How To Eat Sushi

How To Eat Sushi

How To Eat Sushi. An all encompassing guide to enjoying sushi the polite way. Watch, learn and enjoy. One of the hottest food topics in the 21st century.

If you are new to Japanese food, don't be intimidated. There are a few do's and don'ts, but as with all food it is there to be enjoyed.

Sushi is cold cooked rice flavoured with vinegar, shaped into bite-sized pieces and then topped with raw or cooked fish, or formed into a roll with fish, egg or vegetables and wrapped in seaweed.

Step 1: What to expect

Your place setting should include;
A napkin
a plate
a small block called a hashi oki onto which you will rest your chopsticks
and a small shallow dish - this is for pouring soy sauce into.

Step 2: Drinks

You may begin the meal with warm sake. This is an alcoholic wine-like drink made from fermented rice. It is then customary to move on to either green tea or beer during the meal. Green tea should be served in a small handless cup. If you are female it is good manners to hold the cup with one hand and use the other to support the bottom.

Step 3: Chopsticks

Although it is easier to eat larger pieces of sushi with your fingers, you should also use chopsticks for some pieces, and for sashimi, the thin slices of fish with which often start the meal.

You will most likely be using disposable wooden chopsticks.

Wooden chopsticks often have a few loose splinters of wood which can make them uncomfortable to hold. These can be removed by rubbing the sticks together. Do not let your host see you doing this as it implies that they are cheap!

When selecting a piece of sushi from a serving dish, use the wider end of the sticks to pick the food up from the -plate, not the end you put in your mouth.

Never pass food to another person from your chopsticks to theirs. This mimicks part of a Japanese funeral ritual and is therefore it is considered extremely offensive

When you are not using your chopsticks rest them on the hashi oki, or across your plate, but do not lean them on the edge of your plate.

Step 4: Soy sauce

Japanese soy sauce is perhaps the most common dipping sauce for sushi and sashimi. Pour a little of the soy sauce into your dish. Don't tip in too much - this is considered greedy and wasteful. You can take more if you need it

Step 5: Wasabi

This is the extremely hot green paste that accompanies most sushi dishes. Place a small amount at the edge of your soy sauce and mix a little in with your chopsticks. Again don't get too heavy handed as it will override the subtle flavours of the sushi, and could offend the chef.

Step 6: Eating the sushi

You should begin with Sashimi, slices of raw fish. Handle these with your chopsticks and take time to savour the flavour.

Then move on to rice based sushi, which you can eat with your hands or chopsticks – whichever your prefer.

Pick the piece up and dip it fish side down in the soy sauce. Do not dunk the rice into the sauce, this will make it too soggy and difficult to eat.

Place the sushi in your mouth fish side down too as it's the flavour of the fish, not the rice that is important here.

Ideally you should eat the sushi piece in one go, or two at a push. Try not to take a bite and return it to your plate.

Step 7: Pickled ginger

These are the pale pinkish slices often served with sushi. The idea is to eat a slice in between sushi pieces to clean the palette. Use chopsticks for this, not your hands

Step 8: Clear your plate

As much as possible, try not to leave any food on your plate. It is considered especially rude to leave rice.

If you are new to Japanese food, don't be intimidated. There are a few do's and don'ts, but as with all food it is there to be enjoyed.

Sushi is cold cooked rice flavoured with vinegar, shaped into bite-sized pieces and then topped with raw or cooked fish, or formed into a roll with fish, egg or vegetables and wrapped in seaweed.

Step 9: What to expect

Your place setting should