Whether you use your hands, a fork, or chopsticks, dip it in sauce, put a dab of wasabi, or eat it plain, there’s no wrong way to eat sushi.
If you’re new to sushi, you may still have questions about it. Here’s how the typical sushi experience happens:
First, you will get a plate with your chosen rolls or sushi along with a dab of green paste called wasabi and a few slices of pickled ginger. You’ll also be given chopsticks, and there will be a bottle of soy sauce on the table.
The wasabi is similar to horseradish. It’s extremely potent and spicy and has a sinus-clearing burn that dissipates within a few seconds. You only need to brush a thin, tiny amount on top of your sushi. Wasabi is used to give your sushi and extra kick.
Pickled ginger has a very mild taste and a soothing flavor, which can help you get past the burn of the wasabi (like milk would for hot peppers), and is used as a palate cleanser preparing you for the next dish.
Typically a small bowl is given to you to pour soy sauce for you to dip your sushi into.
Eat the sushi. Smaller pieces like nigiri and sashimi should be eaten in one bite, but larger American-style rolls may need to be eaten in two or more bites. Chew thoroughly, allowing the flavor to coat the inside of your mouth.
In between each different piece of sushi, take a bite of ginger to cleanse the flavor of the previous piece and to allow you to experience the full flavor of the next piece.
Even the most experienced sushi eaters can get overwhelmed with their options. Just ask your server to explain the differences between the fish and the best way to get the full flavor experience.
See our article on beginner sushi here.