Let’s talk about maki sushi. Think of the sour things in your life. The first bit of a lemon is often sour. Some pickles can be sour. A famous candy has the name sour balls. Of course there’s sour kraut.
Did you ever think of rice as sour?
The word sushi is an archaic Japanese grammatical form that means, “sour tasting”. Cooks added vinegar to the rice to preserve it and add to the taste. That is where the sourness came from. Originally the chef placed fish in the fermented rice. The vinegar broke down the fish proteins into amino acids. Then they ate the fish and discarded the rice. That is not longer the practice today.
The modern version of sushi is a creation of Hanaya Yohei. In 1799, he created a “fast food” form that you could eat at a roadside stand or at a theater with your hands. He used freshly caught fish and added no vinegar.
Makizushi (maki sushi) is a rolled form of sushi. The cook uses a bamboo mat called a makisu.
This sushi is mostly wrapped in seaweed but it can also be in cucumber, soy paper, or parsley.
The chef cuts this roll into six or eight pieces. That constitutes a single roll order. There are different types of makizushi.
Futomaki are large rolls made with two or three ingredients. The chef choose these ingredients for their complementary taste. These ingredients are mostly vegetarian but some include topping such as chopped tuna.
Another type of makizushi is called Hosomaki. This small roll is usually made with only one filing. That can be tuna, cucumber, or sliced carrots.
Temaki is a cone-shaped piece of nori (seaweed) filled with rice and other ingredients. This roll is eaten with the fingers because of its shape.
The rice tends to spill out the end because of its shape. Finally Uramaki is a roll where the ingredient is on the inside of the rice and that is surrounded with nori, which is then an outer coating of some other ingredient.
If you like sushi or have never tried it, Maki sushi is a way to see what the traditional Japanese dish is all about. The rolls make it easy for you to eat if you are not adept with chopsticks. You can enjoy the presentation and you can choose what ingredients you want. Or, you can try them all for a wonderful Japanese experience.