Sushi lovers around the globe unite for this most succulent, and quintessential, Japanese fare. A remnant of the Edo period (1603 - 1868), contemporary sushi varies considerably in both preparation and presentation. Simple, light, and versatile, modern-day sushi is brimming with fresh ingredients ranging from an assortment of fish, to exotic fruits, and vegetables. Served with a choice of soy sauce or wasabi, accompanied by pickled ginger, and green tea, sushi lovers indulge in this highly sought-after Japanese cuisine.
Evolving steadily through the centuries, sushi – vinegar rice eaten with salted fish or other ingredients – should not be confused with sashimi (raw fish). Broadly, sushi can be categorized into the following subsets; that of Gunkanmaki, Oshizushi, Inarizushi, Temakizushi, Chirashizushi, Nigirizushi, Kaisendon, and Makizushi.
Gunkanmaki, or "battleship roll", consists of ingredients such as salmon, egg, or other seafood, and toppings, wrapped in nori (dried seaweed), and nestled atop a bed of sushi rice.
Oshizushi, or "pressed sushi", features sushi rice that is packed into a mold and covered with marinated fish, or other ingredients. The resulting oblong loaf/roll is then cut into bite-sized portions.
Inarizushi, or "tofu-pocket sushi", cleverly makes use of tofu (bean curd) pockets that are filled with various ingredients including, okra, boiled fish, or shitake mushrooms; and are deep fried to perfection.
Temakizushi, or "hand-rolled cone-shaped sushi", is made of narrow strips of different ingredients (seafood, pickles, or vegetables) layered on a bed of sushi rice, and spread onto a sheet of nori.
Chirashizushi, or "scattered sushi", entails a nine-step preparation process with various combinations of nine ingredients mixed into the sushi rice. A largely regional Japanese cuisine, the ingredients of Chirashizushi vary accordingly.
Nigirizushi, or "edomaezushi", is perhaps, the most recognizable sushi outside of Japan. This version is characterized by a large piece of raw meat, or fish, featuring a conspicuous dab of wasabi, that is then placed ¬¬¬atop a bed of sushi rice, and served in two pieces.
Kaisendon, or "fresh seafood bowl", is similar to Chirashizushi, but incorporates a more delicate or "gourmet" ingredient such as salmon roe.
Makizushi, or "sushi rolls", is endlessly versatile, and increasingly popular in western cultures. These sushi rolls are built to suit with an interior of vinegar rice, and an array of fresh ingredients; rolled and sliced to individual desired thickness.
With so many flavorful variations to choose from, this "culture of sushi" begs for further indulgent examination. SushiLoversUnite.com offers guidance for the novice, as well as the mature sushi enthusiast. Log on and discover a new sushi recipe, or locate the finest Japanese eateries in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.