MUSU - Contemporary Japanese

Sushi: An Introduction to Japan’s Celebrated Delicacy

MUSUMCR  /  OCTOBER 27, 2023

Sush: An Introduction to Japan’s Celebrated Delicacy

Sushi is more than just a dish; it’s an art form, a culinary symbol that has travelled from the shores of Japan to the bustling streets of every town and city. But as commonplace as sushi might seem in the urban dining landscape, how much do we truly know about this beloved delicacy? Let’s embark on a journey of discovery, shall we?

A Brief History

Before sushi became synonymous with fresh fish, it began as a method of preserving fish in fermented rice in Southeast Asia. Over time, the dish migrated to Japan where the concept evolved. By the Edo period (17th-19th centuries), what we recognise today as sushi – vinegared rice paired with fresh fish – began to take shape in Tokyo (then known as Edo).

Types of Sushi

Nigiri: A small mound of vinegared rice with a slice of raw fish or seafood on top. Sometimes, a dab of wasabi is placed between the fish and the rice.

Maki: This is the rolled sushi. Rice and fillings are wrapped in nori (seaweed sheet) and rolled using a bamboo mat. It’s then sliced into bite-sized pieces.

Sashimi: While not technically sushi (as it lacks the vinegared rice), sashimi refers to thinly sliced raw fish or seafood, served without rice.

Temaki: A hand roll. It’s a cone-shaped piece of nori filled with sushi rice, fish, and vegetables.

Sushi Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts

Do dip your sushi fish-side down into the soy sauce. This ensures the rice doesn’t fall apart and you get the perfect balance of flavour.

Don’t drench your sushi in soy sauce. It’s meant to complement, not overpower.

Do eat sushi in one bite if possible. This is the traditional way and ensures the balance of flavours and textures.

Don’t rub your chopsticks together. It’s considered rude and implies the chopsticks are of low quality.

Do use your fingers for nigiri and maki sushi. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not only acceptable but often preferred in traditional settings.

Pairing Your Sushi

While many enjoy sushi with a glass of sake or a cold beer, there’s a growing appreciation for pairing sushi with wine. Light and crisp white wines, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, complement the delicate flavours of sushi. Our sommeliers are always on hand to provide knowledge and insight into which wines complement each dish.

The MUSU Experience

At MUSU, we celebrate sushi’s rich heritage while embracing contemporary influences. From our handpicked fresh fish to our artisanal rice, every bite promises an authentic experience.

In conclusion, sushi isn’t just a dish; it’s a testament to Japanese culinary prowess and tradition. As you take your next bite, remember the history, craft, and etiquette that goes into every piece. It makes the experience all the more special.

Visit MUSU in Manchester city centre to explore a world of sushi and beyond. Indulge in artful presentations, fresh flavours, and a dining journey unlike any other.

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