A Brief History of Sushi

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!

Eat Right: Eat Roe!

Have you ever tried roe?  If you haven’t, come and take the plunge at our Japanese restaurant in Bellevue!  Though many westerners can be leery about thinking of fish eggs as a food item, there are many benefits to making them a part of your diet.  Not only are they a delicious part of any sushi, but they’re surprisingly healthy!

It’s been found that roe is the greatest natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids.  These acids, which are abundant in most forms of seafood, are essential to maintain proper circulatory health and battle all sorts of crippling diseases.  Fish eggs, especially those of the common salmon, are particularly rich in Omega-3.

So if you’re ready to benefit from the powers of roe, order up a plate of our favorite sushi!  We offer both ikura (salmon eggs) and tobiko (flying fish eggs).

Avocado and Sushi: A Fusion of Taste, Tradition, and Health

Avocado is a common sight in our Japanese restaurant in Bellevue. Though native to Mexico, these hearty fruits first made their debut as a sushi ingredient back when the dish was still a novelty in the United States. Sushi chefs in LA discovered its potential to help simulate the experience of eating raw fish, thusly easing wary Americans into the idea. In this way they created the first California roll, and avocado has been a staple of Japanese fusion ever since.

Apart from being a delicious addition to sushi rolls, avocado is also one of the planet’s healthiest foods. They contain over twenty-five important nutrients, including copper, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. Their abundance of protein and iron has made them a long-time vegetarian favorite as a substitute for meat. A diet rich in the fruit can protect you against heart disease, prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, strokes, obesity, and even bad breath!

With that in mind, come on down to Flo and dig into so avocado! Be it on a crunchy roll, a dragon roll, or any of our other classic favorites, it’ll do your mouth and body right!

Udon: Japan’s Powerhouse Noodle

Have you been feeling low on energy lately?  Come to our Japanese restaurant in Bellevue to try a bowl of udon!  These noodles are legendary in Japan for their ability to deliver a quick and long-lasting supply of energy.

The secret to udon is its easy digestibility.  Under a laboratory setting, these noodles have proven to dissolve in digestive enzymes much faster than other pastas, and a full three times the rate of beef.  So quick is the digestion process that you don’t have large amounts of blood rushing to your stomach; this allows heat to remain in the extremities.  Udon is therefore popular in Japan as a cold-weather meal, or as a meal for people battling a flu, as the unique readily-available energy of the noodles are able to give the body the power it needs without taking blood away from the areas that need it.

What is Sunomono?

When dining at our Bellevue Japanese restaurant, it’s always good to have something crisp and refreshing to cleanse your palate between your different sushi rolls. To that end, order up a bowl of sunomono! This salad is a classic Japanese complement to any proper sushi meal.

Essentially, sunomono is a salad made with thinly sliced vegetables, usually cucumber, lightly pickled in a vinegar-based dressing. This is where the “su-” in the word comes from; this is the Japanese word for vinegar, and the same word that comes at the beginning of the word “sushi” to describe the vinegar that goes into the distinct sushi rice. At Flo, you can order your sunomono with shrimp, crab, or octopus. Come and give it a try today!