appetizers & recipes: flexibility of maki sushi
Maki Sushi is a no-nonsense and all-business type of dish. What you see is what you get, but what you should always expect and look for is the quality and freshness of the ingredients used. Sushi is considered to be a popular Japanese viand that is composed of rice mixed with vinegar, sweet mirin and other ingredients. There are several variations of sushi presentation; the most common is made with seafood. The origins of sushi were first developed in Southeast Asia and spread to China and finally reaching Japan. The work sushi literally means “sour tasting” from an ancient archaic form of language. The vinegar used is from fermented rice that breaks down the proteins in the fish and turns it into amino acids, resulting in the unique taste that develops which is called Unami in Japanese.
The modern version of sushi that we enjoy today was developed by Hanaya Yohei (1799-1858). You can probably say it was the earliest form of fast food. The early fermented form of sushi heavily relied on vinegar to lengthen its shelf life. The contemporary version was not fermented but rather prepared with freshly caught fish, made fast, and can be eaten with your fingers while on the go. Sounds familiar?! Some of the Japanese varieties include Chirashizushi which consists of rice topped with different kinds of sashimi and other garnishing, Inarizushi which is fried tofu stuffed with rice, and Makizushi which is rolled sushi.
Western-style sushi is an offshoot of the traditional sushi with the typical Western flair. For example, the ever popular Spam sushi in Hawaii! When the Japanese began migrating to the islands of Hawaii, they greatly influenced the Hawaiian natives’ culinary tastes, or is it the other way around? Imagine a FRESHLY opened can of Spam rolled with rice and wrapped in nori (black seaweed wrappers). Well, who can say no to Spam? The increase in the popularity of sushi has given birth to many other variations that are much enjoyed such as California roll, B.C. roll and Dynamite roll.