A Brief History of Sushi

A Brief History of Sushi

If you’ve ever been to Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Charlotte’s premier Japanese restaurant, then you already know that sushi is the star of our authentic, flavor-packed menu. But do you know the story behind how sushi was created? Or how it transformed into the delicious delicacy that people around the world love today?

If not, don’t worry! The experienced sushi chefs at Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar are here to share a glimpse of sushi’s rich history. This means that the next time you take a bite of our Negi Hama Roll or our California Eel Roll, you’ll be able to savor the flavors with a greater understanding of what makes this traditional Japanese dish so special. Continue reading below!

six sushi rolls

The Origins of Sushi

The earliest form of sushi is thought to have originated in Southeast Asia around the fourth century, but this has been hotly debated among historians and scholars of the subject. Regardless, records indicate that an early concept of sushi was introduced to Japan during the ninth century, and was seen as a convenient way to preserve fish. Back then, the fish was salted and wrapped in fermented rice, which acted as a natural preservative. This method of preservation is known as nare-zushi.

different kinds of sushi in one plate

Taking Shape

By the 16th century, sushi began to take the form that we recognize today. This was due to the invention of a new type of sushi called haya-zushi, or “quick sushi.” Rather than fermenting the rice, this new method used vinegar to season and preserve the fish. This method was much faster and allowed sushi to be prepared and consumed much more quickly.

round sushi pate

A Revolutionary Twist

Sushi underwent yet another transformation in the 19th century, thanks to a man named Hanaya Yohei. He invented a new style of sushi called Edo-mae sushi, which was served fresh at a counter and was meant to be eaten immediately. It was also topped with various ingredients and served with soy sauce and wasabi. Due to the level of convenience and freshness that this style of sushi offered, it rapidly became the de facto standard among sushi restaurants everywhere. You can find evidence of this on our sushi menu!

sushi board

Sushi in the Modern Era

Since then, sushi has continued to evolve into a modern phenomenon. It’s served in restaurants, supermarkets, and even convenience stores — anywhere people are looking for a delectable, one-of-a-kind treat.

Of course, the best place to find sushi in Charlotte, NC, is right here at Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar! Whether you plan on visiting for lunch or dinner, we have an extensive selection of both traditional and novel sushi offerings. Tempt your taste buds with a Shrimp Tempura Roll, or dive right into the gargantuan flavor of the Godzilla Roll. Whatever you’re craving, you’re sure to find it on your menu. Just don’t forget your sushi-eating etiquette!

We hope you learned a little something about the history of our favorite Japanese dish. And if this history lesson got your mouth watering, we encourage you to make a reservation at Nikko Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar today!

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