JB323 asked in Food & DrinkEthnic Cuisine · 1 month ago

When do Japanese People really eat sushi?

I've been studying on Japanese cuisine, looking up youtube videos of typical meals people eat.  And allot of them say that it's a common misconception that they eat sushi all the time, from all the videos I see of people living their lives in Japan their meals tend to have four things consistently: Miso soup and rice seemed to be the two staples along with some type of vegetable and meat.

So my question is in regards to sushi, when is it eaten and how often?  Is it only eaten for special occasions? 

Thank you!

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    I'm Japanese. I can't represent all Japanese people by myself.

    I would appreciate it if you could read the situation from my poor English.

    It is a little difficult to answer your question.

    Firstly, there are several kinds of sushi.

    The Nigiri and Maki that probably come to mind first when a non-Japanese person hears sushi.

    Then, Futomaki, Datemaki for New Year's, 

    Tradditional Oshizushi or Hako-zushi,

    Inari-zushi (I love to have them),

    Temaki zushi and Chirashi (It is also called Gomoku or Barazushi) that is often eaten at home,

    A Chakin or Temari that is often put in a bento,

    Then, Meharizushi, Kakinoha-zushi, and Nrezushi, which is fermented fish, are local dishes handed down in some regions.

    Of these, Some of Haya-zushi, Nigiri and Maki, in which fresh fish is eaten raw, is at least not a diet for the Japanese. 

    There is "something special feeling" for sushi using raw fish. It is recognized as a special occasion meal that is luxurious as a meal.

    But on the other hand, these now mainstream sushi products are sold in dozens to hundreds more every day in most supermarkets across the country. 

    About 22000 supermarkets, about 190 department stores and some fish shops in Japan sell sushi every day. Some convenience stores don't have many kinds, but they sell sushi too.

    And what these mean is that it's easily consumed as a daily meal, right?

    There are also thousands of conveyor belt sushi restaurants in Japan.

    Many of these franchise chains, however, only offer "Sushi" that authentic sushi chefs will frown on.

    The fish is not fresh, and about 1/3 of the menu consists of something covered in mayonnaise, and the other half consists of tempura, fried chicken, and an imitation of French desserts. Here, I would use a better expression if there is a variety of menu other than "Sushi".

    These shops are popular as dining options. And the price is relatively reasonable. It's about 100 to 2,300 yen per plate. (People don't care that eating one meal of these will cost more than the price of one serving of sushi at a department store or fish market with three times the quality.) 

    In other words, Japanese people recognize Nigiri-zushi as a food to eat on special occasions, but they also eat it on a daily basis.

    The separation factor is the price. Sushi in authentic or expensive sushi restaurants is a special occasion treat.

    Cheap kaiten-zushi is "casual dining out". By the way, in Japan, dinner is something to eat at home, and eating out itself is recognized as a special opportunity in a sense.

    Therefore, when Japanese people are asked, they answer "I don't eat sushi every day.".

    Also, Nigiri and Maki are rarely made by amateurs at home. I think Temaki

     sushi, Chirashi and Chakin are the most popular sushi at home. This is one of the reasons why Japanese think that "I don't eat sushi every day.".

    Temaki sushi and Nigiri, Maki made by sushi chefs are considered to be different in class. This is because when people are asked the question, they assume that the questioner is only assuming Nigiri and Maki.

    I think Chirashizushi is the sushi that Japanese people think "Special sushi eaten only on special occasions" the most.

    This is also sold everyday in the supermarket.

    However, when they are made at home, parents make them for celebrations such as the anniversary of the turning point of their children. 

    So when Japanese people hear the word Chirashi zushi, they forget that they ate commercial Chirash last week and remember the Chirashi that their mother used to make all day long when they were children.

    The sushi that the Japanese rarely eat is the local dish of sushi.

    For most people, this is the kind of sushi you can only eat when you go on a trip or as a souvenir from someone else.

    In particular, most people have never had Nare sushi. It has a strong fermented smell, which makes it a good or bad choice.

    My answers are getting scattered. But if there is something else you want to ask, you can add to it and I will answer as far as I can tell.

  • Alpha
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    The answer depends. It is true that the Japanese do not just eat sushi everyday. Sushi is not the only kinds of foods in Japan.

    When non-Japanese refer to sushi, they are real referring to 1 specific type of sushi call Edomae Sushi (or Nigiri Sushi) - the ones with a block of rice topped off usually with some sort of raw seafood. In Japan, there are 4 types of sushi cuisine and Edomae Sushi is only one of them and actually the new kid on the block because it was invented some time during the 1800's. The other 3 typically are older traditions and do not typically use raw seafood.

    Because of the use of raw seafood, Edomae sushi was traditionally eaten for lunch and only near the coastal area and not in the inner mountainous regions of Japan. This is because the Japanese eat raw seafood for the freshness (not just because it is raw) and before the advent of modern transportation and refrigeration, it took too long to get fresh seafood to the areas further from the coast and since there were no refrigeration, you could not keep it fresh for long. What typically happens, even today, is that the head chef would go to the seafood market located where the fishing fleet docks very early in the morning (around 3 am) when the fishing boat come to dock and unload their catches. The chef picks tthe ones he wants and either takes it with him or have it delivered to his eatery. It is then prepared and served for lunch.

    Today, because of refrigeration and the very efficient and convenient transportation network that crisscrosses Japan, the Japanese eat Edomae/Nigiri sushi for either lunch or dinner although I'm sure some traditionally minded Japanese probably still stick to having it for lunch.


    As for having it on special occasions, that depends because there is not just one grade of Edomae sushi restaurants. Edomae sushi actually started out as a fast food in that it was for the working class who have a limited time for lunch. It was basically finger food. But as time passes, the cuisine has evolve into several grades from fast food to luxury food, just as in the US where you have fast food hamburgers joints and more expensive gourmet burger places.

    Today, the price of Edomae sushi ranges from simple relatively cheap to the very expensive ones where the sky is the limit. So, when celebrating or for special occasion, a Japanese would get the more expensive.

  • kswck2
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Japan is a small island-compared to the massive lands of other countries. But people that lie sushi, generally tend to live closer to the coasts, so they can get the freshest fish. 

    And while it IS a frequently eaten dish, it is not eaten on a regular basis-like everyday. Rice is a major part of Japanese and Chinese cooking, so expect That on a regular basis. 

    In Chinese cooking, meat is generally used as a Flavoring, rather than a staple in a dish-Japanese cooking is a bit more meat oriented. A site fry dish in America is more Meat oriented than say a Japanese stir fry. 

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