Edomae Sushi (Edo-style Sushi)Before going into lesser known sushi styles, let’s learn a little bit more about the typical Edo-style sushi, shall we? For those of you that don’t know, Edo was the former name of Tokyo until 1868 when the reign of the Tokugawa shogunate ended. It makes sense that something as typically Japanese as sushi started its roots in the capital of the country. However, this style of sushi - which you can find all over the world now - is in fact a modern invention that dates back to the early 19th century. At this time, people became busier and the need for quick and tasty dishes emerged. Chefs decided to take staple ingredients like steaming hot rice and fresh cuts of fish and combine them into bite-size pieces. New technologies and better storing techniques allowed sushi to improve over time, but its roots still lie in the city of Edo and its busy restaurants.
Gomokuzushi (Kansai-style Sushi)Would you have guessed that this scramble of fish and rice was sushi? Gomokuzushi is a style of sushi that is popular in the Kansai region of Japan, in cities like Osaka or Kyoto. It is known as a type of chirashi (“scattered”) sushi that places all the flavorful ingredients like fish or vegetables on top of hot sushi rice. Gomokuzushi is easy to prepare and store and that is why it is especially popular for picnics or smaller celebrations. This sushi style is loved because of its simplicity. You don’t need to be trained by professional sushi chefs to assemble gomokuzushi. Simply toss together a handful of your favorite ingredients and combine them with fresh rice and you got yourself a healthy and filling meal. Nothing easier than that!
Sakezushi (Kyushu-style Sushi)Our third sushi style is sakezushi which, you might have guessed it, uses the famous Japanese alcohol as an ingredient. Sakezushi skips the typical vinegar that is mixed into the sushi rice and replaces it with Japanese sake. The alcohol gives this dish a strong and flavorful note that is appreciated by Japanese people from all over the country. Just like gomokuzushi, sakezushi is a type of chirashi sushi that scatters the ingredients on top or into the rice. Kyushu-style sushi is especially appreciated for its rich flavor profile since it mixes the tasty rice with a big variety of ingredients. Chefs usually don’t stop at fresh fish, but go as far as including bamboo shoots, several types of seafood, eggs and mushrooms into one meal. If you want to get a taste of Japan, definitely try to get a bite of this delicious sushi style.
Japan is known for its local specialties, not only for sushi, but almost all of its most famous dishes. Every island, region and every town adds its own twist to the Japanese cuisine and as a tourist you can never get bored. So if you get the chance to travel to Japan, don’t simply stay in one place. Rather, travel around and try to get a bite of all the different flavors Japan has to offer you.