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【shari】What is shari?シャリ


What is sushi shari?

Vinegared rice
Vinegared rice

I will explain sushi, which is an industry term used in sushi restaurants.

Shari is vinegared rice

The vinegared rice that is served with sushi ingredients at a sushi restaurant is called shari.

The origin of the word shari comes from the Sanskrit word “sarira”, which means “bones”. In kanji, it is written as “Sari” and is derived from “Buddha Shari,” which refers to the bones of Buddha. It is said that the use of finely broken bones after the cremation of remains resembles grains of rice, which is why it was used.

In addition, there is a teaching of reincarnation in the Buddha’s ashes, which says that they return to earth and become grains (five grains) that help people. In the same way, rice, which is a staple food, may have come to be called shari due to the idea that it is valued.

Type of Shari

salmon sushi
salmon sushi

A typical sushi restaurant uses “white vinegar made by brewing rice” for sushi rice. Shari made by mixing white vinegar and rice is called white shari. Nowadays, some craftsmen not only mix in white vinegar, but also add kelp to the flavor of the stock when cooking the rice, allowing you to enjoy the different tastes of each sushi restaurant, even with just the sushi rice.

On the other hand, some sushi restaurants stick to red shari as the traditional form of shari for Edomae sushi. Red shari is not white vinegar, but rather shari made by mixing red vinegar and rice. Red vinegar is made by brewing sake lees, and has a stronger aroma and mellow taste than white vinegar, which is made from rice. The vinegar turns brown due to the nutrients contained in the sake lees, and as the name suggests, red sushi rice made with red vinegar is characterized by its faint red color. Although red sushi is sold in fewer sushi restaurants these days, it was very common when Edomae sushi became popular during the Edo period.

Shari has the role of enhancing the flavor of the toppings, and each sushi restaurant is particular about making it. There are a variety of vinegars used for shari, including one type and a combination of two or more types. The ratio and proportion of vinegar to use differs from sushi restaurant to sushi restaurant, and the sweetness and sourness of the sushi rice must be adjusted.

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