Sushi has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Asia to our Japanese restaurant in Bellevue. It’s widely believed that what we call “sushi” today can trace its origins back to the eastern regions of Asia, where fish was packed in rice simply as a means to preserve it for long periods of time. A gutted fish would be stuffed with uncooked rice and cleansed with sake in order to ferment the meat, and this rice would actually be discarded before the meat was ultimately eaten.
After a while, it was discovered that adding vinegar to the rice would hasten the fermentation process. This was the birth of true “sushi”, which literally translates to “vinegar rice”. Then, somewhere during the early 1800’s, vendors in Edo first thought to pair the raw fish of sashimi with the vinegar rice as an inexpensive fast food to peddle in the streets. This was the first Edo-style sushi, which remains popular today.
After this point, sushi was left more-or-less unchanged until the 1970’s. This was when Japanese food was being discovered by America, and American-style “fusion” sushi was born. For sushi chefs, this was the first opportunity to break away from much of what was unknown or even taboo in the traditional sushi craft. It was the dawn of inside-out, roll-style sushi, the introduction of many non-Japanese ingredients, and the beginning of using more than one main ingredient in a single piece of sushi.
Today, both traditional sushi and the new wave of American sushi are known and loved the world over. Come and be a part of this long and rich tradition at Flo Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar!