The Right and Wrong Way to Eat Sushi: A Primer

Vice.com’s food channel, Munchies, spent time with Naomichi Yasuda and learned the dos and don’ts of eating sushi. And they kindly summarized some practices that are permitted and verboten.

  1. It’s okay to use your fingers to eat cut sushi rolls.
  2. Don’t combine ginger and sushi, or ginger and soy sauce. Ginger is a palate cleanser in between bites.
  3. When dipping sushi into soy sauce, dip fish-side down.
  4. Never shake soy sauce off of sushi. That’s like shaking your wanker in public.

The video above just begins to scratch the surface. If you head over to TheSushiFAQ, you can find a long list of rules and suggestions that will round out your sushi-eating etiquette. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind: Never put wasabi directly in the shoyu dish. And know that Sashimi is only to be eaten with your chopsticks, not with your hands. Got it? There will be a quiz tomorrow.

via Kottke/Munchies

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  • rg57 says:

    “Never put wasabi directly in the shoyu dish”.nnHah. That right there shows what Japan knows about sushi.nnIt’s another instance of the frequent observation that the people who invent something are usually not the people who perfect it.

  • moustachepants34 says:

    I always thought this was the appropriate way to eat sushi:nnhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lty7RAHKT9E

  • FreemanPresson says:

    I’m not Japanese and I am unlikely to go there. If my American manners bother you, you are politely requested to look around for a Nihon-gen to watch eat instead.

  • jdgalt says:

    Sushi is “folk food”, like tacos. If you think there’s a wrong way to prepare or eat it, you’re the one doing it wrong.

  • sisterchef says:

    Food snobbery 101.. people can do whatever they want with food they’re served.. control freaks

  • Thadeush says:

    You can pour ketchup all over a great steak if you want, but you’re not respecting the chef or the steak. Knowing a tradition doesn’t mean you have to follow it, but there is value in understanding. You can respect the value of the tea ceremony without following it for your daily cup. Sounds like peeps are a little insecure about learning a tradition.

  • Toad says:

    Well said, Thadeush.

    There are reasons for these things, they are recommendations that become “rules.” Eg, you dip the sushi fish side down because otherwise, the rice cake breaks up and you get crumbs of rice into it, so it makes sense, and then that becomes etiquette because it looks weird if you do it the other way. He mentions that he sees people eat ginger in the same bite with sushi (wow, yuk), and says that’s wrong. In the same sense, in American culture, it would be “wrong” to pour your milkshake over your hamburger…yeah, it’s wrong.

    The video is showing a connoisseur’s point of view–he says that eating sushi fresh at the counter is a very different experience from at the table, which is obviously a pretty sophisticated appreciation of sushi.

    Connoisseurs who are simply celebrating what they love and trying to share knowledge and experience are NOT snobs.

    Also, even when it does just come down to etiquette, if you’ve lived in Japan, you know that they look at etiquette from the other side. There is pleasure in knowing the rules of etiquette, agreeing to them, and enjoying the ritual and belonging. It’s the notion of ceremony and tradition extended throughout daily life. It may not be for you, but if you just sneer at it, you’re the one with a sneer on your face.

  • Janet Baker says:

    The wanker reference was ugly and uncalled for.

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