When SUSHI was born ?

Sushi is not only one of the bast-loved dishes in Japan, but is also extremely popular in many places abroad.

It began as a way of preserving fish.

This ancient kind of sushi, known as narezushi,

is not unique to japan but is also found in many countries ao SoutheastAsia.

It is not the only feautre Japan has in common with those countries,

for uoshoyu, the forerunner of soy sauce,

still made in parts of Japan, has its counterparts in those same countries.

The nampla of Thailand is famous.

InJapan the best-known narezushi is the funazushi of the Lake Biwa area near Kyoto.

After the six months or so it takes to mature, the fish is eaten and the rice thrown away,

but in contrast with modern sushi, it is nota particularly popular taste.

There are many kinds of Sushi, all of them based on sushi rice,

which is rice that has been carefully prepared with slightly sweetened vinegar.

Sushi vinegar (sushizu) is available in bottles.

The preparation of good sushi rice tales great skill and experience.

The most highly regarded and no doubt most expensive kind of sushi is

nigirizushi, also called edomaezushi.

Edo was the premodern name of Tokyo,

and it was there that nigirizushi originated

and flourished for a long time before spreading to other parts of Japan.

Nigirizushi consists of a little fistful of Sushi rice on top of which some wasabi is smeared.

On top of this a slice of raw fish or other seafood is placed.

Octopus and prawns are cooked, squid is not.

Omelet is also used and so are both salmon roe (ikura) and sea urchin (uni).

These latter two are kept in place by a strip of nori around the rice.

Nori is also used to hold blanched Daikon sprouts (kaiware) in place.

Among the favorite sushi toppings are toro, ebi, shako, anago, ika, tamagoyaki,

and many kinds of raw shellfish.

Nigirizushi is eaten, preferably in one mouthful, after the topping is dipped in soy sauce.