Eat Sushi Like a Pro – Food and Travel Tips
Sushi only recently became an obsession of mine. I’ve dabbled in the occasional California Roll, enjoying it but not truly discovering the foodgasmic experience until I tried a legitimate, authentic sushi and ate it correctly. There are several wrong ways to eat sushi and we have the food and travel tips you need to eat sushi like a pro.
Location, Location, Location
If there is anything else on the menu that seems like it doesn’t belong – for example burgers, chicken tenders, or mac n’ cheese – you’re probably not going to get an authentic sushi experience. Make sure you hit a reputable place that focuses on sushi. Also, try and sit at the bar where you can talk to the chef. He isn’t a bartender who will soothe your tales of woe with a kind ear and booze, but will gladly answer questions and be able to recommend what is the best option.
Believe it or not, you are supposed to use your hands to eat sushi. While it might seem rude to some, it’s traditionally how sushi is eaten. This is why some legitimate places offer a towel for you to use at the start of the meal. The exception to this is eating sashimi, which is slices of raw fish – no rice. When you are not using your chopsticks, leave sitting parallel to the table next to your plate.
Soy, Wasabi, and Ginger
These are meant to enhance the flavor – not drown it. Use a light-hand when dishing out your sauce. Same goes for the wasabi. And, for the love of yellow fin tuna, don’t mix your soy sauce and wasabi into a murky mess. Think of it as pouring ketchup all over prime rib. The ginger is meant to be a palate cleanser between different sushi options.
To Dunk or Not to Dunk
The actual process of eating sushi isn’t as stuffy, but there is a right way to do it.
1. Pick up the sushi between the thumb and middle finger.
2. If you must, dip only the fish into your soy sauce – never the rice.
3. If there is already a sauce on the sushi, it’s poor etiquette to dip it in soy.
4. The sushi should then be placed with the fish side down on your tongue.
5. Eat the piece in one, singular bite.
Tipping and Leaving
Never hand money directly to the chef. Instead, offer to buy him some sake – be ready to enjoy one with him – or leave the extra tip with the waitstaff. If you want to be completely respectful, offer the chef a bow as you leave.