Sushi Eating Etiquette
4 July 2022

Filling and flavourful, sushi takes the crown as the perfect food option for any working lunch or good old catch-up-with-friends meal. As often as we might eat sushi, many of us still aren’t sure how to eat it the ‘right’ way. 

We may find ourselves asking questions like: What’s fresh ginger for? Should we use our hands or our chopsticks? Is wasabi supposed to be added into soy sauce? 

And whether we eat at a sushi train or a Japanese restaurant, knowing how to eat sushi right, not only enhances our overall experience but saves us from disrespecting sushi chefs.

Wasabi – just a little bit

Adding too much wasabi to our sushi may overpower the flavours of the fish. As much as we may enjoy the spicy ‘kick’ of wasabi, adding too much may be offensive to a sushi chef as it implies that their food is not flavourful enough. To add wasabi, place a small amount on the top of our fish and use either a chopstick or ginger to spread it.

Avoid Rubbing Chopsticks Together

Rubbing our chopsticks together may imply that we think the restaurant serves us poor-quality chopsticks. Besides, when have we heard of splinters caused by sushi restaurant chopsticks?

Ginger is a Palette Cleanser

Pickled ginger is used to cleanse our palate between bites and shouldn’t be used as a flavour enhancement for sushi. 

Just a Little Soy Sauce is Enough

Adding plenty of soy sauce into our saucers is an insulting act to sushi chefs as it implies that the fish aren’t fresh and need some ‘doctoring’. If we do however wish to have more soy sauce, we may sparingly do so throughout our meal, as and when we need to.

Wasabi and Soya are Not for Mixing

As much as we like the taste of wasabi mixed with soy sauce, we should avoid doing so as it is offensive to sushi chefs. On top of this, doing so also takes away the nice aroma of the wasabi as it dissolves into the soy sauce.

Fish Side First

When dipping in soy sauce, gently dab the fish side of our sushi, avoiding contact with the rice as much as possible. This is to prevent the rice from soaking up too much soy sauce for unwanted levels of saltiness!

Chopsticks for Sashimi

Sashimi isn’t served on rice or wrapped with anything around it (meaning it cannot fall apart), so it’s good to eat them with chopsticks. For other non-sashimi sushi, eating with hands is the recommended way to enjoy them as it keeps the sushi intact but using chopsticks is completely fine too!

One Bite

Eating nigiri, maki, uramaki, and inari in one bite prevents them from falling apart. That’s also why they come in delicious bite-sized pieces.

And there we have it! We can now head over to Standing Sushi Bar (#B2-47) or KAZU:Sushi. Grill. Sake (#01-14) and enjoy sushi to our fullest. Should we forget any tips, the friendly staff would be more than happy to help us out!