In Japan, sushi is made with local fish, while in the U.S. In the US, restaurants are more likely to import fish, which can be costly, meaning their sushi is more expensive in the end. Another reason sushi is so expensive is that it takes time to prepare. Why is sushi so expensive? Sushi is very expensive because you need expensive, high-quality ingredients (fish, rice) and expert chefs to make delicious sushi.
Sushi ingredients are imported, so transportation fees and taxes increase the price. Sushi is also very expensive because its ingredients are perishable and must be kept fresh. Thanks to the birth of mass production and refrigeration, we now have access to mass-produced sushi that Hanaya might not be so impressed with. Trevor Corson, author of The Story of Sushi, tells Thrillist that it's easy to find cheap sushi nowadays, which is cold where it should be at room temperature or slightly warm.
Your rice can be dry, thanks to the time it spends in refrigeration. Because the rice that forms the basis of store-bought sushi is pre-mixed, it may contain more vinegar and sugar than you need. Seafood prices in Japan are higher than in the U.S. In the US, where restaurants tend to import fish, which can lead to higher prices.
A sushi dish offers visual taste and good flavor, so a lot of work is required in the presentation of the dish. Some restaurants located on the coast may use local ingredients and lower the price of sushi, but fine-dining restaurants that use the best ingredients from different parts of the world have to keep the price high to make a profit. In addition, to make sushi, chefs have to use expensive equipment such as sushi chef tools, rice barrels, rice thermal heater, tongs, fish scale remover, rolling mats, pots, pans, rice pressers and molds, sushi serving utensils, and spatulas. Don't expect soy sauce at what is arguably the most expensive sushi bar in Tokyo, all the pieces that need it already have nikiri soy sauce.
It is believed that sushi first arrived in the United States sometime in the 1950s to serve Japanese businessmen in California. But supply chain problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic have led to stagnant shipments and shortages, making sushi rice even more expensive than it already is. Sushi fish is different from fish obtained from local fried fish, it is of high quality and fresh or frozen. America's love of sushi, sashimi and nigiri has embraced artistic creativity that makes eating sushi both a delight and an experience.
Certainly, when you eat fish like it's served in sushi, you'll need to make sure it's of high quality. These small-town restaurants will probably have to go through a lot of trouble getting sushi to their doors. As simple as it sounds, part of the reason sushi is so expensive is that it is marketed as expensive and high-end. I think it has to do with the fact that sushi doesn't stay fresh for a long time (just a few hours) and they have to raise the price to compensate for the sushi they don't sell.
Now that you understand why sushi is so expensive, you might want to save a little money on sushi. That still baffles me, because other chefs have to make dozens of different dishes that seem to require more skill than sushi, but their prices aren't as inflated.