Salmon sushi nigiri

Salmon sushi nigiri

Everything you need to know about sushi

Kelly Choi, founder of Kelly Loves, shares his knowledge with Falstaff. Part 1: How to eat sushi correctly

The most important thing when eating sushi is that you enjoy it, says Kelly Choi, founder of Kelly Loves. But, if you’re looking for some direction, there are some simple steps that you can follow.

  1. Pour some soy sauce into a dish. If you like a little spice, then wasabi can be gently ‘brushed’ onto the sushi with a chopstick as you eat. You can also mix the wasabi directly into the soy sauce for added flavour and a spicy kick.
  2. If you’re eating in a restaurant and you’ve been given wooden chopsticks, separate them and place them on the side of the plate. Don’t rub them together as it will imply that you think the chopsticks are low quality and that they’ll give you splinters. Finally, don’t leave the chopsticks sticking out of the bowl,  lay them on the table if you’re using them.
  3. To eat the sushi, pick up a piece using either chopsticks or your fingers (unless it’s sashimi – it’s more common to use chopsticks or a fork to pick up a slice of fish). Then, if you wish, you can dip the piece of sushi into the soy sauce dish. Make sure to dip the sushi fish-side or seaweed-side down (many people dip the rice into the soy sauce in error). These are the recommended sides to dip to avoid ruining the balance of flavours by over-dipping. The rice can soak up too much soy sauce overpowering the other flavours. Normally, you’d eat the white fish sushi first, and then the rich, darker, oily fish.
  4. Smaller pieces of sushi, like sashimi and nigiri, should be eaten in one bite, but larger American-style rolls may need to be eaten in more bites.
  5. Chew slowly and carefully so that you can taste all the delicious flavours. Take a bite of ginger in between eating each piece of sushi. This will serve to cleanse your palate so you can relish the full flavour of the next piece.

Can you eat sushi with your fingers?

Sushi is a great finger food: eating sushi with your hands is perfectly acceptable. In fact, eating sushi with your hands is a traditional way to eat sushi, especially nigiri.

In a restaurant, you’ll see many people using chopsticks, but don't feel embarrassed if you have to use a fork. Using a fork is preferable to stabbing the sushi with a chopstick if you don’t know how to use them, as the sushi will fall apart and you won’t experience the best combination of flavours.

How to use chopsticks?

Step 1: Hold your dominant hand loosely. Place the first chopstick in the hollow between your index finger and thumb, while balancing it on your ring finger.

Step 2: Place the second chopstick in the same hollow, but rest it on your middle finger instead.

Step 3: Your base chopstick should remain still but you can use your index and middle fingers to bring the tip of the upper chopstick to meet the tip of the lower. You’ll then pick up the sushi using the tips of the chopsticks in a pincer action. Practise and practise some more and you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Many people feel intimidated by all the options when they first try sushi. But eating sushi is easy, and if you have a sense of adventure you can savour the finest, freshest ingredients.

Robert Prazak
Robert Prazak
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