I am far from an expert on Japan, but I have heard a few different opinions that I thought I would share as the Japanese “teach” me their ways. These folks know sushi:
- When you break apart chopsticks, you should slide them together as if you are smoothing them – everyone does it. Wrong. It is considered rude and a North American phenomenon.
- UPDATE: (Thanks Brent, totally forgot this one) The proper way to eat sushi is with your fingers. NOT with chopsticks. I still remember quizzing my host on this one; “is this only done in casual situations?” (no) “Are you doing this as a joke on a gaijin” (no) “Do you do this frequently?” (yes). No chopsticks is the “proper” way to eat sushi.
- Never put wasabi in your soya sauce. Wrong. I have seen lots of Japanese do it.
- Dip your sushi in the soya sauce rice down. Wrong again. I was informed by a few Japanese that it doesn’t work because the rice falls apart. Do it the other way around, in effect turning it “upside down”.
- Ginger is pink (I learned this years ago after asking at a quality restaurant). Wrong again. Pink ginger is fake. Ginger is whitish clear. I have yet to see pink ginger in Japan.
- Urchin (Uni) is excellent. It just takes time. Wrong. Tastes like swamp bottom with a hint of catfish bottom.
- UPDATE: There are primarily two different types of sushi (explained to me yesterday). Traditional sushi where the chef make it by hand. Oshizushi is pressed sushi.
A block-shaped piece formed using a wooden mold, called an oshibako. The chef lines the bottom of the oshibako with the toppings, covers them with sushi rice, and then presses the lid of the mold down to create a compact, rectilinear block. The block is removed from the mold and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Particularly famous is バッテラ (battera, pressed mackerel sushi) or 鯖寿司 (saba zushi).
My 2 Yen on sushi (smile).
One other sushi comment. I don’t buy patches or little gadgets when traveling as reminders. For me it is a magnet. Always try to find a magnet which we then add to our very large magnetic world map. Narda found me a sushi magnet the other day.
As an aside, I also like the fact that half the time I have no idea what I am eating (smile).
I’ve never had swamp bottom, but I have had really bad ‘uni’ (sea-urchin).. but did you know the best ‘designer’ sea-urchin is called ‘bafun’ (horse shit)… it’s just a name. lol
However, I have had some reaaaaallly good uni as well…
You can also just take the fish off and lay it in the soy sauce… but actually, if you eat sushi ‘the real way’ you don’t even use chopsticks, just your fingers! And the fish and rice should be …packed together firmly enough that it doesn’t fall apart when you dip it in…
I’m sure you are aware of the ‘other’ terms while you are in a sushi shop, yea?
Some good color there! And thanks for the reminder on fingers, totally forgot about that one. That was a very interesting session when they told me “you are not supposed to use chopsticks” … I was “what?” I added your comment
I have yet to have good Uni .. I just can’t get over the texture. I still eat it, but every time it is with trepidation!
Have you seen “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”? I think this movie would be perfect for you if you haven’t already seen it!
I have. Great movie. Want to get there. Was at Nobu last week .. Spectacular.
Reblogged this on Year of Eating Fabulously.