What is sushi?
Technically, the word sushi refers to the rice (the Japanese word su means vinegar, and shi is from meshi, the Japanese word for rice, hence sushi is 'vinegared rice'), but colloquially, the term is used to describe a finger-size piece of raw fish or shellfish on a bed of rice or simply the consumption of raw fish in the Japanese style (while sushi is not solely a Japanese invention, these days, the Japanese style is considered the de facto serving standard). This can be eaten as is, or is often dipped into shoyu (Japanese soy sauce) and then eaten. Great care is taken in the creation of the dish and the many methods of preparing the food indicate the importance of appearance to the educated consumer. Sushi is a work of art as much as a food, and while it is now available in a western 'quick and easy' serving style, the traditional ways are far from lost.
Sushi was originally developed as a snack food—as the story goes, to serve at gambling parlors so the gamblers could take quick bites without stopping the action.
There are different styles of sushi:
- Nigiri-sushi, slices of fish or other foods on pads of rice
- Maki-sushi, rolled sushi (including handrolls, temaki)
- Chirashi-sushi, fish and other items served on top of a bowl of vinegared sushi rice
- Oshi-sushi, squares or rectangles of pressed rice topped with vinegared or cooked fish, made in a wooden mold
- Stuffed sushi, including chakin-zushi or fukusa-sushi, ingredients wrapped in a thin egg crêpe; and inari-sushi, with ingredients stuffed into a small pouch of fried bean curd (tofu)
- Sashimi is sliced fish that is served with a bowl of regular boiled rice on the side
Are there any Sushiholics here?