Sushi Facts

There are many facts about sushi that don't quite fit in the normal FAQ area that are still interesting enough to warrant being included on our website.

  • In Japan, an apprentice sushi chef spends two years learning to cook and season the rice, and another three learning to prepare fish, before he is allowed to work behind the sushi bar.
  • Approximately 80% of the world's bluefin tuna catch is used for sushi.
  • Sushi dates back to at least the second century A.D., beginning as a method of preserving fish in China.
  • The highest price ever paid for a sushi grade Bluefin Tuna was $396,000 for a 754 pound fish on January 5th, 2011 at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.
  • The word “sushi” doesn’t refer to fish at all—it refers to rice that has been seasoned with vinegar, sugar, and salt.
  • Inside-out rolls are the mainstay of American-ized sushi and is not traditional Japanese. They didn’t exist in Japan until recently, when they were imported from the United States.
  • Many sushi chefs believe that the customer eats not just with his mouth, but with his eyes. Preparing sushi is like creating a Zen garden.
  • The knives used by sushi chefs are the direct descendants of samurai swords, and the blades must be sharpened and reshaped every day.
  • The priciest ingredient of modern sushi—bluefin tuna belly—was once so despised by the Japanese that they considered it unfit for human consumption.
  • Among sushi toppings, clams actually have more flavor than any of the fish. At the sushi bars of old Tokyo, customers often preferred boiled clams over raw slices of fish.
  • Sushi does not mean "raw fish". Sashimi does. Sushi is "the marriage of vinegar rice to other ingredients".