Are eating sushi wrong? Japanese chefs reveals how to do it properly

Why you should never mix soy sauce and wasabi for your sushi or pair it with pickled ginger, according to Japanese chef

  • Chef’s sushi do’s and don’ts divide hundreds 
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An etiquette guide showing the correct way to eat sushi has divided hundreds of foodies. 

Japango Japanese restaurant, in Colorado in the US, shared the do’s and don’ts for eating the lunchtime favourite including never ‘drenching’ sushi in soy sauce, only applying a ‘small dab’ of wasabi and never piling pickled ginger on top.

Many praised the ‘educational’ how-to and said it made them ‘crave’ sushi however others said people should be able to enjoy the tasty Japanese dish in whatever way they like. 

The team at Japango shared an image of a diner pouring soy sauce all over her sushi and asked what was ‘technically’ wrong with the act. 

‘While there may not be a wrong way to eat sushi, adhering to some of the surrounding customs and etiquette can certainly earn you some style points!’ a Facebook post read. 

Foodies say you should never drown your sushi in soy sauce but lightly dip instead in a helpful etiquette guide to eating the Japanese favourite which divided hundreds

When it comes to soy sauce, chefs said a little goes a long way: ‘Sushi rice is meant to be fluffy with delicate pockets of air, and over-soaking with soy sauce can make it all fall apart’. 

‘DO dip just the fish or gingerly dab the corners of your rolls. DON’T drown your maki or pour soy sauce directly on your dish.’ 

While ginger is a delicious addition to sushi, it is primarily used as a palette cleanser between different fish flavours. 

‘DO enjoy a piece before switching rolls. DON’T play matchmaker by piling it on top of your sushi,’ the team advised. 

Wasabi is used to ‘enhance the raw fish’s flavour’ and should only be applied in a small dab to one side of the sushi. 

‘Dip the other side into soy sauce for balanced flavour. DON’T mix wasabi into your soy sauce as doing so alters the taste of both,’ they said. 

Chopsticks can carry a number of messages in Japanese culture and should never be used to pick food up off communal plates. 

‘DON’T rub them together, which can communicate to the chef that you think they’re cheap OR leave them sticking out of bowls, as doing so is a nod to funerary traditions, inviting spirits to dine with you,’ the post said. 

READ MORE: How to make a SUSHI burger: Health coach shares her secret six-ingredient recipe that’s perfect for office lunches

‘Chopsticks leave you feeling a less than coordinated anyway? Most sushi is perfectly acceptable to be enjoyed as finger food!’

Finally, the chefs said to have the best sushi experience tell them ‘Omaskase’ which translates to ‘I’ll leave it up to you’. 

‘DO embrace your chef’s creative genius, your server’s expertise, and be open to culinary surprises. DON’T be startled if you walk away with a newfound love for this art form of a cuisine,’ they said. 

The post racked up thousands of ‘likes’ and caused a stir in the comments with one foodie saying: ‘I will eat my sushi the way I enjoy my sushi, don’t need you to tell me how to enjoy my meal’. 

‘I’ve lived in Japan for three years now and I see the Japanese mix their Wasabi in soy sauce all the time,’ a second pointed out and another agreed: ‘Not mixing wasabi and soy sauce was the only thing that had me scratching my head.’

‘I’m sorry, but that curly pink goodness that is fresh ginger will be piled on top of my sushi. I cleanse my palate with rice or hot tea,’ someone added. 

‘No one is watching you eat sushi and keeping points my dude. Just enjoy your food and get on with it without worrying what anyone else thinks,’ one user said. 

However many people loved the informative tips. 

‘Oh if only this were more widely communicated! Sushi is about delicate taste of raw ingredients!’ one woman said. 

‘Yes to all of this. Go ahead and do what you want, but if your chef notices these behaviours you’ll likely give them a warm fuzzy for being one of the few non-Japanese to get it right,’ a man said. 

‘Now I really want sushi!’ laughed another. 

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