Sushi has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Asia to our Japanese restaurant in Bothell. It’s widely believed that what we call “sushi” can trace its origins back to the eastern regions of Asia, where fish was packed in rice as nothing more than a means to preserve the meat. A gutted fish would be stuffed with uncooked rice and cleansed with sake in order to ferment the meat, and this rice would actually be thrown away before the meat was eaten.
After a while, people discovered that adding vinegar to the rice would speed up the fermentation process. This was the birth of true “sushi”, a word that literally translates to “vinegar rice”. Then, sometime during the early nineteenth century, vendors in Edo first thought to pair the raw fish of sashimi with the vinegar rice as an inexpensive fast food to sell in the streets. This was the first Edo-style sushi, which is the form of sushi that remains popular today.
Sushi was left largely unchanged until the 1970’s. This was when Japanese food was being discovered by America, and American-style “fusion” sushi came about. For sushi chefs, this was the first opportunity to break away from much of what was unknown or even taboo in the traditional sushi craft. It was the dawn of inside-out maki sushi, the introduction of many foreign ingredients, and the beginning of using more than one main ingredient in a single piece of sushi. Be a part of the continuing sushi tradition today with Sushi Hana!