The homeland of sushi, according to Wikipedia, is Japan, which is an island nation surrounded by water. Their national cuisine consists in rice and fish. These products are the main ingredients of sushi. The main feature of sushi is considered to preserve the original sushi taste and appearance of the product.
Classic sushi do not undergo any treatment. Only freshly caught sea fish is used. The most common sushi are made from perch, tuna, salmon and mackerel. The main products which are also suitable for sushi are: shrimps, octopus, eel meat, crab and scallops. River fish is not used for sushi cooking. The Japanese believe that eating raw fish is able to improve their health and even prolong life. There are different ways of preparing sushi. The most common option is very thinly sliced pieces of fish, which are complemented by a variety of fillings. Stuffing can include vegetables, seaweed and other seafood. These pieces are seasoned with spicy sauce and being wrapped in seaweed. To get a tasty sushi, all products must be fresh.
The very first sushi emerged in South Asia. Boiled rice was used for the preparation and preservation of fish. The fish was cleaned and cut into small pieces. Then it was salted and mixed with rice. After that, the stones were put on the fish as a press. This helped to avoid air entrapment. A few weeks later, they were replaced by the lid.
The process of lactic acid fermentation of rice and fish lasted several months. This allowed the fish to be suitable for human consumption throughout the year. Fermented rice, which has become unpleasant smelling adhesive-like mass was usually discarded. Through China and Thailand this method of preservation of fish came to Japan, in about the 7th century. So far in South Asia has remained a tradition of use fermented fish. Chinese characters that represent sushi, can be translated as "pickled fish". But in China, this tradition of cooking has not been preserved.
In Tokyo in the 19th century chef Yohei Hanai decided to completely abandon the idea of marinating fish. He was the first who started to serve the fish in a raw condition. Now the process of cooking takes only a few minutes. There was even two styles of cooking. The first was called in the honor od the district of Osaka Kansai. The second style of sushi was called Edo. It was the name of Tokyo until 1868.
A large number of restaurants and cafes serving sushi started to appear across the country. In Japanese stores you can easily buy specially prepared rice for sushi, thus you could cook them at home. Sushi in Osaka represented rice, cooked in a certain way, mixed with other ingredients. It was placed in a beautiful form, which are edible. In Tokyo, sushi looked like a piece of fish, which lied on the small lump of rice, seasoned with spices.
According to scientific data obtained during the study, regular consumption of sushi significantly reduces the risk of lung cancer among smokers. It is also proved that this dish helps to cope with depression. This effect is based on the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish. Children who are eating fish regularly, grow as balanced people. Sushi contribute to the improvement of the heart, blood vessels, stomach, increase of mental alertness.
As you see, this dish is not only extremely popular, but also very tasty and useful for health.