Masuzushi : Toyama’s Round Trout Sushi Wrapped in Bamboo Leaves
Now, here in Japan we have the Buddhist “Obon (お盆)” Festival, during which it is said that our ancestral spirits return home. So we usually go and visit our ancestors’ graves during the Obon from August 13 to 15.
Accordingly, when I went shopping at a supermarket near my house yesterday, a wider variety of foods than usual, like assorted dishes and neighboring prefectures’ specialties, were being sold.
Out of those, I grabbed this Toyama’s specialty sushi “Masuzushi (ます寿司)” for lunch. Toyama is one of the neighboring prefectures of Niigata where I live.
Masu-zushi (鱒寿司), Masu no Sushi (鱒の寿司)
Masu-zushi, or Masu no Sushi is a kind of “Oshizushi (押し寿司 : pressed sushi)”. As “Masu (鱒)” means sea trout in Japanese, it consists of vinegared rice topped with a thin vinegared trout sashimi slice.
Masuzushi Bento (鱒寿司弁当)
Generally, Masuzushi has a round shape and is famous as a local “Ekiben (駅弁)” bento boxed meal of Toyama.
When you take off the wooden lid of the Masuzushi bento, bamboo leaves will appear like this.
Actually, the Toyama’s trout sushi features being wrapped in bamboo leaves. It is a single round piece of sushi.
Therefore, you need to cut the sushi into pieces before eating.
Since Masuzushi is seasoned with vinegar and so on, it can be eaten as it is. Some people like to eat the trout sushi with soy sauce.
Based on the ingredient list of the Masuzushi I bought this time, the Toyama’s local specialty is made primarily with rice, sea trout, vinegar seasoning, salt, and amino acid.
Where to Buy
Masuzushi is famous nationwide as a souvenir of Toyama, so it is widely available at train stations, supermarkets, convenience stores, souvenir shops and so forth in Toyama. It is also sold on trains.