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Sushi is loved all over the world today. You can find unique versions of sushi like California roll, dragon roll, and even rainbow sushi! However, if you’re a true sushi lover, you need to know that the origin of all sushi lies in Edomae sushi. Today, we’re going to talk about Edomae sushi, the history, other styles of sushi and the differences with Edomae sushi. We will also give you some tips about manners when eating Edomae sushi and how to eat it the right way.
1. First things first – What is Edomae Sushi? Getting to Know the History
There are two ways of interpreting Edomae sushi. The first is what the name implies. Edomae in Japanese consists of two words. “Edo,” which is the former name of Tokyo during the Edo Period, and mae, which means “front.” To simply put it, Edomae means “in front of Edo.” This is because Edomae originally referred to sushi using fish caught in Tokyo Bay.
The second way to interpret Edomae sushi is focusing on the techniques it uses. Edomae sushi is said to have been invented by a man called Hanaya Yohei in the early 1800s. There weren’t any refrigerators during that time, and the infrastructure was also nothing like what we have today. That’s why the sushi chefs in Edo created all kinds of techniques to extend the life of the fish. Some of the skills include pickling the fish in vinegar or salt, simmering it, or marinating it. These skills that were developed during this time is what created the brand of Edomae sushi. Edo people were also known to be hasty, which is similar to modern Tokyo. Sushi stalls filled this need by putting the sushi topping on the vinegared rice. This helped sushi to turn into something like modern-day fast food.
Sushi Kitamura | Pocket Concierge
2. How Edomae Sushi Spread Across Japan
After World War II, a strict restriction on food was implemented. This prevented sushi restaurants from operating. The sushi restaurant association stood up and negotiated with the government. They agreed that they would exchange 10 pieces of sushi with 1 go (about 150g) of rice. Other regions started to imitate this, helping Edomae sushi to spread across the country. Today, it is said that there are about 30,000 sushi restaurants across the country.
Sushi Sagane | Pocket Concierge
3. Different Styles of Sushi – How Are They Different from Edomae Sushi?
Although Edomae sushi is the king of all sushi, there are also other types of sushi in Japan. One famous example is Kansai sushi. As the name suggests, Kansai sushi originated in the Kansai Region. Some of the main ingredients in Edomae sushi are conger eel, spotted shad, and marinated tuna. Of course, tuna is the star of all sushi toppings. You can tell the level of an Edomae sushi store by eating the tuna.
In contrast, Kansai sushi originated in the Heian Period when fermented sushi was eaten. Fermented sushi was formed in a wooden model and then fermented. Fish common to the people like horse mackerel was favored by the locals. Box sushi that beautifully stuffs fish from Setouchi Sea with egg, conger eel, shrimp, and other seafood with sushi rice was born from this tradition. Stick type sushi and roll sushi also were developed later. These were called Osaka sushi. Osaka sushi is also often eaten outside as a lunch box. This is one difference from Edomae sushi that’s usually eaten at a sushi restaurant.
Kansai sushi also tastes different. It’s a little sweeter than Edomae sushi, and it prefers choosing white fish like sea bream. Lastly, Edomae sushi uses a different technique to draw out the flavor after processing it. In contrast, Kansai sushi prefers to serve sushi as fresh as possible. The fish caught in the nearby ocean and the unique history formed these two unique sushi.
Shinjuku Sushi Iwase | Pocket Concierge
4. How to Eat Edomae Sushi the Right Way – Get to Know the Mannerisms
Knowing the right mannerism is essential so you can enjoy great sushi and the restaurant while showing respect. You might be going to a sushi restaurant that’s not a conveyer belt sushi store. Then, it’s best to make a reservation in advance. Tell them how many people are going. Be also sure not to cancel it or not show up. The number of guests might be limited for a night, and it’ll cause much trouble for the restaurant. Also, try to avoid wearing perfumes. Sushi is a delicate food, and the chefs are trying their best to adjust the fragrance
When eating sushi, it’s up to you whether you use your hands or chopsticks. Rest assured that there’s a small wet towel called oshibori prepared. You can use it to wipe your hands after eating. Slightly tilt the sushi and apply a tiny amount of soy sauce on the sushi topping. Try not to crumble the sushi and try to eat the sushi in a single bite.
Edo Fukagawa Sushi Nishichi | Pocket Concierge
5. Before We End
We hope you enjoyed learning about Edomae sushi, the different types of sushi in Japan, and the mannerisms when eating sushi. The world of Edomae sushi is deep. You can enjoy learning about it as you keep trying great Edomae sushi restaurants. Always check in with us if you want to know more about Edomae sushi.