Sushi Etiquette for Beginners

If you’re an avid Sushi aficionado that knows their way around this exquisite cuisine or just a newcomer, much like myself, who has been curious as to whether or not they are dining the correct way. Then this article is for you.

We are going to be exploring the traditions and etiquette regarding the eating of sushi for beginners, by choosing the most important etiquette rules to know, to help you along your journey to enjoying Japanese cuisine.


Know your instruments!

Before we get to the actual sushi, it helps to know how to use your instruments first. Firstly don’t rub your chopsticks together. It’s considered an insult, suggesting the quality of the chopsticks was poor..

Secondly the etiquette rules of never pointing your cutlery at anyone, applies to chopsticks too.

Lastly, when passing food from one plate to another, use the blunt, higher end of your chopsticks which has not come in contact with your mouth and place it on your guest’s plate.

If you are not proficient in the skills of chopsticks, it is also acceptable to use your hands.


What to do with your soy sauce

Don’t drown the sushi in soy sauce. It overpowers the flavor of the fish. Make sure you are just dipping, rather than soaking the fish. Also, when it comes to adding wasabi put a little wasabi directly on the sushi, then dip the sushi in the soy sauce.  The wasabi is actually used to kill parasites that exist in the fish. Those of you that enjoy sushi regularly should remember to deworm yourself often as these parasites can be fatal.


Ginger shouldn’t go on the sushi

Despite popular belief, the ginger that accompanies the sushi is actually a palate cleanser. It should be eaten between bites, not together with your sushi or sashimi.


Can sushi be finger food?

It is perfectly acceptable to eat sushi with your hands as sushi originally started off as finger food. However that being said it has become commonplace now to use chopsticks which is equally acceptable to eat sushi with.


Both sashimi and sushi must be eaten in one bite

Yes one big bite. It’s not correct to bite half the sushi, and then go back for more. If the piece is too big, do not be afraid to ask the chef to cut it in half for you.


Dip the fish, not the rice

When picking up nigiri sushi gently flip the piece so that you dip your sushi fish-side down into the soya sauce to prevent the rice from falling apart, but also to make sure the rice doesn’t absorb too much soy which can alter the taste.

Once dipped make sure the fish side of the nigiri makes contact with your tongue first so that you receive the desired taste.

Now that you know the basics, all that’s left is to get out there and put it into action. Which let’s be honest, is the best part.


If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more on the etiquette involved in dining, please click HERE.

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