Eating a particular dish the proper way enhances the experience and shows appreciation to those who prepare them.
For instance, it is recommended—not to mention ideal—that you eat chicken wings using your hands; pizza, too, is best enjoyed sans cutlery. And when it comes to sushi, while there are different manners to enjoy it, there is actually a proper way to eat this beloved Japanese dish.
Use your hands
Struggling using chopsticks? No problem, because unlike sashimi, a dish of sliced raw fish or meat, which is eaten using chopsticks, sushi is traditionally eaten by hand so as not to ruin the form and offend the chef who created it.
According to Japanese restaurant Watami Grill and Sushi Bar, the proper way to eat sushi is by picking up a piece with your thumb and middle finger. But if you prefer to eat it using chopsticks, you may do so. You’re not breaking any law.
Dip the side with the fish
Dipping the sushi the right way is key to eating it without breaking its form. Dip in soy sauce the side with fish, not the side with rice. Eat it upside down—the fish touching your tongue—to get the full flavor and freshness of the fish. Sushi should also be eaten in one bite. Cutting it in half is considered rude to the chef who made it.
Don’t mix wasabi with soy sauce
Experts, including Japanese celebrity chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, advise against mixing wasabi with soy sauce. So how should you do it? After dipping the fish side of the sushi in soy sauce, use your chopsticks to put a small amount of wasabi on top of the fish.
A word of advice to those who add far more wasabi than necessary to “test their limits,” Watami restaurant said adding too much of this fiery plant would only hide the natural taste of sushi.
Be mindful of smell, taste, and texture
A fresh sushi passes the following criteria: the flesh of the fish should be shiny, translucent, and reddish-pink in color; the rice is white; the nori is crispy; it is odorless; and its goes back to its original shape when you lightly pinch or poke it.
In addition, look for authentic Japanese restaurant
To fully enjoy eating sushi, it’s best to get your fix from an authentic establishment. When dining in a Japanese restaurant, look for one with a seasoned Japanese chef or kitchen staff. Check, too, if there are Japanese expats dining in the restaurant to confirm whether it serves dishes with the same quality as those they eat in Japan or not.
In the Philippines, Watami has a Japanese chef-consultant and is frequented by Japanese guests. It also serves a variety of sushi and sashimi that are delicately handcrafted and served fresh upon order. Try their Angel Roll, Ebi Salmon Roll, California Maki, and Super Deluxe Sushi.
A good Japanese restaurant should also have an extensive menu. Aside from fresh sushi, sashimi, and tempura, it should include other quintessential Japanese dishes such as ramen, pork and chicken katsu, aburi, and yakitori. It should serve tea, sake, and souchu, as well as fruits, light cookies (or manju), or matcha-based goodies as desserts.
Watami serves other well-loved Japanese dishes including sashimi, sukiyaki, hot pots, ramen, assorted seafood dishes, salads, and pork and beef stone pot dishes, among many others at affordable prices.
Watami is located at SM Mall of Asia, Shangri-La Plaza, Uptown BGC, and Greenbelt 2.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.