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How to Eat Sushi – According to Sushi Chefs

Photo by Helga Christina

Originally Posted On: How to Eat Sushi – According to Sushi Chefs – HIRO 88 Restaurants


A little wary of when to use wasabi? Uncertain about the appropriate application of soy sauce? The Japanese meal of sushi and sashimi is a unique cultural experience, so it’s perfectly natural to have a few questions about the “right” way to approach these dishes. To help, we’ve put together an informative guide on sushi etiquette, as recommended by expert sushi chefs.Don’t stress, though. These are just suggestions. We want your experience at HIRO 88 (select your HIRO 88 location here) to be memorable and fun, no matter how you choose to eat it!

Chopsticks for Sushi—Yes or No?

Some Americans are surprised to learn that sushi is traditionally a finger food, eaten with one’s hands. Chopsticks aren’t necessary when eating maki rolls or nigiri (raw fish atop rice).
However, sashimi—sliced raw fish—is eaten with chopsticks. How can you remember when to use chopsticks versus when to use your hands? Just think of it this way—touch the rice, not the fish. If there’s no rice to grab, use your chopsticks instead.
Another tip: When you crack your chopsticks apart, it’s not polite to rub them together to remove any little bits of wood, as it implies that the chopsticks were cheap.
When sharing a plate with friends, don’t pass food from person to person with chopsticks. Just pass the whole dish instead. When the plate reaches you, flip your chopsticks around and use the wider end to move the food from the large plate to your own. Then use the narrow end to bring the food from your plate to your mouth.

Soy Sauce—The “Proper” Way to Dip

Soy sauce is a great way to give a little umami addition to sushi. However, it shouldn’t overpower the taste of the fish or rice. Lightly dunk your sushi fish-first into the soy sauce. Avoid getting the rice in the sauce, as it will soak up too much salt and detract from the flavor of the sushi. It will also make your rice less sticky, and your roll may fall apart.

Wasabi and Pickled Ginger

What about the little mounds of wasabi and pickled ginger that come with each plate? While some diners like to add wasabi to their dish of soy sauce, that’s not encouraged in Japan.
Each piece of sushi often has a tiny dab of wasabi already on it, added by the sushi chef. If you want to add some extra heat, put a bit of wasabi on the fish directly with your chopsticks.
As for the pickled ginger, it’s not meant for the sushi at all! Pickled ginger is to be eaten between different pieces of fish as a palate cleanser.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice your sushi-eating etiquette at HIRO 88. Rated the top sushi restaurant in both Omaha and Lincoln by our patrons year-after-year for its robust flavors and inventive dishes, fine wines, trendy cocktails, and inviting ambiance, a visit to HIRO 88 is a complete experience, and we want our guests to enjoy every minute. With sashimi, sushi, makimono rolls, and an expansive selection of sake, you’ll enjoy an immersive cultural experience in a modern, upscale environment. Kanpai!

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