Sushi and Sashimi

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Probably the commonest form of raw fish is sushi, whose popularity spread remarkably in the late 20th century from its home in Japan. The original sushi seems to have been the fermented preparation narezushi; sushi meant “sour” and now applies more to the flavored rice, not the fish. The familiar bite-sized morsels of raw fish and lightly salted and acidified rice are nigiri sushi, meaning “grasped” or “squeezed,” since the rice portion is usually molded by hand. The mass-produced version of sushi found in supermarkets is formed by industrial robots.