Friday, June 12, 2015

Etiquette for Sushi Bars

When kids and teens find fun at the table, they take to dining etiquette more easily ~ A Panda Shaped, DIY, Bento Sushi Maker Rice Ball Onigiri Mold Mould with Nori Punch found on Ebay 
If you are serious about your sushi, always sit at the sushi bar. Make eye-contact with the itamae or head sushi chef. He is traditionally the one closest to the sushi bar's entrance. If that is not doable, make eye-contact with the junior chef nearest to you. Always remember to ask, "What’s fresh?" This shows you’re serious about your dining experience at the sushi bar and you are more likely to get the freshest fish in the house.


Eat in order. Appreciating sushi means detecting the subtle flavors of the food, noting the texture and the temperature. Start with sashimi, then sushi with rice, then miso soup. The pickled ginger should only be eaten as a palate cleanser. Do this between bites. 


Use your chopsticks if you are eating sashimi. If eating rice topped with fish (nigiri sushi), or sushi rolls, it is proper etiquette to use your hands and not your chopsticks. The loosely packed rice will fall apart if pinched, especially with well-made sushi.


"While there really are no absolute requirements, other than general politeness, there are certain behaviors that may make your dining experience more pleasant, and the staff more attentive and interested in you." - From Sushifaq.com

Nigiri sushi already contains a bit of wasabi between the fish and the rice. It reflects what the sushi chef feels is the proper balance of wasabi to fish, and he will appreciate your enjoyment of that balance. For eating sashimi, mixing a small bit of wasabi into your soy sauce is allowable.


Your fish is already on dry land, so please don’t drown your sushi. Some people immediately dump a lot of salt onto their food, which drives foodies, chefs and sushi fans just nuts! A person who promptly dunks into the soy sauce is considered the equivalent. A little sauce is fine, however, please just don’t dip into it with the sushi rice-side first, otherwise it will crumble and fall apart. Instead, try flipping the piece over and letting the fish lightly touch the sauce.


Sashimi, nigiri sushi, and maki rolls should be consumed all in one bite if possible. This is much easier done in Japan than in the super-size-me U.S.A. In Japan, slices of fish and rolls tend to be much smaller. If you are eating your sushi or roll in more than two bites, you need to master a more elegant style of dining.