Sushi has been eaten in one form or another in Southeast Asia since the 8th century. Yet, it didn’t make its way to America until the early 1900s, and it was almost another 100 years until it truly became popular across the nation. Due to its relative newness in the United States, there are quite a few misconceptions about sushi. Some say it only applies to raw fish on rice; others say it’s acceptable to use other kinds of meat as well.
It’s the second group that’s right.
Sushi refers to vinegared rice with toppings. These toppings may be the popular raw fish, or they may be cooked meats, tofu, vegetables or even desserts. There are as many variations as there are foods to put on top of rice, but it is the rice that is the key to sushi. Most Japanese seafood restaurants also offer sashimi dishes, which is just raw fish on its own, but this is not considered sushi.
There are many different kinds of sushi available. Purists say the only true way to experience sushi is by having nigiri: an oblong ball of rice with raw fish or another meat on it, with perhaps a bit of wasabi as well. Soy sauce is optional, but for the freshest sushi, soy sauce takes away from the flavors of the ocean.
One of the most popular types of sushi in America is the roll. There are a few varieties, such as makizushi, norimaki and makimono, that are distinguished by what kinds of fillings are in them. Traditionally, this sushi is rolled with seaweed (nori) or some other wrapper on the outside. Thanks to the invention of the California roll, uramaki (inside-out rolls) have become more popular in the US. These rolls have seaweed on the inside and rice on the outside.
Whatever kind of toppings and formation of sushi you like, don’t let someone tell you it’s not “real” sushi just because it’s not nigiri with raw fish! At RuSans, we have all kinds of sushi and other dishes for you to enjoy. Come experience our full menu at the best Japanese seafood restaurant in Kennesaw!