What is Sushi?
In Japanese cuisine, sushi is often mistaken for sashimi, a similar meal consisting of thinly sliced fresh fish, or sometimes beef, with an optional serving of rice.
History of Sushi?
Sushi originates from a Southeast Asian dish known as narezushi (‘salted fish’), which is preserved for months at a time in fermented rice. The lacto-fermentation of the rice prevents the spoiling of the fish; the rice is discarded before the fish is eaten. For its Japanese clients, this early form of sushi became an essential protein source. The word sushi simply means “sour-tasting” and derives from the adjective verb sui “to be sour” from an antiquated (shi) terminal-form conjugation, sushi, which is no longer found in other contexts; the overall dish has a sour and umami or savoury flavor. As a regional specialization, Narezushi still remains, especially as funa-zushi from Shiga Prefecture.
Reasons of adding some ingreadient
For the purpose of increasing both flavor and preservation, vinegar started to be applied to the preparation of narezushi in the Muromachi era (1336-1573). The vinegar greatly improved the lifespan of the dish, allowing the fermentation method to be reduced and ultimately abandoned, in addition to raising the sourness of the rice. The basic sushi would be further produced in Osaka, where it became oshi-zushi or ‘hako-zushi’ for many centuries; the seafood and rice were pressed into form with wooden (typically bamboo) molds in this preparation.
Extention of sushi
New fish over vinegared rice and nori was not eaten until the Edo era (1603-1868). In the 1820s or 1830s, the specific design of today’s nigirizushi became common in Edo (contemporary Tokyo). Chef Hanaya Yohei (1799-1858), who developed or mastered the methodology at his shop in Ryōgoku in 1824, is a popular tale of the origins of nigirizushi. The dish was originally named Edomae zushi as it used freshly captured Edo-mae (Edo or Tokyo Bay) fish; the name Edomae nigirizushi, regardless of the roots of its ingredients, is still used today as a by-word for quality sushi.
In an 1893 novel, A Japanese Interior, the earliest recorded description of sushi in English is mentioned in the Oxford English Dictionary, where it describes sushi as “a roll of cold rice with tuna, seaweed, or some other flavoring.” There is an earlier description of sushi in the 1873 Japanese-English dictionary of James Hepburn, and in the 1879 Notes and Queries journal article on Japanese cookery.