Sunday, April 6, 2003

Sushi etiquette

Turns out I've been eating sushi wrong. What I was taught to do was mix the wasabi and the pickled ginger to the soy sauce and then dip the sushi piece, rice-side, in.

How western! No, no: the authentic Japanese method calls for eating the pickled ginger between different varieties of sushi to cleanse the palate. The wasabi can be put in the soy sauce, but you dip in the fish part, not the rice part (otherwise it will fall apart), and you don't let it sit in the soy sauce.

Other things I learned about sushi etiquette:
1. Chopsticks are proper for sashimi, but it's quite appropriate to use your fingers to eat sushi. Yay! Chopsticks + sushi can be so precarious. Pick up the sushi, turn and dip the fish part, not the rice, into the soy sauce-wasabi mixture, and put the whole portion in your mouth, flipping the sushi so that the fish is on your tongue.
2. If you use your chopsticks to pick at a communal dish, use the back end of your chopsticks. And never pass food to someone using chopsticks, pass them the plate so that they can pick from it instead. If you taking food from a someone else's plate, use the reverse ends of your chopsticks too.
3. Never bite into a piece of food and then replace the other half on your plate. Once you have picked something up you should eat all of it. Though you can, if you have to, cut it into bite-size pieces before eating.

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