When many people think of “sushi," they immediately think “raw fish." If you think you can bait a hook and catch wild sushi, though, you're fishing in the wrong stream.
The term for raw fish is "sashimi," and it's not the same thing as sushi. In fact, sushi doesn't necessarily have to contain any fish at all!
The key ingredient of sushi is sticky rice seasoned with sweet rice wine vinegar. To make sushi, chefs wrap sticky rice with seaweed (called "nori") and shape it into artful packages.
Sushi often includes fish (raw or cooked), as well as other types of seafood, vegetables and flavorings. There are hundreds of different kinds of sushi.
Most people who enjoy sushi know that it's considered a Japanese delicacy. Experts believe it actually was invented in China, though.
As far back as the 4th century B.C., sushi began as a way to preserve raw fish. The ancient Chinese would flatten raw fish, place it in salt, ferment it with rice and then weigh it down with stones.
The preserved fish could then be kept for several months to several years. When it was eaten, the rice would be thrown away.
Eventually, this preservation technique made its way to Japan. The Japanese began to eat the rice casing along with the preserved fish, and the modern form of sushi was born!
The Japanese word “sushi" originally meant “sour" or “vinegary" and later came to mean “pickled fish." Today, it means “with rice."
Sushi is usually served with salty-tasting soy sauce and wasabi, which is a spicy green Japanese horseradish sauce. Sushi is very nutritious. An average serving has about 300 to 450 calories.
Rice provides carbohydrates, seaweed contains iodine, fish has proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, and vegetables supply vitamins — all important nutrients for a healthy diet.