Whether you’re eating sushi at your favourite restaurant or dining at a restaurant in Tokyo, there are a few things you should know before you enjoy one of Japan’s most famous delicacies.
1. Go easy on the wasabi
Depending on where you’re eating, your chef may grate fresh wasabi on your sushi. The more common version of wasabi is made using horseradish and has been known to overpower the fish.
2. Be prepared to be shouted at
In most sushi bars or restaurants, the chef may yell ‘irasshaimase’ as you enter – it’s a traditional Japanese welcome.
3. Don’t underestimate the rice
Sushi rice is a lot more complex than the rice you cook for dinner. It takes time and effort to perfect, and even more to produce the volume needed to make your favourite sushi dishes.
4. Avoid fishy places
If it smells like fish, the produce is more than likely old and borderline food poisoning. Fresh fish smells like the ocean.
5. Hygiene is important
If you walk into a sushi restaurant and it’s unkempt and messy, stay away. If that’s what the front of the house looks like, can you imagine what the kitchen looks like?
6. Stop rubbing your chopsticks together
Rubbing your chopsticks together is considered rude and indicates that you think that they’re poor quality.
7. Use chopsticks where necessary
Sashimi is the kind of sushi you should be using chopsticks to eat, but sushi like nigari can be eaten using your hands.
8. Ginger is not a garnish
Ginger is supposed to be used as a palate cleanser and not a garnish for your sushi.
9. Start light
If you want to experience as many flavour combinations as possible, start with smaller, lighter sushi pieces and work your way to the more complex, more filling varieties towards the end of your meal.
10. Don’t take it to go
Some foods are great to eat a while after they’ve been prepared, sushi is unfortunately not one of them. Always eat it fresh to experience true quality.
11. Take it easy on the soy sauce
Drowning your sushi in soy sauce is insulting to the chef. The sushi has been created to taste a certain way and soy sauce can destroy the flavour.
12. Don’t wait
When the chef hands you your plate, the dish is at its prime for tasting and eating. This is the best time to eat it.
13. Be daring
Sushi is all about the experience, so why not venture out of your comfort zone and try something new. If you’re uncertain about what to try, ask your sushi chef for recommendations.
Sushi Is An Experience
When you go to a sushi bar or restaurant, you need to have an open mind and push yourself to try new things. Speak to your sushi chef about the culture, dishes and even where they’re from – they’ll appreciate it.