New Discovery in Japan - "CHIBA" (1) in Kanto Region

May 30, 2015

Chiba has a large fishing port in the western side of Chiba prefecture, which is named as "CHOSHI".  Choshi fishing port is well known to have one of the highest fishery catches for Sardines in Japan.  


Today I am picking up a topic about a certain fish group for Sushi, which people normally call as "HIKARIMONO", in other word, "Silver-Skinned Fish" in English.  When you go into Sushi restaurant, you may see some of "Silver-Skinned Fishes" inside a cooling compartment tin front of counter seats to keep Sushi raw fishes.


Do you know about the history as to how long ago the origin of Sushi was initially created in Japan?  It is said that it went back to approximately 1,000 years ago, when it was NARA period.  It has been kept changing slightly throughout many centuries from NARA Period => HEIAN => KAMAKURA => MUROMACHI => AZUCHI => MOMOYAMA => EDO.   


1. During the earlier time, the origin of Sushi was marinated with Salt to purposely preserve it for a long storage.

2. Thereafter, Vinegar repalced Salt instead, since Vinegar could make Sushi much faster to be marinated.  


When time became to EDO period, a guy with the name of "YOHEI HANAYA" created a so-called "NIGIRI-SUSHI" approximately 200 years ago from today.  He started to pull a hawker-style stall and opened it in the street.   That's why we call it today as "EDO-MAE" Sushi, which is meant "Edo-style Sushi" in English.  During the earlier-time of EDO-MAE Sushi, they only used those fishes available from EDO Bay (currently Tokyo Bay) marinated with vinegar or salt to make NIGIRI-SUSHI to serve customers in the street.  

The most of fishes at that time are the "Sliver-Skinned-Fishes".  Hence, when we talk about EDO-MAE Sushi, some of people in Japan mainly like to order those "Sliver-Skinned-Fishes" at Sushi restaurants or bars.   I try to explain to you about the popular types of the "Sliver-Skinned-Fishes" as below.


a)  AJI               Horse-Mackerel

b)  SABA           Mackerel

c)  SANMA        Pacific Saury

d)  SAYORI       Japanese Halfbeak

e)  IWASHI        Sardine

f)   TAI               Young Sea Beam

g)  KOHADA     Gizzard Shad


When you have a chance to go to Japanese Sushi restaurants, you may request Sushi chefs for the "Silver-Skinned-Fishes".  You may ask for "HIKARIMONO",  then, Japanese Sushi chefs may show his surpirses for your knowledges. 





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