How to Make Sushi Rice at Home: Sushi History

When it comes to instructions on how to make sushi rice, it helps to remember where sushi comes from and what it means. Sushi is a very old food, having its origins in ancient Japan. Sushi went through many transformations to reach its current form. Come with us on a journey to learn the origins of sushi!

The earliest kind of sushi was made in Japan over 1000 years ago, by wrapping salted fish in fermented rice. You can make sushi rice at home in this very way. This was called nare-sushi, and was an excellent source of protein for the average Japanese person at the time. When the fish was prepared, the fermented rice was thrown away, and only the fish was eaten.

Starting in the 1300s, the Japanese started to eat the rice along with the fish. This type of sushi, seisei-sushi, was only created using fresh fish, before it lost its flavor.

A third kind of sushi, haya-sushi, was introduced in the 1600s, where rice was not used for fermentation, but was instead mixed with vinegar.

Sushi as we know it today was invented by a man named Hanaya Yohei at the end of Japan’s Edo Period in the early 1800s. It was called nigiri-sushi. Hanaya’s sushi was different from the sushi we know and love today as well. It was created almost exclusively from the fish caught in Tokyo Bay. Due to the lack of refrigeration at the time, Hanaya cooked his fish slightly or marinated them in soy sauce or vinegar. The rice balls he served his sushi on would be considered very large by today’s standards. Before Hanaya, sushi was considered a part-time job for most chefs. He created the notion of the sushi restaurant, as well as one of the world’s original “fast foods.”

With refrigeration came the ability to ship raw fish over long distances, and the 20th century saw a huge increase in the popularity of sushi around the word. Sushi restaurants are present in every major city in the world, and now people can even prepare this delicious food in their own homes, even if they don’t live in Japan!

When the proper precautions are taken, sushi is a safe, delicious and nutritious food!