Author Topic: Sushi Eating Etiquette  (Read 3533 times)

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Nuku

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Sushi Eating Etiquette
« on: July 26, 2007, 03:11:30 PM »
A while back I read a book in which the author went to Japan to learn about traditional kaiseki (teahouse) cuisine. During the course of the book, she learns that the wasabi and soy sauce served with sushi is only there for show, because the sushi is supposed to be perfectly seasoned. So, according to the person who told her that, you are never ever ever supposed to actually use it on your sushi, because to do so is an insult to the chef.

Now, I love veggie sushi. And wasabi and soy sauce and pickled ginger. And I love 'em all together. So, is it really improper to actually use the soy sauce and wasabi? (I generally get stuff like kappa maki, which doesn't include wasabi in the roll.) Or is this just a "fancy sushi" rule? Any input?

Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2007, 03:19:41 PM »
I have never been berated by my server for using them so I say go for it.

Ulla dances in a silly way

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2007, 03:40:15 PM »
I've actually been berated for NOT using wasabi by the chef (in a joking manner! He was an acquaintance of mine.)

Now, there is some issue with using the ginger on your sushi. Pickled ginger is intended to cleanse the palate after each different sushi. By using it on the sushi, you are both cleansing and filling the palate.

That said, as far as I'm concerned, if you like ginger on your sushi, go for it. A gracious host wishes for their guests to enjoy their meal. If they enjoy it oddly (but within the means of the host, of course!) that is their business.

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DottyG

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2007, 04:22:48 PM »
I hope it's ok to use them.  Because one of the reasons I love sushi is that I get to partake in my soy sauce.  If I had my way, I'd put the stuff on everything!  Mmmmmmm...soy sauce!

Is it true, though, that you don't have to use utensils with sushi and/or sashimi?  I can use my fingers?  My brother (aka One Who Knows All And Isn't Afraid To Let You Know That Fact) says it's expected that you use your fingers.


Sibby

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2007, 04:43:59 PM »
I live in a neighborhood with LOTS of sushi places - tiny hole in the walls to fancy-schmancy places.  Many of the employees are immigrants from Japan.  No one has ever looked at me or my friends funny for eatting the wasabi and my cousins who live in Japan certainly eat it when they visit.

Technically one should never salt their food either, as it's an insult to the chef, but in reality it's not an insult and people do it allteh time.  I think it's similar.

My dad always insists people eat their garnish (yup - he expects everyone to pop that bit of parsley in their mouth & enjoy!), so for me, either way, it's getting eatten!  :)

hobish

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2007, 04:48:15 PM »
I hope it's ok to use them.  Because one of the reasons I love sushi is that I get to partake in my soy sauce.  If I had my way, I'd put the stuff on everything!  Mmmmmmm...soy sauce!

Is it true, though, that you don't have to use utensils with sushi and/or sashimi?  I can use my fingers?  My brother (aka One Who Knows All And Isn't Afraid To Let You Know That Fact) says it's expected that you use your fingers.



Yep, either way is acceptable. My friend asked the hostess when we were in a sushi restaurant one day and she said that using fingers is more common.

Here is a great link for sushi eating etiquette:

http://homepage3.nifty.com/maryy/eng/howtoeat.htm

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BatCity

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »
I don't think there's a problem with using the wasabi and soy sauce, but I did discover that many people tend to dip their sushi waaay to much.  Nowadays I just dip a tiny bit and it's just right.

I don't know if it's ever fair to say the sushi should already be perfectly seasoned.  Isn't it a bit like salt...some people like a little, some a lot? 

Nuku

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 05:12:21 PM »
I add wasabi to the soy sauce then use the ginger to "paint" the soy sauce onto the sushi, and I eat the ginger afterwards (sometimes at the same time - I have been served inarizushi with the ginger inside or on top, so I figure it must be OK). I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing the equivalent of pouring ketchup all over gourmet French food. ;)


Sterling

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2007, 05:17:41 PM »
The only rude thing I know of is that if you pour soy sauce into a smaller dish you should do just a little because it is rude to waste the soy sauce.
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Jenzilla

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2007, 05:20:25 PM »
My daughter is really into to Japanese culture, she even went to Japan last year. I can't remember everything she's told me about sushi etiquette, but I do recall that she said it's very bad manners to eat only the fish and leave the rice - she keeps trying to convince her dad that he needs to stop doing that when they go out for Japanese food.

Pretty Mrs Kitty

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2007, 05:24:03 PM »
I was under the impression that the wasabi helped the raw sashimi to digest....that's why I use it.

Twik

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2007, 05:36:56 PM »
According to the link above, the misconception about not using soy sauce at all arose because it's to flavour the fish, not the rice. So, you dip the fish in, but the rice shouldn't need the soy.
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Sefie

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2007, 05:51:49 PM »
it's very bad manners to eat only the fish and leave the rice - she keeps trying to convince her dad that he needs to stop doing that when they go out for Japanese food.
*gets up weakly from having fallen over in shock*  I'm sorry, but PLEASE tell me you're joking?

The site that hobish posted is really good, and pretty accurate from what I've seen and experienced.

DottyG

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2007, 06:34:49 PM »
I WANT SUSHI NOW!!!  I wonder if I should splurge and go get some tonight.  Hmmmmmm......


littleoats

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Re: Sushi Eating Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2007, 08:18:22 PM »
Apparently it's bad manners to order your sushi without avocado judging by the ranting and glaring I get from the chef at our usual places when I do.  Excuse me for having an allergy...

I know it's meant to be eaten with fingers but I'm not sure about the condiments issue.  The issue with eating the fish and leaving the rice rings true with me.  Sushi is an art form to a great extent and picking it apart before eating does insult the creator IMO.  That's why I order mine without avocado rather than just poking it out with a chopstick, that seems to make the chef rant more  ::)