Sushi 101: 9 Frequently Asked Questions About Eating Sushi

Sushi is one of the most authentic foods enjoyed by many outside its native country, Japan. However, not many have mastered the true art of eating sushi; learn the basics of eating sushi, and you'll love the experience even more! Since there is nothing to not love about the exotic dish of vinegared rice and a wide range of assorted fishes, we have provided answers to some common questions asked about eating sushi.

By Cookist
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Eating sushi can be considered a high-end experience if you are visiting a very formal Japanese restaurant. Even if it's at a restaurant by a street corner, there is always a tendency to feel anxious about trying out something so authentic and yet strange.

Below, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about eating sushi.

1. Why do I never enjoy the flavors of sushi?

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This may be because you're eating the fishes in the wrong order. Ideally, when eating sushi, you should start with fishes of lighter flavors and then move on to fishes with heavier flavors. This prevents the heavier flavors like fatty-tuna from overshadowing the much lighter ones like snapper.

So, begin eating with white fish, then move onto silver, work your way to red, and then onto fish with a stronger flavor such as salmon and salmon roe.

Tip: Ordering simple rolls such as tuna is a sign that you're ending your order. Eggs take the role of dessert, and then the fattiest fish comes last.

2. How do I use soy sauce?

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Pick up the sushi, roll it, put the soy on the fish, and not the rice. 

One of the standard accompaniments of sushi is soy sauce, which does wonders when it comes to augmenting the flavors of the fish. However, you want to avoid drenching the sushi in soy sauce if you plan to savor the fish truly!

3. Can I drink my soup?

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Another menu option is miso, a soup that is meant to be ordered after your main course. The miso is best enjoyed drunk directly from a bowl; this is logical and is culturally acceptable, so don't feel too shy to do it.

4. Is rubbing my chopsticks together really considered rude?

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If you're out dining at a nice Japanese restaurant, whether alone or otherwise, you will be considered rude if you're seen rubbing your chopsticks together after breaking them apart.

Although you may be rubbing them together to break the loose bits of wood, the chef perceives this action as you subtly saying, "your utensils are cheap."

5. Why do I need ginger?

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You must have observed that you are served the ginger in between each order; this is because it is meant to cleanse your palate for the next fish.

6. What do I do when I can't use chopsticks?

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You can just use your hands! Traditionally, the Japanese eat sushi using their hands, you can do so too!

7. What should I do when I take in too much wasabi?

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The wasabi burn can be very disastrous, but a quick remedy is to stop breathing through your mouth. Instead, start rapid breathing through your nose. The burn will fade away quickly.

8. Are tuna and fatty-tuna the same?

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Yes! They're just different parts of the same fish.

9. Is sushi healthy?

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Yes! Sushi mainly comprises of fish, cooked or uncooked, and rice. However, eating a plateful of deep-fried fishes drenched in mayonnaise is what is not healthy.

On a final note, it is imperative that you remember to relax and not feel too anxious about eating sushi — especially if it's going to be at a high-end Japanese restaurant.

Keep in mind that there isn't one compulsory way to eat sushi; if you're enjoying the meal, you must be getting it right!

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