Sushi, though derived from Japan, has become one of the world’s most popular foods, with famous sushi restaurants popping up in every major food capital.
What is sushi
Contrary to popular belief, the word ‘sushi’ does not actually mean ‘raw fish’ – it refers to a dish of vinegar-laden rice, served with various fillings and toppings, which may indeed include raw fish. A lot of people know sushi as hard-pressed mounds of rice, wrapped in seaweed and topped with various seafood and vegetables. Traditional sushi is made from rice mixed with vinegar, sugar, and salt. The rice is usually wrapped in nori, which is seaweed and this adds flavour and makes the sushi easier to hold – yes, sushi is traditionally eaten using your hands, not chopsticks. Wasabi (Japanese horseradish) is sometimes added for spice, but not necessary if you don’t like the flavour.
Different types of sushi
There are five main types of sushi: Nigiri, Sashimi, Maki, Uramaki, and Temaki.
Nigiri – is perfect for those who love raw fish, as it is usually raw fish served on top of sushi rice – though other forms of seafood can be used and can be cooked.
Sashimi – is fish or shellfish served without rice. You must be a seafood lover to like this type of sushi!
Maki – is what most people think of when they picture sushi. It is rice and a filling wrapped in seaweed.
Uramaki – is similar to maki, but instead, the rice is on the outside and the seaweed wraps around the filling. Maki often has a lot of sauces and toppings and can either be raw or cooked.
Temaki – is a type of sushi that has been hand-rolled into a cone shape.
History of sushi
Despite what many people think, sushi actually originated in China in the second century A.D. However, back then it was a means of preserving fish in salt by covering fish in rice and then throwing away the rice and eating the fish. This form of fish preservation made its way to Japan by the seventh century, but they took it a step further and began to combine the rice and fish, eating them together. A Japanese man by the name of Matsumoto Yoshiichi started seasoning rice with rice wine vinegar, which sped up the process and the dish could be eaten straight away, rather than waiting for months.
Another man by the name of Hanaya Yohei started to place a piece of fish on top of a rectangular-shaped piece of seasoned rice in the early 19th century – this is what we now call nigari sushi. Sushi was starting to be sold from food stalls on the street was. It intended to be eaten as a snack and this style of serving sushi became very popular, especially after the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923, as many people lost their homes and businesses and moved from Tokyo. Sushi stalls were changed into a formal dining experience after World War II, when stalls were shut down and moved inside.
These days, sushi has been made into an art and has evolved to another level. There are sushi restaurants all around the world and the demand for quality and beautiful sushi is only rising. Western influences have also created a new direction for sushi to move, such as California rolls and all the elaborate creations that many up-market Japanese restaurants have invented. Of course, you can still find the best sushi in Japan!
Where to find sushi in Singapore
There are lots of restaurants and cafes in Singapore that serve delicious sushi. Check out The Ramen House and The Ramen Stall. They both serve sushi at a moderate price and are rated highly on foodpanda. Find these restaurants and more sushi here on foodpanda!