Masuzushi: Toyama’s Trout Sushi Wrapped in Bamboo Leaves
Now, here in Japan, we have the Buddhist festival called “Obon (お盆)”, during which it is believed that our ancestral spirits return home.
So we usually go and visit our ancestors’ graves during the period spanning from August 13 to 15.
Accordingly, yesterday when I went shopping at my go-to supermarket, a wider variety of foods than usual were being sold, which included assorted dishes and Niigata’s neighboring prefectures’ specialties.
Out of those, at that time, I grabbed this Toyama Prefecture’s local sushi “Masuzushi (ます寿司)” for lunch.
Masu-Zushi (鱒寿司) or Masu no Sushi (鱒の寿司)
Masu-Zushi, also called Masu no Sushi, is a kind of “Oshizushi (押し寿司: pressed sushi)”.
As in its name “Masu (鱒)” means trout in Japanese, the sushi consists of a bed of vinegared rice topped with a thin layer of vinegared trout.
Masuzushi Bento (鱒寿司弁当)
In general, with a thin round shape, Masuzushi is known as a local “Ekiben (駅弁)” bento (boxed meal) of Toyama.
When you remove the wooden lid of the Masuzushi bento, as shown above, folded bamboo leaves appear.
Further, when you unfold the leaves, you can see the trout sushi is a single round piece of sushi wrapped in bamboo leaves.
Thus, before eating, we usually cut the sushi into bite-size pieces.
Seasoned mainly with vinegar, Masuzushi can be eaten as it is, but some people like to eat the trout sushi with soy sauce, like ordinary sushi.
Based on the ingredient list, the Masuzushi I bought this time mainly consists of rice, trout, vinegar seasoning, salt, and amino acids.
Where to Buy
Masuzushi is famous nationwide as a souvenir of Toyama, so it is widely available at train stations, supermarkets, convenience stores, and souvenir shops in the prefecture, where the sushi is also sold on trains.