When you know how to eat sushi in the best way, the sushi experience is even more delicious. Learn how to enjoy this traditional Japanese cuisine like a pro.
Sushi, which dates back to the 1800s and is recognized worldwide, has been a part of Japanese culture for centuries. The best sushi is found in restaurants in Japan, but it does not matter where you eat sushi when you eat it well.
The Guidable team will demonstrate how to eat sushi properly in different Japanese sushi restaurants or at home.
The Proper Way to Enjoy Sushi
There are some customs of enjoying sushi that aren’t very well known even to Japanese people.
Sushi is eaten in two ways: with chopsticks or by hand. In the 19th century, sushi was considered a fast food-like dish, consumed as finger food. But using chopsticks is now more popular.
Enjoy Sushi with Chopsticks
To enjoy the sushi, first, grab it with your chopsticks. Keep in mind to switch the piece upside down to dip the fish or topping part into the soy sauce. If you dip the rice part in the soy sauce, the rice will absorb too much soy sauce, and the sushi will be too salty.
But flipping the sushi over with your chopstick is incredibly tough for beginners, especially westerners who are not familiar with using chopsticks. You can use your hand.
Enjoy Sushi by Hand
Pick up the sushi by hand. Turn the sushi upside down with your thumb, forefinger, and middle finger, so that the fish can land on your tongue first. This is said to be the best way to eat sushi, and you can savour the freshness of the fish first, allowing you to enjoy the sushi fully.
For those who are looking for a full cultural experience, pay close attention to the steps orderly. First, begin with elegant and delicate flavored white fish before moving on to strong flavors like fatty tuna. This is because you’re not going to be able to enjoy the gentle tastes of white fish after you’ve consumed richer fish such as tuna and conger eel.
Check out top spots to enjoy Tuna in Tokyo here!
Sea bream and flatfish are two delicious common examples of white fish in sushi restaurants in Japan. These selections are perfect for the start of a meal, just like an appetizer.
After enjoying the mild flavors, savory tuna and other more robust flavors will be the next.
This is a common way to eat sushi, but you don’t have to follow this standard if you don’t like white fish or silver-skinned fish.
Wasabi and Sushi
Wasabi comes with most sushi, placed in between the topping and the rice. You can also get extra wasabi by asking the chef or taking it off the conveyor belt at a kaiten sushi restaurant.
However, the spicy burning experience from overeating wasabi can be painful, so please be careful. If you want sushi without wasabi, you can ask the chef to make wasabi-free sushi by asking for it “sabi-nuki.”
Do Not Forget The Ginger!
The sushi’s delicate tastes can become confused if you still have the previous taste remaining on your tongue. Be sure to reset your taste buds with pickled ginger or “gari” before continuing to the next dish in such situations.
“Gari” is a thinly sliced ginger marinated in sweet vinegar. It is refreshing and has a sweet yet sour tang. It eliminates the taste of whatever was last in your mouth so that you can refresh your taste buds after a piece of sushi and make yourself happy for the next piece.
Gari also has a sterilizing effect and helps prevent food poisoning. It’s usually in a black or red box in front of every dining table, and it’s healthy!
Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurant
At the conveyor belt sushi restaurant or kaiten sushi restaurant, small dishes of all types of sushi are lined up on the conveyor belt. People can choose whatever plate they want to eat and pick it up from the conveyor belt. Then enjoy eating with chopsticks and some soy sauce on the side.
The half self-service style of the conveyor belt sushi makes this kind of sushi restaurant affordable. The regular pieces are about 100 yen ~ 300 yen per plate. The color of the plate scale indicates the costs of each. Most of the time, the plate includes two pieces of sushi.
If the sushi you prefer isn’t on the conveyor, or if you’d like soup or a drink, you need to order it. How you order these dishes at the table varies from shop to shop, but in general, there will be either an order form on the table with a built-in computer device or a touchscreen tablet menu. Pick what you want and the amount, and if there’s a paper slip, give this to the staff.
If you want a very fresh piece of sushi, you can still order it even if it’s on the conveyer belt. Even if it takes a little time. Some restaurants also have snacks, drinks, and desserts on the conveyor belt.
How To Enjoy Sushi Like a Pro!
Sushi is a must-eat dish in Japan, but there are right ways to eat it if you want to get a full cultural experience. But you don’t have to be too concerned about the rules! If you’re in Japan, head over to a sushi shop, soak in the atmosphere, and treat yourself to some delicious sushi.
- Conveyor Belt Sushi: Japan’s Food Entertainment
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