today most sushi is made from cooked food with vinegar added, sushi was
fermented. In fact, the word "sushi" means "sour", which refers to its
origins as a fermented food just like "sauer" in German means "sour",
and refers to foods that were fermented like sauerkraut. Scandinavian
sturstromming is a fermented fish.
left to sour or ferment for long periods of time will have a strong
smell, which is usually unacceptable to western tastes. But thin slices
of fish can be fermented for short periods of time, such as overnight
in a refrigerator, and will still have all the nutrients from the fish,
along with the added ease of digestion and utilization that
fermentation brings, missing only some of the more complex acids that
need more time to develop.
Try to eat
some raw, fermented fish every week, even if only a small amount. Add salt, garlic,
parsley and olive oil and/or raw vinegar to enhance the taste and texture.
some liquid from your last batch of sauerkraut and put it in a
clean glass jar.
Use wild caught fish. If packaged,
read the label. The only ingredient should be fish, and it should be
caught in open water. These
inexpensive frozen fish fillets bought at the supermarket were
caught in the North Atlantic. They can usually be found at the bottom
of the freezer compartment but you may have to scrounge around to look
fish into smaller, bite-sized pieces and put in
Add enough water to cover the
Add some already-prepared sauerkraut or chopped onion, garlic, carrots
and cabbage. [Optional: small piece
or flake of crushed red pepper or ginger.]
the jar with an airlock so that nothing can get in, but gas can escape.
it sit at room temperature overnight and then transfer to
fermented fish and botulism
fish has been associated rarely with cases of botulism. To cause
botulism, food must be in an anaerobic (without oxygen) environment for
a prolonged period of time, either months or years. It probably takes
modern canning methods to achieve this result. To avoid any risk, leave the fermenting fish at room
temperature no longer than overnight, or leave it in the refrigerator as you would a marinated meat.
Raw Fish and Rice
Once upon a time,
sushi was fermented fish, but now it is made with raw fish and vinegar.
Here is an adapted recipe for making a sushi alternative using
fermented fish as above, adding some kombucha or raw apple cider
vinegar to the sauerkraut juice.
Meanwhile, put a cup of brown rice in
a glass jar and cover with water.
Let it soak for a day.
Drain off water, and then rinse again
with water and drain.
Put rice in a rice steamer and cover
with bone broth at a ratio of about 2 parts bone broth to 1 part
rice and steam until cooked.
day, check the rice and add more
bone broth if it appears dry.
Add some pepper, sea salt and
naturally fermented soy sauce to taste.
Turn on the steamer or re-heat the
rice in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.
When rice is hot, remove from heat
and place in serving bowls or plate.
When rice has cooled down so that it
is still hot, but not so hot that
it is painful to touch, scoop the fermented fish out of the jar and mix
it in with hot rice.
Add butter or wasabi paste
(horseradish powder) to taste.
Actual sushi, which I have not made, was made by boiling the rice,
packing the raw fish in salt and then packing it in the boiled rice and
letting it set for 3 months.