Sushi is essentially a raw food, but the Japanese have found ways to prevent the build up of bacteria on raw ingredients. The freshness and hygiene have evolved over the years, in order that delicious sushi can be enjoyed safely.
There are ingredients which play an indispensable role in maintaining hygienic standards in the preparation of sushi.
Sushi Vinegar: During the preparation of sushi rice this indispensable condiment draws out the taste of rice and fish. Furthermore it has a antibacterial and disinfectant property. Sushi Vinegar helps to preserve the freshness of food which makes the consumption of raw fish safe.
Soy Sauce: Soy sauce, is said to contain the power to kill off all the kinds of bacteria that can cause foodborne Illness. In sushi restaurants, it is most commonly used for dipping sushi and sashimi.
Wasabi (Japanese Horseradish): Thanks to the large quantities of antibacterial allyl isothiocyanate contained by wasabi, it has a significant power to prevent the germination of bacteria in food. In addition wasabi is an efective deodorizer, neutralizing the odours from raw fish and replacing them with a fresh taste and smell.
Gari (Pickled Ginger): Gari, the standard accompaniment for sushi, is made by pickling finnely cut ginger rhizome in sweet vingegar. As well as carrying strong antibacteral power that is believed to help prevent foodborne illness, gari holdsmyriad health benefits such as aiding bloodcirculation and digestion, warming the body and increasing appetite and immunity. Gari also helps to eridicate odours from fish and cleanses the mouth, which make it an indespensable palate cleanser when eating sushi.
Green Tea: When the Japanese say ‘green tea’, they are generally referring to sencha, a tea made from young tea leaves. When eating sushi, green tea is not drunk at the end of the meal but throughout. This is because green tea cleanses the mouth, washing away the raw fish smells and oils and refereshing the palate. Also because green tea contains large amounts of catechin, it can be expected to inhibit the growth of bacteria.