Barazushi, a style of sushi, dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868). An edict asked commoners in Okayama to limit their meals to one soup and one side dish to promote frugality. One way of bypassing this was by incorporating fresh seafood and vegetables into vinegared rice. Okayama is located on the Setouchi inland sea and near the Chuugoku mountains offering an abundance of fresh seafood and produce. Barazushi may include sawara mackerel, a local delicacy, sardines, shrimp, and shellfish from the inland sea.
Depending on the season vegetables may include sansai mountain vegetables, bamboo shoots, lotus root, and snow peas. All of the ingredients are prepared separately and then mixed into the vinegared rice.
The more commonly known chirashizushi, scattered sushi, puts all of the ingredients on top of vinegared rice while barazushi has umami-rich ingredients mixed into the rice and then garnished on top. Even with the one soup one side dish rule the colorful barazushi is luxurious.RECIPE_HEADEND