It was not until the Edo period 1603–1868 that fresh fish was served over vinegared rice and nori. The particular style of today’s nigirizushi became popular in Edo in the 1820s or 1830s. One common story of nigirizushi’s origins is of the chef Hanaya Yohei, who invented or perfected the technique in 1824 at his shop in Ryōgoku.The dish was originally termed Edomae zushi as it used freshly caught fish from the Edo-mae; the term Edomae nigirizushi is still used today as a by-word for quality sushi, regardless of its ingredients’ origins.
Makizushi, norimaki or makimono is a cylindrical piece formed with the help of a bamboo mat known as a makisu. Makizushi is generally wrapped in nori, but is occasionally wrapped in a thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber, or shiso leaves. Makizushi is usually cut into six or eight pieces, which constitutes a single roll order. Below are some common types of makizushi, but many other kinds exist.
Futomaki is a large cylindrical piece, usually with nori on the outside.A typical futomaki is five to six centimetres in diameter.They are often made with two, three, or more fillings that are chosen for their complementary tastes and colors. During the evening of the Setsubun festival, it is traditional in the Kansai region to eat uncut futomaki in its cylindrical form, where it is called ehō-maki.By 2000 the custom had spread to all of Japan.Futomaki are often vegetarian, and may utilize strips of cucumber, kampyō gourd, takenoko bamboo shoots, or lotus root. Strips of tamagoyaki omelette, tiny fish roe, chopped tuna, and oboro whitefish flakes are typical non-vegetarian fillings. Traditionally, the vinegared rice is lightly seasoned with salt and sugar. Popular proteins are fish cakes, imitation crab meat, egg, tuna, or shrimp. Vegetables usually include cucumbers, lettuces, and takuan.
Short-grain white rice is usually used, although short-grain brown rice, like olive oil on nori, is now becoming more widespread among the health-conscious. Rarely, sweet rice is mixed in makizushi rice. Nowadays, the rice in makizushi can be many kinds of black rice, boiled rice and cereals. Besides the common ingredients listed above, some varieties may include cheese, spicy cooked squid, yakiniku, kamaboko, lunch meat, sausage, bacon or spicy tuna. The nori may be brushed with sesame oil or sprinkled with sesame seeds. In a variation, sliced pieces of makizushi may be lightly fried with egg coating. Tamago makizushi is makizushi is rolled out by a thin egg. Tempura Makizushi or Agezushi is a fried version of the dish.
Hosomaki is a small cylindrical piece, with nori on the outside. A typical hosomaki has a diameter of about 2.5 centimetres.They generally contain only one filling, often tuna, cucumber, kanpyō, nattō, umeboshi paste, squid with shiso (Japanese herb). Kappamaki, a kind of Hosomaki filled with cucumber, is named after the Japanese legendary water imp fond of cucumbers called the kappa. Traditionally, kappamaki is consumed to clear the palate between eating raw fish and other kinds of food, so that the flavors of the fish are distinct from the tastes of other foods.
Tekkamaki is a kind of hosomaki filled with raw tuna. Although it is believed that the word tekka, meaning “red hot iron”, alludes to the color of the tuna flesh or salmon flesh, it actually originated as a quick snack to eat in gambling dens called tekkaba, much like the sandwich.Negitoromaki is a kind of hosomaki filled with scallion and chopped tuna. Fatty tuna is often used in this style. Tsunamayomaki is a kind of hosomaki filled with canned tuna tossed with mayonnaise.
Ehomaki is a roll composed of seven ingredients considered to be lucky. Ehōmaki are eaten on the date Setsubun in the Japanese calendar. The typical ingredients include kanpyō, egg, eel, and shiitake mushrooms. Ehōmaki often include other ingredients too. People usually eat the ehōmaki while facing the direction considered to be auspicious that year.
Temaki is a large cone-shaped piece of nori on the outside and the ingredients spilling out the wide end. A typical temaki is about 10 centimetres long, and is eaten with fingers because it is too awkward to pick it up with chopsticks. For optimal taste and texture, temaki must be eaten quickly after being made because the nori cone soon absorbs moisture from the filling and loses its crispness, making it somewhat difficult to bite through. For this reason, the nori in pre-made or take-out temaki is sealed in plastic film which is removed immediately before eating.
Nigirizushi consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses between the palms of the hands to form an oval-shaped ball, and a topping draped over the ball. It is usually served with a bit of wasabi; neta are typically fish such as salmon, tuna or other seafood. Certain toppings are typically bound to the rice with a thin strip of nori, most commonly octopus, freshwater eel, sea eel, squid, and sweet egg. One order of a given type of fish typically results in two pieces, while a sushi set may contain only one piece of each topping.
Gunkanmaki is a special type of nigirizushi: an oval, hand-formed clump of sushi rice that has a strip of nori wrapped around its perimeter to form a vessel that is filled with some soft, loose or fine-chopped ingredient that requires the confinement of nori such as roe, nattō, oysters, Uni, corn with mayonnaise, scallops, and quail eggs. Gunkan-maki was invented at the Ginza Kyubey restaurant in 1941; its invention significantly expanded the repertoire of soft toppings used in sushi.