Sushi is a food trend that is here to stay. In the last 20 years or so sushi bars and restaurants have been popping up all over the place, and you can even buy this popular lunchtime treat in supermarkets.
But where did it all begin? It is thought that sushi originated in inland China as a means of preserving fish in fermented rice. The word sushi means sour tasting, which reflects the fermentation process the fish had gone through. Back then the rice used to be thrown away.
Since then, sushi has evolved (thankfully!), and as it spread across China, it was thought to have been introduced to Japan around the 8th century AD, in the Heian period. By then, vinegar had been added to improve the process, which meant that the rice did not need to be fermented and could therefore be eaten too.
Since then sushi has evolved further, and continues to evolve all the time. In 1997, Yo! Sushi founded its popular sushi bars and more sushi bars and restaurants have opened up. Bristol itself now has at least five places to buy freshly made sushi – much better than the cold, dry sushi you find in supermarkets.
Types of sushi
Knowing what to order can be difficult, so here is our quick guide to some of the types of sushi available:
Maki are rolls encased in sushi nori (roasted seaweed). Maki is probably the most common, and most popular. It can be filled with anything from crab, salmon and mackerel to vegetables.
Maki’s big brother – these are larger rolls with more filling.
Maki’s smaller brother usually filled with vegetables such as cucumber or peppers.
Inside out maki – the rice is on the outside.
Strips of fish, prawns or tofu on top of pressed sushi rice.
Large hand rolls, in a cone shape, almost like a wrap.
Slices of raw fish.
There are more varieties of sushi, but these are the most common. We love Uramaki filled with crab and avocado, and don’t forget the all important ginger, wasabi and soy sauce!
It may look difficult, but making your own sushi can actually be very easy. The trick is perfect rice. Our sushi class on 16th May will show you how to get the rice right and the techniques and equipment you need to make sushi for yourself at home.