11 Myths Around Sushi: Busted!

Estimated read time: < 7 minutes

Sushi is something that people either love with a fanatical devotion or hate it — there’s no middle ground.

I still remember the first time I tried it. I was in love, my sister on the other hand, had the most horrible expression and very openly said that she will never eat Sushi.

Ever since sushi became the biggest rage in the food world, a lot of exaggerations and misconceptions have been associated with this popular Japanese dish. To clear out some ‘fishiness’ around sushi, here are 11 myths which you think are true but are not.

#Myth 1: Sushi means ‘raw fish’.

Fact – The etymology of the word sushi is unknown but the characters have definitely been put together more because of the way they sound rather than the meaning. And for sure it doesn’t mean raw fish. It rather has nothing to do with fish. It refers to the vinegared rice that accompanies the sashimi.

#Myth 2: You can only eat sushi with chopsticks

Fact – Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to eat sushi with chopsticks. You could eat it with your hands or fork or a spoon. There isn’t any rule which says that you need to eat sushi only with chopsticks.

#Myth 3: Fresh fish isn’t ideal

Fact – We generally assume that fresher the fish, the better the sushi will taste. However, this isn’t true as raw fish takes time to absorb flavours, and if you go to a good sushi restaurant they would’ve probably preserved their fish for a few days.

#Myth 4: You can’t eat sushi on certain days

Fact –  This used to be true when it was a safe practice as restaurants would be getting shipments only on certain days. Which meant that by the time it reached the restaurants it was a week old and so that wasn’t safe. But that isn’t the case in today’s day and age. So, this restriction doesn’t apply anymore.

#Myth 5: Soy sauce is a must

Fact – Hate to break it to you but soy sauce isn’t a must. If your sushi is well prepared then the fish should be very well flavoured, and you wouldn’t even need soy sauce.

#Myth 6: You need to drink Sake while eating Sushi

Fact – In Japan, sushi and sake don’t go hand in hand as they’re both rice based. If you want to drink sake with sushi that’s completely your call but it isn’t a Japanese tradition.

#Myth 7: Sushi is extremely healthy

Fact – Though it is true, but the fact is that we’ve added our own twists to it. Think of the breading for tempura, mayo sauce etc, these are all extra calories.

#Myth 8: Sushi was invented in Japan

Fact – Sushi originated in Southeast Asia to preserve meat or fish as the lactic fermentation of the rice kept the fish from getting spoiled. However, the rice wasn’t eaten and the original dish is called narezushi. It is still made in Japan. The modern-day sushi as we know it now, came with the flourishing of the Edo-style sushi in the 1820s.

#Myth 9: Sushi rice is a particular type of rice

Fact – There is no such thing as ‘sushi rice’. They are just short-grained rice, though they’re more polished and collected when they’re fresher.

#Myth 10: The traditional sushi fish is Salmon

Fact – Salmon was never considered traditional as sushi fish because it got spoilt really quickly. It was only after refrigerators came into being in Japan that Salmon became popular as a sushi fish.

#Myth 11: Women can’t be Sushi chefs

Fact – This is definitely a myth. The basic premise behind this is that women have warm hands which can’t handle the delicate sushi rice and would ruin it even before it has settled. This is not true. The only reason women weren’t sushi chef’s centuries ago was because in that era women weren’t allowed to cook in public places, only men could. Now there are lot female chefs in Japan!

 Image Credit: Pexels

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