Introduction of Japan

Sushi


Sushi - Japanese Traditional Food

Sushi has become the most recognized Japanese food.

Sushi consists of a handful of Sumeshi rice (rice with vinegar added) formed into a lump, with a dab of wasabi (Japanese horseradish) paste added for flavoring, and topped with a slice of very fresh raw fish.

It is eaten with a dash of soy sauce.

Sushi is typically made in front of customers, so that the sushi chef can show off his style, and this has helped to popularize it internationally.

Other types of Sushi (as distinct from Nigiri-zushi) include Maki-zushi (Rolled Sushi), Oshi-zushi (Lightly-pressed Sushi), and Chirashi-zushi (vinegared rice with thin strips of egg, pieces of raw fish, vegetables and crab meat arranged on top).

Recently, the popularity of Kaiten-zushi, low-priced Sushi that is presented to customers on a circulating conveyor belt, has exploded not only in Japan, but throughout the world.

Popular Sushi Items

Toro

Oo-toro

Toro is the name for fatty fish meat of tuna.
The Toro is usually picked out from belly part of bluefin tuna fish.
Especially, fattest pink one is called “Oh-Toro”.
Medium fatty one is called “Chu-Toro”.

Maguro (Akami)

Akami (lean meat)

Maguro just means tuna fish itself in Japanese.
Though, when you say the word in Sushi restaurant, it indicates non-fatty meat of tuna fish.
The same meaning of Maguro is “Akami” (lean meat).
A tuna fish yields Maguro (Akami), Chu-Toro (medium fatty meat) and Oh-Toro (fattest meat).

Hamachi (Buri)

Hamachi Fish (Buri)

Buri is the name for Japanese amberjack or yellowtail.
Hamachi means “young amberjack”.
Its meat is white.

Salmon

Sake (Shake, Salmon)

Salmon (Sake or Shake) has recently become popular as one of Sushi toppings not just in Japan but worldwide.
However, because salmon has never been considered as one of toppings for successive Sushi chefs in Japan since Sushi came to existence.
So, many of proper Sushi restaurants in Japan do not serve salmon.
Instead, you can eat salmon in Kaiten-zushi restaurants or other low-priced Sushi restaurants.

Ika

Ika (Squid)

Squid (inkfish) is called “Ika” in Japanese.
Ika is one of very popular Sushi toppings.

Tako

Tako (Octopus, Devil fish)

Octopus (devil fish) is called “Tako” in Japanese.
A boiled or sometimes raw octopus arm fillet is used as a Sushi topping.

Awabi

Awabi (Japanese Abalone)

Japanese abalone is called “Awabi”.
Awabi is considered to be a luxury food item in Japan.
A Sushi with Awabi is so delicious with muscular and exquisite consistency.

Ebi

Ebi (Shrimp)

Ebi means shrimp in Japanese.
It is integral ingredient for Sushi.

Hirame

Hirame (Left-eyed flounder, bastard halibut, flatfish)

Left-eyed flounder (bastard halibut, flatfish) is called “Hirame” in Japanese.
Hirame is extremely popular ingredient among white fishes because its taste is delicious but mild.

Karei

Karei (Righteye flounder)

Righteye flounder is called “Karei” in Japanese.
Karei is considered to be inferior to Hirame, though, actually the taste of Karei is no less than that of Hirame.

Iwashi

Iwashi (Sardine, Japanese pilchard)

Sardine (Japanese pilchard) is called “Iwashi”.
Fresh Iwashi fish with a lot of fat is so delicious, but, not all Sushi restaurants can serve fresh Iwashi fish.
Iwashi goes rotten fast, so that restaurants need to have suppliers who can supply Iwashi fish at a word.

Kohada

Kohada (Japanese gizzard shad)

Gizzard shad is called “Konoshiro” in Japanese.
Young Konoshiro around 10cm long is especially called “Kohada”.
Konoshiro fish in the Kohada size is most delicious and appropriate for the ingredient of Sushi.

Katsuo

Katsuo (Oceanic bonito)

Oceanic bonito is called “Katsuo”.
Dried bonito (Katsuobushi) is mundanely used to make broth with in Japanese foods.
So, meat of Katsuo fish contains a lot of Umami flavor.
A Sushi with Katsuo topping is also delicious.

Tai

Tai Fish (Sea bream, Japanese porgy)

Sea bream (Japanese porgy) is called “Tai”.
Tai is the king of all fishes, and, the fish is dished up when an auspicious occasion happens.
Its meat is white and dainty.

Aji

Aji (Japanese horse mackerel)

Japanese horse mackerel is called “Aji”.
Aji fish inhabit evenly over the seas around Japan.
The taste of fresh Aji fish is unforgettable.

Saba

Saba (Japanese Mackerel)

Mackerel is called “Saba”.
Saba goes rotten fast as same as Iwashi.
Though, a Sushi with fresh Saba topping is so delicious.

Kanpachi

Kanpachi (Japanese Greater amberjack)

Greater amberjack is called “Kanpachi”.
Kanpachi belongs to the same family as Hamachi.
But, Kanpachi’s taste is more delicious than that of Hamachi.(The price is also much expensive.)

Suzuki

Suzuki (Japanese Sea Bass)

Sea bass is called “Suzuki” in Japanese.
Its meat is white and tasty.

Uni

Uni (Japanese Sea urchin)

Sea urchin is called “Uni”.
Uni is likened to undersea jewel.
When served as Sushi, Uni and Sumeshi rice are rolled up together with Nori (dried laver seaweed) in the Gunkanmaki style (warship style).

Anago

Anago (Japanese conger eel)

Japanese conger eel (congridae) is called “Anago”.
Anago is considered one of the popular toppings of the Edomae-zushi for sure.
Because Anago is full of small bones, it is a little laborious to slice the meat into pieces.
Anago’s figure is similar to Unagi (Japanese eel), however, its taste is not so fatty like Unagi.
Usually, a Sushi with Anago topping is eaten with soy-sauce based sweet sauce.

Kani

Kani (Crab)

Crab is called “Kani” in Japanese.
Several kinds of crabs are eaten as ingredients of Sushi.
The most delicious crab is “Zuwai-Gani” (snow crab).
“Taraba-Gani” (king crab) and “Ke-Gani” (hairy crab) are also tasty ones.

Shako

Shako (Japanese Mantis shrimp)

Mantis shrimp is called “Shako” in Japanese.
Shako is boiled and processed to split tail, then, served as a Sushi topping.

Akagai

Akagai (Ark shell)

Ark shell is called “Akagai” (means red clam in the direct translation).
Akagai is counted as one of Sushi toppings of the traditional Edomae-zushi.
Its meat is muscular and tasty.

Hotate

Hotate (Japanese scallop)

Japanese scallop is called “Hotate”.
The meat of Hotate is sweet so that it is appropriate for an ingredient of Sushi.
We can eat delicious Hotate at reasonable prices because the aquaculture system for Hotate has recently much developed.

Glossary

Nigiri-zushihand-shaped Sushi
Maki-zushiSushi roll
Futo-makilarge roll
Inari-zushisushi rice stuffed in a fried bean curd
Chirashi-zushiassorted raw fish fillets over a bowl of Sumeshi vinegared rice
Tamagoegg (usually indicates chicken egg)
Tamago-yakiomelette
Garipickled ginger
Sharivinegared rice
WasabiJapanese horseradish
NetaSushi item
Shoyusoy sauce
Katsuo-bushidried bonito
Okozestingfish
SawaraSpanish mackerel
Sameshark
Ankoufishing frog, angler, blackmouth goosefish
Ankimoangler liver
Unagieel
Kazunokoherring roe
Tachiuoswordfish
Sanmasaury
Kujirawhale
Ikurasalmon roe
Ama-ebisweet shrimp
Kakioyster
Taracod
Hamoconger, pike eel
Shirakomilt, soft roe
Namakosea cucumber
Fugublowfish
Noridried seaweed
IwanaJapanese char
FunaJapanese crucian carp
Ayusweetfish
Masutrout
Koicarp
Namazucatfish
Agarifreshly poured cup of Japanese tea


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