Today sushi can be divided into four broad categories:
Nigirizushi (hand-pressed sushi) is the sushi developed in
Edo in the 1800s. It is also known as edomaezushi. It consists of
a bite-sized portion of vinegared rice topped with a small slice
of raw fish or shellfish (cooked shellfish is also used) and seasoned
with a dab of wasabi (Japanese horseradish) between the rice and
the topping. Some of the most popular fish used in nigirizushi are
tuna (maguro), sea bream (tai), swordfish (makajiki), bonito (katsuo)
and sea bass (suzuki). Also used are shrimp (ebi), salmon roe (ikura),
octopus (tako), squid (ika), eel (anago), abalone (awabi), and cockle
(torigai). Nigirizushi is dipped lightly in soy sauce before eating.
For makizushi (rolled sushi), vinegared rice is spread over
a sheet of lightly toasted seaweed (nori) and various types of seafood
and/or vegetables are arranged along the center; a thin bamboo mat
placed beneath the seaweed beforehand is used to roll the makizushi
into a cylinder, which is sliced crosswise into bite-sized pieces.
Some of the most popular types of makizushi are tekkamaki (tuna
roll), kappamaki (cucumber roll), kampyomaki (gourd roll), and futomaki
(a thick roll of omelet, gourd, bits of vegetables, and other ingredients).
For temakizushi the seaweed and other ingredients are loosely rolled
by hand (without the bamboo mat) into a conelike shape that is not
cut into pieces. The various types of makizushi may also be dipped
in soy sauce for eating.
The category of chirashizushi ("scattered" sushi)
is divided into two regional varieties. In the Tokyo variety cooked
and uncooked seafood, vegetables, and sliced omelet are arranged
over a bowl of vinegared rice. Soy sauce is served on the side for
dipping. In the Osaka version cooked seafood and vegetables are
chopped and mixed into the vinegared rice, and the whole is topped
with thin strips of omelet.
Oshizushi (pressed sushi) is a specialty of the Kansai (Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe)
area made by pressing marinated seafood and vinegared rice in a
small, boxlike wooden mold. It is sliced into bite-sized pieces
and eaten dipped in soy sauce. Battera is oshizushi topped with
marinated mackerel. In making sugatazushi (figure sushi), a whole
fish (head intact) is cleaned, deboned, and stuffed with vinegared
rice so as to reproduce the original shape of the fish. Inarizushi
consists of a pocket of deep-fried bean curd (aburaage) filled with
vinegared rice mixed with roasted poppy or sesame seeds.
Encyclopedia of Japan
Links on Sushi information
- Sushi Master
- Sushi World Guide
- Database of Sushi restaurants outside of Japan