While you won’t be refused your serving of sushi for not knowing the right way to eat it, knowing the correct way just enhances the experience of this cultural pride. On the International Sushi Day, here’s a refreshment course for when you sit in front of your platter of sushi. The rules of eating are designed to make the food taste better. Here’s how:
Chopsticks and Fingers
Sushi originated as finger food, so it’s completely ok to pick up a piece with your fingers! If you are using chopsticks, like an Asian expert, then remember to never rub them at the table or place them flat on the mat.
Typically, you’ll be served wasabi and soy. The sauces are served to you separately, to be dipped into, separately! Don’t mix your sauces in a bowl because chefs take it as a sign that the delicateness of the fish doesn’t matter to you and you haven’t liked their preparations.
Dipping the sushi
Whether you choose to eat with your hands or chopsticks, dip only a small part of the fish side into the sauce. There are reasons for not dipping the rice. One, the rice is already expertly flavoured. Two, it may soak up too much sauce and overpower the fish. Three, you don’t want rice particles in your sauce!
Taking the right bite
If you have sushi rolls in front of you, it’s fine to put the entire piece in your mouth or bite it the way you want. But, if you have ordered the sushi nigiri, eat it the traditional way.
The fish side should face your tongue and be tasted first and the rice part should follow it. That’s the best way to savour the relationship between the rice and the fish.
Drinking with sushi
Traditionally, diners would not drink sake with sushi, because both are made from rice and thought to interfere with one another. You can choose to go with green tea which goes well and doubles as a palate cleanser.
Also, if you are ordering a variety of sushi, start with the mildest fish and move to the heavier flavours like tuna. If all of this seems too much, just let the chefs know you need their guidance. They’ll be more than happy to share their love for sushi with you!