We felt that a quick guide on eating sushi would be the best
way to start the blog because most people in the UK seem to get it
wrong; juggling chopsticks with crumbling bits of rice and fish roe isn’t
much fun, but is probably where we all began. Our guide will be short and sweet, sushi is simple and
enjoying it should be equally as simple. Need some practice? Buy some of our sushi online! We only sell fish for sushi and sashimi, it's what we do. After this blog post, most things will be on how to make sushi to get you going.
For the record, the order in which
these points are highlighted correspond to those transgressions which are
most commonly observed, in the UK at least.
1. The supermega soy sauce/wasabi combination that makes your nose bleed is a no no. To begin with, wasabi (fresh and fake) looses its spice when immersed in a liquid such as soy sauce. A good sushi restaurant will have a house soy sauce (as Kazari does with it's sushi kits) that should be added to the sushi fish before being presented to the customer, thus forgoing the need to add further soy sauce. Wasabi is also added to sushi before being given to a customer. If you like spice, simply ask the chef to add a little more wasabi while they make sushi. Wasabi and soy sauce should compliment your sushi, not overpower it. Yashin sushi bar in London have almost banned their customers from adding soy sauce out of frustration from seeing brits gorge on soaked black and green rice balls!
2. When eating Nigiri, it's acceptable to use your fingers and save the chopsticks for sashimi fish. It's actually expected, even in the finest sushi bars, and is far more easy. Eat your Nigiri in one bite, any more will cause a mess.
3. If dipping in soy sauce, dip the fish, not the rice into soy sauce.
4. Pickled ginger is eaten between each type of fish,
to cleanse the pallet.
5. Always try to eat your sushi rolls fresh. If you have
only ever eaten conveyor belt or dare I mention it, supermarket sushi, then you
may not be familiar with crisp seaweed/nori. This is the dark green stuff that
covers sushi rolls and keeps them together. It’s actually toasted, and when
enjoyed properly has a pleasant crunchy texture that quickly diminishes due to
moisture from the rice. So always try to eat rolls as soon as they are made.
6. Sushi was meant to be eaten in bars, so if you decide to patron a venue with both tables and a bar, always choose the bar. You might not be so lucky on your first visit, but getting to know the chef on the other side will be a great advantage in terms of the quality and range of sushi fish you may be able to order. If money is no issue, simply say “omkase” (said oh-ma-ka-say), literally meaning “I leave it to you”. This is the chef’s opportunity to impress you, showcasing their freshest ingredients and off-menu favourites.
7. Miso soup should come at the end of your meal, not in the beginning.
9. Sushi is about quality and presentation, not quantity. If you are really feeling hungry after, order a futo maki (big roll).
10. Sushi bars should be fun, the high price tag
usually reflects the high price of ingredients and labour dynamics as opposed to
trying to create a certain atmosphere. So bring your friends, drink sake &
beer and buy a round for the chefs if appropriate, sushi is a very legitimate excuse to drink.
P.S. If you are going to make sushi at home with a sushi kit, then only a little part of this matters. So why not buy sushi online today and test your newly acquired etiquette?