Fun Facts About Sushi

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Sushi toppings
Image by EHRENBERG Kommunikation. Source: Flickr.

We all know that sushi is that raw fish Japanese food, but, what if I told you sushi is not even Japanese!


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It’s true that modern day sushi was developed in Japan, but the original idea was in southern Asia, it was a way of preserving fish in fermented rice. During the Muromachi period, people started eating the rice as well as the fish, and up until the Edo period, vinegar was used instead of fermentation. The term sushi actually refers to the vinegared rice, but you can still find the fermented type of sushi, that is if you are willing to go all the way to Kyoto, Japan. It’s called “funazushi” and… You have already forgotten its name!

Now that we’re done from the boring history stuff, let’s get into the food stuff.


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What is sushi is made of?

The answer is… Not raw fish. As mentioned above, the word “sushi” refers to the vinegared rice, so that one is a must, sake can be added to the rice as well. Then, you have all the other changeable ingredients (yes, including the raw fish). The best type of raw fish is saltwater fish, cause freshwater fish are more prone to bacteria and parasites. Tuna is considered one of the most famous sushi ingredients, especially the bluefin tuna (toro) which has high fat content. If you’re served with a pink raw fish sushi, it is most likely a tuna sushi, however, although it’s famous, some say it’s the worst kind of sushi and it only became that known due to the fact that Japanese Airlines imported it from the U.S. (a lot of tuna made a lot of tuna sushi). Salmon (caught in the sea) is one of the favourite raw fish ingredient, it usually has an orange color, other types of fish like (Eel) is usually cooked, shrimps, squid, shellfish and even fish eggs can be used. Other ingredients, are tamago (egg omelet), kombu (seaweed), ginger and wasabi, and it’s famous to be dipped in soy sauce. Those are the common ingredients of a sushi roll. But sushi, like any other meal, can be made as you desire, adding your own ingredients, which is good news for everyone. Even if you were a vegetarian, you can still eat sushi, particularly makizushi.

Western Sushi found at Wegmans Supermarket
Image by Mrmcdonnell. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

How to eat sushi?

You put it in your mouth and start chewing, it doesn’t matter if you use your hands or chopsticks, you don’t have to go Japanese all the way! Duh!


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What the health?

A lot of people ask, is it healthy to eat sushi? I mean it’s raw fish, right? And all that rice, carbs! Well, yes and no, it depends on the origin of the fish. You can always make sushi yourself, or eat it at a restaurant where you know the actual origin of the fish, or you can eat it with cooked fish rather the classic raw fish, this is to make sure that the fish is clean or sterilized by heat to some extent. As for the carbs in the rice, if you think about that, then you really should avoid eating sushi everyday!