Never been to sake bars?
Before you head to Friday night’s sushi happy hour, check out how sushi rolls are made!
Sushi roll production began in 500 B.C. as a means to preserve food. Alternating layers of carp and rice, the contents were placed in a covered jar and left to pickle over a year. In the 17th century, vinegar was added to the rice in order to force fermentation within a few days. By 1702, the first sushi shop had opened its doors.
Raw Materials and Tools
While the most popular seafood used in sushi rolls is Tuna, other options include salmon, crab, and shrimp. Sushi rolls also contain seaweed or Nori, vinegar, Wasabi (Chinese Horseradish), soy sauce, ginger root, and fresh vegetables.
Sushi making is a time-honored tradition in Japan, involving an immense level of pride and craftsmanship.
Japanese tradition also extends to the type of tools used in Sushi production:
- Hangiri: small cypress tub used to cool vinegar rice
- Shamoji: wooden spatula used to spread rice
- Uchiwa: hand-held fan covered with paper to remove moisture from the rice
- Makisu: thin bamboo mat used to roll sushi
A sushi chef begins by spreading a half sheet of rice and Nori onto the Makisu, which is then covered with vinegared rice. A groove is made down the center of the rice using the Shamoji, into which seafood and vegetables are placed. After evenly spreading the Wasabi, the Makisu is rolled to shape and mold the ingredients into a single sushi roll. After the Makisu is removed, the sushi roll is divided into several pieces and served with ginger, soy sauce, and Wasabi.