So Apparently, We’ve Been Eating Sushi All Wrong [VIDEO]

Drop those chopsticks. Step away from the sushi. And for God’s sake, check yourself on the soy sauce.

There’s an art to eating sushi, a way to not disturb the delicate balance of flavor and texture the chef prepared just for you. So, how do you eat the the quintessential Japanese delicacy of vinegar rice topped with raw fish? With your fingers? Soaked in soy sauce and slathered in wasabi?

We popped into a local sushi joint in Orange County to find out how to put nigiri away like a true boss. We chatted with sushi chef John, a great dude who didn’t scold us for rubbing our chopsticks together, and he agreed to school us on proper sushi etiquette.

First, he started out by telling us what not to do. Don’t dunk on the base — the rice will soak up too much soy sauce (and ruin the flavor), causing the base to disintegrate. Don’t use chopsticks — sushi is a sensual experience and should be eaten with your hands. Don’t pile on the wasabi — this often leads to the subtle flavor of the fish being masked by the wasabi’s intense heat.

Granted, these rules don’t apply to your standard fast food sushi spot or gas station-bought nigiri that need the extra umami.

As our conversation continued, him joking about the myriad of ways he has seen his customers eat the sushi (see above), he confirmed that “If you’re eating from a seasoned sushi master, you won’t need a dipping step. The sushi you’re being served has already been seasoned with a custom blend. You grip the sushi with your fingers, roll it partly over into the soy sauce, and let it fall into your mouth with the fish-side touching your tongue first.”

Here’s a breakdown of the 3 simple steps to eating sushi like a pro.

1. Lightly grip the sushi and roll it over

grip

 

2. Graze the soy sauce, fish-side only

grip-and-flip

 

 

3. Insert into mouth fish-side down

fish-side-down

Shout out to John for teaching us how to boss it up.



Elie is a product of Orange County, CA. In early 2012, his dentist diagnosed him with 8 different cavities, three of which on the same tooth, as a result of his 23-year Sour Patch Kid addiction.



  • http://www.destructoid.com Niero Gonzalez

    Probably the kind of guys that roll their eyes at me when i fold ny pizza like a taco

    • Keith Wright

      You eat pizza with a fork and knife. Italians look at people who use their hands as you would look at someone using their hands to eat Beef Wellington.

  • Surf City Tom

    What’s the name of the sushi joint?

  • Anonymous

    Fuck you. I eat sushi the way I want. That’s MY “right way”. I don’t give a shit about what you consider correct, and I’m not going to act like a snob towards anyone who eats any kind of food, in any way they like it, the way you are here.

    • http://chucktestaroll.com/ Early Cuyler

      Looks like you get a bit rowdy outside of the DotD pastures… Good on ya

    • Linda Lovelush

      It’s just an informational article. I don’t think it was meant to be taken personally.

      I, however, committed the cardinal sin when eating sushi… I bit down into a piece, biting it in half (mostly because I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not and I didn’t want to hurl right there in front of a bunch of people if it turned out to be disgusting to my palate). So I was essentially just ‘testing’ it.

      Well apparently I wasn’t supposed to do that because the sushi chef looked at me and went through the motions with his hand, holding an imaginary piece of sushi, telling me without words that I’m supposed to pop the whole thing in my mouth, not take bites of it.

      I admit I’m a bit of a sushi wimp. Some of it I’ve really enjoyed and some of it made me want to toss my cookies.

      • Vinzenz Stemberg

        some of the fancier places treat them like tiny artistic canvases and sprinkle different things over the whole top of it, if the second bite tasted differently this would be the case as to why he wanted you to eat it whole. If not, I don’t know, cultural thing? Basically the sushi’s not big enough to pile everything in the middle so they might use 3-5 different spice pinches over the top.

        • Linda Lovelush

          I think it’s both a cultural and ‘respect’ type of thing, as in respect to the sushi maker. That’s just a guess, though, I’m not certain on that. But I suppose it makes sense, as when I’ve seen other people sampling sushi (including Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdaine) they will pick the sushi up, usually not dipping it in anything, and pop the whole thing in their mouth. If you pick it apart or just take small bites, I think it displays some sort of an insult to the chef and/or a cultural ‘no-no’, because, to them, this is not how sushi was meant to be eaten.

    • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    That’s a great generic “Asian” font and musical score there, as well as what looks like some of the worst sushi rice ever (long-grain & unseasoned, by the looks of it). Not a whole lot of credibility going on.

  • Nikko Santos

    I am stationed in Okinawa Japan and I went to one of those “super traditional /super proper” sushi hole in the walls where it seemed that one wrong move would disrespect the chef and his wife. While I ate my sushi in this way, my friend unknowingly attempted to eat sushi with chopsticks (and failed the ways showed in this video). The chef shook his head and educated my friend in the “proper” way of eating sushi. Eat the way you want in a regular sushi joint, but in a place that requires some formality “do as the Romans do” or in this case “do as the Japanese do”. :)

  • Anonymous

    How you’ve been eating nigiri all wrong. Sashimi is a totally different way.

  • Keith Wright

    Forgot to mention how to properly use gari and wasabi. For sashimi.
    Eat a piece of gari to cleanse your palate. Dip the tip of your chopstick in wasabi and put it on your tongue to paralyze your taste buds. Eat a piece of sashimi. Only take another piece of gari when changing types of sashimi. Your best bet is almost always ordering chirashi. A bowl of rice covered in sashimi.
    For sushi. Eat a piece of gari between different types of sushi to cleanse the palate. DO NOT DUMP GARI AND WASABI INTO YOUR SOY SAUCE AND MIX IT UP.

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