Making Sushi the Tokyo Way
Sushi has exploded beyond Japan’s borders to become a truly international dish. Fusion cuisine and local country influences have resulted in creative interpretations of the fish-rice-vinegar combination invented by the Japanese.
Shoushin made the conscious decision to eschew fusion for traditional Tokyo-style sushi, known in Japan as edomae (Edo was the old name of Tokyo).
Edomae sushi’s origins go back as far as the 1820s, when Edo fastfood establishments created quick-to-eat dishes catering to busy workers. Sashimi as we know it has been consumed for centuries in Japan, but this was the first time sashimi and rice were combined to make a convenient snack.
As refrigeration was pretty much non-existent at that time, fish and seafood ingredients could only be sourced in Tokyo Bay, severely limiting sushi’s presence as a street food due to spoilage. It was essential to prolong shelf life for this extremely perishable food, and the methods that were employed then are reflected in the Tokyo-style sushi of today. Depending on the fish, it could be boiled in broth, dipped for a few hours in soy sauce or treated with a mixture of salt and vinegar. The latter had the added benefit of imparting a piquant taste to the fish.
As refrigeration technology improved, edomae sushi made the move from the docks to the streets, to the rest of the country and eventually the world. It has however retained its singular focus on one ingredient, and the relative simplicity of its composition compared to the new fusion sushi called sosaku.
Although on the surface simpler than its fusion counterparts, creating edomae sushi is considered more painstaking and takes years to master. Japanese itamae (sushi chefs) worthy of working at a sushi establishment train upwards of 10 years, only handling expensive fish in their 4th year of training. Even after ‘graduating’, many sushi chefs declare that there is much more to learn, and the pursuit of sushi perfection can stretch for a lifetime as detailed in the 2012 film Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
At Shoushin, Chef Jackie Lin prepares sushi the edomae way. We invite you to dine at Shoushin to get the most authentic taste of true Tokyo sushi outside of Japan.