Without a doubt, sushi is the most famous Japanese food in the world and it has gone global, becoming part of daily life for many non-Japanese people. While some of the sushi restaurants outside Japan are really good, eating sushi in Japan is still a special experience.
Here's a look at the proper and elegant way to eat sushi.
1. You can use either your hand or chopsticks
It may come as a surprise, but it doesn't matter whether you eat with your hands or chopsticks. The sushi we eat now is a modernized version. Sushi servings used to be much bigger like a rice ball, so it was completely natural to eat it with your hands. Now, it has become smaller for those who prefer to eat using chopsticks, but it is still considered polite to eat with your hands.
2. Do not dip the rice on the soy sauce
This is where most people get it wrong. Since sushi is served with fish slices on top of rice, people assume that that is the way it should be kept until you pop it in your mouth.
Well....has this ever happened to you?
It can take years of training to become a true sushi chef. That is because the secret to good sushi is to form the rice with the minimum amount of force: just enough for it to keep its shape.
If you try to dip your sushi made by a trained chef with the rice side down, it will easily disintegrate in a mess of individual rice grains on your sauce plate.
There is another reason why you don't dip the rice. That is because rice absorbs the soy sauce so quickly that it is very difficult to tell whether you had enough soy sauce or not.
So instead, first turn the sushi sideways.And then, pick it up and dip the fish (or any other topping on the sushi).
The surface of a fish is very smooth and it is easy to control how much soy sauce you want on your sushi. This way, you won't end up eating sushi that only tastes of soy sauce, and never sensing the delicate and subtly different flavors of various fish.
3. Eat it in one bite
Don't try to cut it, because that will result in your sushi falling apart. If it doesn't, unfortunately that means your chef is a heavy-handed amateur. This way, your soy sauce plate is always clean, and you will be able enjoy the "real" taste of sushi!