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Sushi - delicacy and health

For me sushi is always a culinary highlight when eating in Japan.  And it is not only good - it is also healthy. It is pleasing to the eye, a real sushi chef creates not only a delicious meal but also a work of art in terms of harmony and balance on the plate.
Sushi has today done an incredible success throughout the world, sushi bars and sushi restaurants have increased in all countries, which just show that sushi is something for all palates.

Traced back to the 4th century

Sushi is cooked vinegared rice (shari) combined with ingredients (neta), usually raw fish or other seafood. The origin of sushi can be traced back to the 4th century BC in Southeast Asia. As a preserved food, the salted fish, fermented with rice, was an important source of protein. The cleaned and gutted fish were kept in rice so that the natural fermentation of the rice helped preserve the fish. This type of sushi is called nare-zushi in Japan.
In the Heian period (8th century), sushi was introduced into Japan.  In the end of the Muromachi period (1337-1573) the Japanese preferred to eat partly raw fish together with rice and it was named seisei-zushi. Now sushi became a cuisine and not longer a way to preserve fish.  

Contemporary sushi

In the late Edo the contemporary version of "sushi", was created by a creative sushi chef, Hanaya Yohei (1799–1858), in the Tokyo Bay area. This was an early form of fast food conveniently eaten with one's hands and with the rice mixed with vinegar and combined not only with fish but also with various vegetables. As the fish was freshly caught in the Edo-mae (Edo Bay or Tokyo Bay) this sushi was known as Edomae nigiri zushi.  

The breakthrough in Japan

Sushi had for centuries primarily been in the Tokyo. In 1923 nigiri zushi was spread over Japan after the big earthquake in the Kanto region. This catastrophe left many unemployed chefs in Edo / Tokyo why they became established throughout Japan.

The most common types of sushi

Nigiri-zushi (hand formed sushi),
An oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses into a small rectangular box between the palms of the hands. The neta (topping) are mostly fish as salmon, tuna or other seafood.

Maki-zushi (rolled sushi)
A cylindrical roll wrapped in noro (seaweed) and cut into six or eight pieces. The maki is formed with help of a maki (bamboo mat).

Chirashi-zushi (scattered sushi)
A bowl of sushi rice topped with a variety of raw fish.
You do not need to go to Japan to get a good sushi but do you want that little extra, Japan is not only an obvious choice – it is a must.
Leif Almo, Hon. Consul General of Japan in Sweden

Vocabulary when you are in a sushi bar in Japan

• Chakin-zushi – Vinegared rice wrapped in a thin egg crepe
• Chirashi(-zushi) – Assorted raw fish and vegetables over rice
• Domo – Thank you
• Edomae-zushi – Same as nigiri-zushi
• Gari – Vinegared ginger.
• Gyoku  – Tamago.
• Hashi – Chopsticks.
• Inari-zushi – Vinegared rice and vegetables wrapped in a bag of   fried tofu.
• Itamae-san – The Sushi Chef.
• Kanpai – The Japanese equivalent of “cheers,” 
• Konbanwa – Good evening
• Murasaki  – Soy sauce
• Namida  – Wasabi
• Neta – Sushi topping
• Nigiri(-zushi) – Pieces of raw fish over vinegared rice balls
• Nori – The sea vegetable used with rolled sushi
• Oaiso – The check
• Okanjo – The check
• Oshibori – Rolled up hot towel 
• Oshinko- Japanese pickles
• Oyasumi nasai – Good night
• Sabinuki – No wasabi
• Sashimi – Raw fish served without rice
• Shamoji – Sushi rice paddle
• Shari – Vinegared rice ball
• Shoyu – Soy sauce
• Sumimasen – Excuse me
• Tataki – Pounded, almost raw fish
• Tekka-don – Pieces of raw tuna over rice
• Uchiwa – Fan, used for fanning sushi rice
• Wasabi – Japanese horseradish - All about kendo

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