such as those from India, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The essential quality is its stickiness or glutinousness.

3. The sushi condiment wasabi is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbages, horseradish, and mustard. The paste is made from the grated root of the Wasabia japonica, which grows naturally along streambeds in Japan.

4. Nori is a type of algae, traditionally cultivated in the harbours of Japan. Originally, algae was scraped from dock pilings, rolled out into thin, edible sheets, and dried in the sun. The nori eaten in the west is always toasted, however in Japan it is often eaten fresh.

5. Traditional nigirizushi (nigiri) is made so that the entire piece can be consumed in one bite, and etiquette considers this the correct way to eat it. Some chefs may include too much rice or too much topping, requiring more than one bite.

6. 50 to 60 percent of sashimi in America is frozen at some point in its journey from the ocean. If the fish has not been frozen, it is illegal to serve it in the United States.

7. YO! Sushi is the most popular sushi chain restaurant in the UK. It opened its first restaurant in 1997 in Soho and now operates 59 restaurants in 5 countries; 44 in the UK and 15 in Ireland, Russia, Malaysia and the Middle East.

8. While the world’s sushi love affair continues, stocks of blue fin tuna remain at an all time low. People are looking for more and more sustainable ways of enjoying sushi. Fruit, vegetables, pork and beef offer new and exciting flavours to try with sticky rice.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="384" caption="You say tamaygo I say tamargo..."][/caption]

9.  Tamago is a Japanese omelette commonly eaten with sushi. It is made in tamago pans (square pans) using mirin and sugar to give it a sweet taste.

10. sushisushi.co.uk is the most popular Japanese food shop for British people. It was created in 2007 by Sheffield born Graphic Designer Stuart Turner.

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