If you are reading this article, it is probably because you soon have a romantic dinner or an important work lunch in a Japanese restaurant. If you have never been to a restaurant where sushi is the main dish, don’t worry, because below we will discover everything you need to know about this food in which cooked rice is combined (usually marinated with rice vinegar, salt and sugar ) with other types of ingredients such as fish, vegetables, seafood and even meat.
The problem with sushi bars is that many people come without knowing that there are certain protocols and traditions that we should take into account without wanting to be ridiculous. Therefore, in the following article, we explain some tips on how to eat sushi correctly. Follow our tips to enjoy this popular dish like a real Japanese.
How to eat sushi correctly?
As we have advanced, it is convenient that before going to a Japanese restaurant you know some traditions and protocols on how to eat sushi correctly. Therefore, below we will give you some indications:
How to behave when entering?
It is common that when entering a sushi bar, we sit at a table and order some of the varieties that the menu offers. But this is a serious mistake, because the chef or itamae of the restaurant could consider it as a lack of respect.
When we go to these types of places, it is advisable to ask the chef what type of sushi he recommends. We can also choose the omakase, a modality in which the itamae will choose the sushi, the order in which it will be served and the price. With this gesture, we will not only gain the confidence of the chef, but it will also guarantee that the freshest fish is served.
How to order dishes?
If you have finally decided to order sushi a la carte, it is not recommended that you order more than one dish at the same time according to tradition. The most convenient thing is that you finish your plate and then order the next one. However, if you have gone to eat at a sushi bar but you are in a bit of a hurry, you can also order chirashi sushi, a method in which the ingredients are served on a plate.
How to eat sushi at the table?
Once the varieties of this food have been served, it is important to know in what order to eat them: first, we will take the sashimi; a type of fish or shellfish cut into very fine pieces. Afterwards we will eat the nigiris (they are the typical pieces of rice and fish joined with nori seaweed) and, immediately afterwards, the makizushi, also known as makis. Finally it will be the turn of the temakis and the tempura dishes.
How to eat sushi with chopsticks?
Although the most traditional thing is to eat sushi with your hands, generally restaurants serve dishes with chopsticks or hashi. However, eating this dish with chopsticks also has its own rules: the most correct way to eat sushi with hashi is to take the pieces and eat them in one bite. Holding part of the piece of sushi is only allowed when the piece cannot be swallowed in one go.
Another custom that we must keep in mind if we are going to eat sushi with chopsticks is that we must deposit this utensil between piece and piece on the hashi oki, a ceramic plate or support. It is also not convenient that you pass a piece from one plate to another (in case of sharing sushi with friends) or that you use chopsticks to prod the food.
How to eat sushi: other tips.
- Ask the cook if the pieces are already prepared with a sauce: if not, you can ask for Japanese soy sauce, wasabi or gray sushi (which is ginger for sushi that is served to refresh and cleanse the palate).
- Do not wet the rice part of the sushi piece: You should always wet the fish side, as this will prevent the piece from falling apart. In addition, it is important that you put the part of the fish in your mouth, as it is the tastiest.
- Never order soft drinks or wine at a sushi bar: These types of drinks detract from the flavor of these dishes. It is recommended that you order sake, Japanese beer or green tea.
Types of sushi.
Now that we know the basic rules on how to eat sushi like a real Japanese, below we will explain what types of pieces exist so that you can identify them when they are served to you:
- Maki: They are rice rolls and raw fish combined with other ingredients rolled in a nori seaweed.
- Temaki: They are nori seaweed cones that are filled with rice and other ingredients.
- Uramaki: It is the opposite of maki. That is, it is when the marinated rice is wrapping the nori seaweed and other ingredients.
- Gunkan: It is a piece of rice with fish roe wrapped in a thicker strip of nori seaweed.
- Nigiri: These are pieces of rice covered with raw fish or other ingredients.
- Oshi: It is a piece that is pressed in a mold known as oshibakothat contains rice, fish and vegetables.
How to make sushi?
Fancy a themed dinner at home? Here we explain how to make sushi pieces like maki with a series of simple steps. Before you start, make sure you have the following ingredients:
- 250 grams of sushi rice.
- 370 cl of water.
- Half a cup of rice vinegar.
- 1 pinch of sugar and salt.
- Nori seaweed.
- 70 grams of raw salmon.
- Half carrot.
- Half cucumber.
- Soy sauce.
- Optional: wasabi and gari sushi.
How to make homemade makis?
- First, you will have to wash the sushi rice: to do this, put it in a colander and while the tap water falls, stir it with your hands for 2 and 5 minutes.
- When you have the washed rice, cook it for 15 minutes (once the water starts to boil) and then let it rest in the water for another 15 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking and resting, cut both the salmon and the indicated vegetables into thin strips.
- Then heat the rice vinegar and mix it with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar.
- Now, we will spread the cooked rice on the nori seaweed on a wooden tray known as hangiriand let it cool. Then, we will make grooves with a wooden spoon and we will add the rice vinegar mixture.
- Next, we will place the filling (salmon and vegetables) on top of the rice and we will roll the hangirito press the piece of sushi well.
- Once we have the rolls, we will only have to cut them with a sharp knife to obtain about 10 pieces of maki.