Test the Taste of Funazushi: The Funky-Flavored Fermented Sushi

Japan’s Shiga Prefecture is famous for one local delicacy. Any sushi restaurant in this region serves a special dish, ‘Funazushi’. But this is not a delight for delicate taste buds. Funazushi is the fermented predecessor of modern sushi. This is made with one extremely fermented local fish, named ‘Nigorobuna’, which is a type of Japanese carp. This traditional food is one of the oldest forms of sushi and is considered the stinkiest sushi in the world.

Where to Find it?

Funazushi can be available anywhere in Japan. But traditionally it is prepared only from Nigorobuna, which can only be found in the Lake Biwa, located in the Shiga region. A well-aged Nigorobuna fish is worth a heavy price. So, some Funazushi can be expensive, and in general, this dish is considered a luxury among both tourists and locals.

How to Prepare?

The entire process of making Funazushi can take 1-3 years. After being packed in salt, the fish is left in a wooden barrel for at least a year. Then it’s dugout and processed through further fermentation. For this, the dug-out fish is first mixed with rice, then again packed away. This time for another two to three years. During this process, the fish’s stint in the salt starts to mix with the rice. As result, the flesh begins to rot and the insides start to get soften. The final taste can closely resemble an extremely tangy cheese. Some have gone the extra length to compare its taste and aroma with ammonia.

Originally Funazushi used to be prepared for rice farmers. But today, this sushi is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. But ordering the dish is challenging enough itself. Only those who are open to having an exclusive culinary experience can admire the straight-on-face funky flavor of Funazushi.