On June 18, International Sushi Day, the perfect excuse to indulge in the Japanese delicacy. Sushi has become a global phenomenon in the last 30 years or so, after initially struggling to gain a foothold in the west. Raw fish did not initially appeal to all cultures, but we soon realized that we were mistaken, and now we can’t get enough of it. It’s time to practice your chopstick technique and celebrate International Sushi Day.
International Sushi Day
What is sushi?
It is a Japanese dish of prepared vinegared rice, usually with some sugar and salt, served with a variety of ingredients, including raw seafood and vegetables. Sushi styles and presentation vary greatly, but one key ingredient is “sushi rice,” also known as shari or sumeshi. The most common types of sushi are given below:
- Ngiri – A topping of fish served on top of sushi rice
- Maki – Fish encircled by rice and surrounded by seaweed
- Uramaki – Fish that is enwrapped by seaweed with rice on the outside
- Temaki – Hand-rolled sushi in cone shapes
- Sashimi – Fish that is served by itself without rice or seaweed
History of International Sushi Day
The origins of sushi can be traced back to a dish known as narezushi. Narezushi is salted fish that has been fermented rice for months. Both Southeast Asia and Japan had their own version of the dish, in which the rice was discarded and the fish was consumed. This was the first version of sushi, and the Japanese saw it as an important source of protein. Sushi as we know it originated in Japan during the Edo Period, which lasted from 1600 to 1800. Wrapped in rice, fish and vegetables were mixed with vinegar. Like Narezushi, each region had its own variations, but this is the version most people in the modern world are familiar with. The nigirizushi style emerged in the early 1800s. This was a mound of rice with a fish slice draped over it.
The Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 shook the Japanese economy and forced many people to flee Edo Japan. Because Japanese people were forced to restart their lives in new places, sushi spread all over the world. By the mid-twentieth century, sushi was emerging from communities in Little Tokyo in the United States. It gained popularity among Hollywood celebrities, which drew the attention of the general public. What was once unfamiliar to Americans became familiar with the California roll, which substituted crab and avocado for raw fish. International Sushi Day was declared on June 18, 2009. The concept originated on Facebook and quickly took on a life of its own.
How to celebrate Sushi Day?
- Make today a sushi day. Bring your friends or family, and go to your favorite sushi restaurant to feast. Take the chef’s advice and try something new.
- Learn how to make sushi. Watch a YouTube video and try your hand at making sushi. A rice cooker, a rice paddle, a bowl of water, a bamboo mat, a sharp knife, and the ingredients for the sushi you’re making are all required. It takes focus and dedication, but the end result is well worth it.
- View a sushi documentary. “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is a documentary available on Netflix. It’s the story of the world’s greatest sushi chef, Jiro Ono, 85, and it’s gotten rave reviews from critics and viewers alike.
Facts about Sushi Day
- It’s most likely not genuine wasabi. Horseradish is frequently substituted for the root of the Wasabia japonica plant.
- The oldest types of Sushi in Japan is quite stinky. In Japan, a type of nare-zushi is still served near Lake Biwa. Funazushi is a fermented local delicacy that has been described as tasting like stinky cheese. It’s made from funa, a freshwater Japanese carp. The filleted carp is salted, placed in a wooden tub, weighted down with stones, and cured for two years. The fish is then rinsed, sun-dried, and fermented for another year before being eaten.
- Sushi day did not begin in Japan. Before reaching Japan, norezushi originated in Southeast Asia near the Mekong River.
- There are numerous health benefits of sushi as the ingredients of sushi are all super healthy. Sushi is not only delicious, but it also has numerous health benefits. Sushi is generally low in fat and high in protein. Furthermore, the fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in the protection of the heart and blood vessels from disease. Aside from the nutrients found in the fish, nori is high in vitamins A, B-6, and C, as well as iodine. If you want to make the ultimate healthy sushi meal, order edamame beans and wash it down with detoxifying green tea.
- Sushi wasn’t always popular. Sushi used to be more of a quick snack than a pricey cuisine.
- Sashimi is lethal. If prepared incorrectly, sashimi made from puffer fish can contain lethal amounts of poison.
- The word ‘Sushi’ refers to rice. So, the next time someone tells you they don’t like sushi because they don’t like fish, tell them not to be concerned! The term “sushi” refers to the vinegared rice. Sushi thus refers to the rice itself, which can be served with a variety of other ingredients ranging from raw and cooked fish to chicken, beef, and vegetables. As a result, vinegared rice is served with other ingredients that may or may not include fish (which in turn may be raw or cooked).
- Use the entire amount of sauce. It is considered impolite in Japanese culture to waste soy sauce.
- Women were once prohibited from becoming sushi chefs. Women were previously barred from working as sushi chefs. This is due to a variety of factors. Initially, it was thought that women’s perfume and makeup would have an effect on the smell and taste of the sushi. Menstruation is also said to raise a woman’s body temperature and cause a taste bud imbalance. These antiquated beliefs are, thankfully, being challenged by both aspiring sushi chefs and senior chefs who are willing to give women sushi chefs a chance. Many high-end sushi restaurants in Tokyo are now training female sushi chefs.
Why do we enjoy International Sushi Day?
Do you want to have your mind blown? The possibilities are endless as you mix and match your own seafood, vegetables, seasonings, and sauces to make your own sushi. Mmmmm. Raw fish and vegetables are among the healthiest foods available. Although rice is not the healthiest food on the planet, the carbs in it will provide your body with the energy it requires. If you want to lose weight and stay in shape, sushi is the way to go. You’ll never be bored with sushi because there are so many options. Even if you don’t like everything on the menu, you’ll find something delicious. Dip your food in soy and wasabi for extra flavor and spice.
When is the Sushi Day?