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!

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!

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!

The Merits of White Rice

Have you ever wondered why rice is such a significant food throughout most of the world?  It’s an integral part of the Korean dining experience, and nearly unavoidable at Flo Japanese Restaurant in Bellevue.  Even the classic white rice, though it has been subject to criticism as of late, should not be written off; though it is true that it loses some of its value when converted from brown rice, it also takes on a few extra nutrients in the enrichment process.  Just take a look at what this grain has to offer:

  • White rice is a source of iron and protein that is low in fat, low in sodium, and free of both cholesterol and gluten.

  • Though not as good a source of fiber as brown rice, a cup of white rice still provides .6 grams of dietary fiber.

  • Rice is a natural tonic and anti-inflammat.  It invigorates and strengthens your body while making you more resistant to certain types of pain and injury.

  • The resistant starch offered by rice is able to reaching the bowel undigested, where it cultivates helpful bacteria that work to maintain a clean digestive system.

  • White rice contains manganese, which is important to the immune system and bone structure.

  • Rice is a good source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure by regulating your sodium content.

  • Several essential B vitamins are found in rice, which help to maintain a healthy heart and nervous system.

You’ve Got a Friend in Ginger

Ginger is a big part of the culture throughout much of Asia.  Whether it’s contributing to a delicious meal, or serving as an herbal medicine, the properties of this humble root are not to be underestimated.  In case you’ve never considered the benefits of ginger, you might be pleased to know that the many ginger-related dishes at our Japanese restaurant in Bellevue are offering you the following benefits:

  • Digestive Health: Ginger has been used to cure digestive ailments for centuries.  It stimulates the release of your digestive enzymes, helping you to break down fats and proteins while simultaneously neutralizing some of the acid responsible for heartburn.  In this way, ginger can remedy many forms of nausea, diarrhea, and gas.

  • Circulatory Health:  Ginger is an anti-inflammat, allowing it to open up constricted blood vessels while stimulating the flow of blood and protecting against clotting.  It also reduces the amount of harmful cholesterol absorbed into the blood, keeping your heart clean and protecting you from heart disease..

  • Curative Properties: Ginger is a natural antihistamine, decongestant, and anti-inflammat.  It also features powerful fever-breaking attributes, and has a proven ability to prevent the replication of certain viruses.  The herb has even been used to inhibit the growth of many kinds cancer cells, including those of breast, prostate, or colon cancers.