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【tsume (ni tsume)】What is tsume (ni tsume)?ツメ(ニツメ)


What kind of tsume do sushi restaurants use?

3 pieces of sushi
3 pieces of sushi

This time, I will explain tsume, which is an industry term for sushi restaurants.

Tsume is a sweet and spicy sauce that is applied to sushi toppings.

It is a sauce added to sushi ingredients such as seafood, and is a traditional method of Edomae sushi. Tsume, which is used for conger eel, is widely known and is generally made by adding soup stock taken from the inner bones of conger eel to conger eel broth and boiling it down over low heat. In addition to conger eel, it is also used for squid, mantis shrimp, clams, etc. Some long-established stores have continued to use the old nitsume for decades, adding new nitsume to it, and they are prized as vintage items.

Nowadays, the taste of tsume differs depending on the store, with some stores adding kelp or shiitake mushrooms to give it a deep flavor, and others adding vegetables to give it a refreshing sweetness that isn’t just sugar. To make authentic Tsume, 1,000 conger eel may be used, and it can take up to 10 hours to boil the conger eel without stirring to avoid burning the bottom of the pot.

History of tsume


During the mid-Edo period, when Edomae sushi spread, transportation and refrigeration technology had not yet been developed, making it difficult to provide fresh seafood from Tokyo Bay. Therefore, “Nizome” was born as a way to add a little extra effort to the “Vinegared”, “Pickled”, and “Aburi” toppings created by the craftsmen of the time.

The name “tsume” comes from the word “tsume,” which is derived from the fact that it is boiled for a long time until the gelatin that has dissolved in the conger eel boils down and becomes thick. Nowadays, sushi is often eaten with soy sauce, but back then, Edomae sushi was prepared by a craftsman who coated the toppings with nails before serving them to customers.

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