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How Sushi Became Such an Important Part of Japanese Cuisine

Sushi preparing

Some of the most popular styles of food began as a necessity of circumstance, and sushi is no exception. This delicacy that is now popular all over the world was once a method of preserving food long before electricity and refrigeration were ever considerations. Keep reading to learn more about the history of sushi and how it became such an important style of food:

Buddhist Traditions
As the Buddhist religion started to become popular in Japan, many people changed their diet to reflect it. Since Buddhists do not eat meat, fish became a good protein substitute and an important element of the Japanese diet. Cultures had already been using salt to preserve fish for many generations, but the Japanese are the first to be credited with combining the fish with rice, which is called nare-zushi, or aged sushi.

The Rise of Japanese Nightlife
By 1606, Edo, Japan became the country’s official capital and by the 19th century, it was one of the largest cities in the world. With a rise in tourism and nightlife, more people were introduced to the beauty of sushi. At this point, sushi chefs added a layer of rice that had been seasoned using rice vinegar to the fish. This enabled the chefs to serve sushi in pieces and cut down on preparation time.

The Beginning of Nigiri Sushi
Hanaya Yohei is credited for once again transforming the way sushi was prepared and consumed in the 1820s. He opened a sushi stall that put him in close proximity to a supply of fresh fish. He used the faster fermentation process in which he used rice vinegar and salt in the rice to speed up the cooking time. He then combined this with fresh fish in one of the first instances of nigiri.

Come to House of Genji today to taste the best of modern sushi. As the premium teppan-yaki style steak house in the San Jose area, we know how to serve you authentic flavors that truly satiate a craving. Call (408) 453-8120 to learn more. 

Comparing Japanese and American Sushi

Sushi traditional Japanese food

When people think about sushi today, they usually conjure up images of rice, rolls wrapped in seaweed, and a mixture of wasabi and soy sauce. The original cuisine was much different from the sushi of today, however and true Japanese sushi still differs from the American version. Keep reading to see how these styles differ:

Fermentation for Preservation
The term “sushi” was originally used to describe meat and fish that was fermented to keep it preserved. By the 7th century, there are written records of people in what is now known as Japan enjoying this salted delicacy. Rice was not introduced to the food until the 10th century. Today, however, Japanese sushi is known for having fresher fish than the American variety.

Sashimi and Rolls
Although there are people in the United States who prefer sashimi to rolls, most people tend to order the latter when enjoying sushi in America. In Japan, it is much more common to find sashimi than the typical rolls seen in sushi restaurants throughout the States. When you do find rolls in Japan, they are put together with the perfect combination of rice and fish and the kind of rice used is just as important as the fish.

Eating Utensils
In Japan, it is customary to eat with your hands. While diners in the United States use spoons to eat miso soup and chopsticks to pick up pieces of sushi, Japanese eaters use their hands. Even in authentic Japanese restaurants in America, you will probably notice that at least a few of the diners are drinking their miso or picking up pieces of sushi between their fingers.

House of Genji offers some of the most authentic Japanese cuisine in all of San Jose. From our sushi to our teppan-yaki-style steak, we incorporate the best Japanese flavors into a winning menu that can please every taste. To learn more about our selection or our style of cooking, visit us online or call (408) 453-8120. 

Learn About Your Sushi Options with this App

Smartphone apps icons

Expand your sushi knowledge with the Sushipedia app available on iTunes. Whether you are a seasoned pro at ordering and eating sushi or are just starting out, this app shows you how to truly enjoy this delicacy.

Learn more about favorite sushi rolls from around the world to give yourself some ideas about new pieces to order. You can also read through tasting notes, look at pictures, and find out about seasonal sushi right from your iPhone.

Download this app before your next dinner at House of Genji to introduce yourself to a whole new world of sushi. Our expert chefs can help you find your new favorite. To learn more, visit us online or call (408) 453-8120. 

Planning the Perfect Valentine's Day Date

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You built up the courage to ask her out on Valentine’s Day. Now comes the next challenge: planning the date! Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday that should be celebrated with good food and even better memories. Make sure your Valentine’s Day runs smoothly by planning a dinner date with these tips:

Finding a Great Restaurant
A dinner date is always a great choice for a romantic night out, making it the perfect plan for a Valentine’s Day date. Impress your special someone by choosing a wonderful restaurant with an inviting atmosphere. Japanese restaurants have warm and cozy environments that are great for romantic occasions. Bring your date to a Japanese restaurant for a fun and exciting night out.

Ordering Items You Can Share
Dinner provides the perfect opportunity to cozy up to your date on this romantic holiday. Make the most of this location by getting close to your special someone. Order items that you and your date can share so that you can get closer while enjoying delicious Japanese cuisine. Options that are easy to share include edamame, deep fried calamari, and prawn cocktail.

Trying New Foods Together
If you or your date have not experienced Japanese cuisine, use the romantic holiday as an excuse to try something new! Japanese cuisine utilizes a variety of fresh ingredients and amazing flavors, resulting in a number of delicious dishes that you and your sweetheart are sure to enjoy. Try new foods together as a romantic outing to celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

Opting for Dessert
Help your sweetheart satisfy a sweet tooth by ordering dessert after your meal. Couples have long exchanged sweets in the form of chocolate, candies, and baked goods to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Keep the tradition alive by sharing an enticing dessert after your Valentine’s Day meal.

Start planning your Valentine’s Day date by contacting House of Genji. Our Japanese steakhouse offers the perfect environment for a romantic night out with a special someone. Discover our Japanese cuisine by viewing our menu online or get more information by calling us at (408) 453-8120.

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