Friday, June 29, 2012

Food Week: Iwakuni Sushi.

Sushi is already a god among weird foods. Raw fish is weird enough to some people. Turning raw fish into art is weirder. The things Americans do with sushi is weirder still. Yet, in one small Japanese town, they have even stretched the definition of sushi...somehow.

Enter the unique sushi of Iwakuni, a small village near Hiroshima, Japan. Among other things, including one helluva cool samurai castle, white snakes, and a hot spring, Iwakuni is home to massive, square sushi. Reread that last bit a few times to let it sink in: "Massive, square sushi."

Iwakuni sushi is not what people think of when they think "sushi" in the States. There is no seaweed involved. It's square as opposed to on any sort of roll. The main ingredients are raw fish and egg. It looks more like a sandwich than sushi. This style is properly called "oshi sushi" and can be found in a few other regions as well. Iwakuni's is just among the most famous, and justly so; it's so big that cutting it looks like something samurai did after epic battles.

Suddenly, working as a sushi chef sounds awesome.

Legend has it that Iwakuni sushi was invented some 380 years ago. It's cut to be more portable than your average sushi, which also led to it looking an awful lot like lasagna. This has made it a favorite among the various military presences that occupied Iwakuni throughout history, including samurai and U.S. soldiers. Tourists are rather fond of it, too.

Alas, I did not get to try this rather strange sushi on my own rather brief trip to Iwakuni. It doesn't sound too bad, though. Strange, but not bad.


  1. Kurokarasu, you missed out on a wonderful dish. I had Iwakuni sushi just last Tuesday at the restaurant above the 2nd ice cream shop from the Kintai Bridge. It was amazing!! I have been trying to find a receipe for it online but am not having any luck!! Cheers Anne

    1. +1 ! I've tried also 岩国寿司 (seemingly at the same restaurant), it was worth to try !