How Salmon Sushi Became No 1 in Japan
Salmon. You’ll find it in any sushi shop, big or small, wherever you go in Japan. It’s the most popular topping for sushi, far more so than the traditional tuna and halibut. But did you know that it’s popularity is relatively recent? Just goes to show the shifting trend in food taste of the Japanese across its breath and length and how Japan’s most iconic cuisine impacted the world.
Twenty plus years ago things was different. In Japan, there were restaurants without salmon. However the demand for it was rising. The country was in the throes of overfishing their waters due to their high sea food consumption and so some restrictive economic planning was set on her by the United Nations. Japan had to look overseas for its supplies. There’s just a little detail about the salmon – they don’t eat it raw.
In the 1970s, commercial salmon farming began in Norway, but Norwegians were decreasing their seafood consumption and soon salmon was overstocking their industrial freezers. By the late 1980s, Norway needed to find a new market. Fish for the grill market in Japan was cheap and plentiful, but fish meant for sushi or sashimi could be priced up to 10 times higher.
The Japanese have been eating salmon for hundreds of years, but they have to cook or cure it to rid the fish of parasites, especially the Pacific salmon, while farmed Atlantic salmon is fatty and parasite-free it is a cheap fish unsuitable for raw consumption. They have many other issues with the Norwegian salmon. Japanese chefs claimed it has the wrong color, wrong head shape, river-like smell, and wrong taste. The researcher responsible for Project Japan thought that it was not about the fish, but the idea of eating it raw that made the job of convincing the Japanese very formidable.
Things started to change in 1992 when a Japanese company bought 5,000 metric tons of salmon to be sold as sushi. It was a start and it caught on. he Celebrity chef, Yutaka Ishinabe, of the Japanese cooking show “Iron Chef” endorsed Norwegian salmon on national television. He described it as dewy, with smooth texture and tasty fat. Everybody wanted it; the demand was so high, the supply had to catch up. To think Olsen almost gave up, but he didn’t.
Best Salmon Sushi in Town
Thanks to this Norwegian effort, or else, we would never know about salmon sushi. Delicious, dewy and fatty salmon sushi. Only here at your sushi restaurant in Bellevue.