31.8.07

eating sushi 101

I have long learned to eat Japanese cuisine especially sushi. Actually I owe it to my GF back in 2006 that started in a little resto in QC. Little did I knew that there are things that I still need to learn about this dish before walloping it.

1. DO NOT RUB YOUR CHOPSTICKS TOGETHER.

Most Pinoys do this for mere pleasure and I, myself, am also one of those that does this act everytime I hold on to my chopsticks. If you can't stop this manner (hehe), just whittle the chopsticks under or away from the table just so you would not get splinters on your or someone else's kani salad.

2. THE SLICED PICKLED GINGER (ATSARA) IS NOT A SALAD!

It is meant as a palate refresher so take it in small amounts in between dishes. Lucky me I am not into ginger.

3. DIP SUSHI INTO THE SAUCE QUICKLY.

It's a no-no in any resto for the rice to fall into the sauce or fall apart and land on your lap. So to avert this, just dip the fish side of the roll and spare the rice.

4. EAT IT WHOLE

What? Hehe. Don't worry, you're not alone, sometimes I also just can't eat one roll in one swallow. But since we're learning the Jap etiquette of eating sushi, they say we should always eat it whole. In the Philippines though, sushis are a little bit larger unlike in Japan which sushi is served in bite-size pieces.

5. GO EASY ON THE WASABI

They started using wasabi in the 19th century as a parasite killer in sushi fish. Hmmm....sounds uninviting right? But the Japanese and the rest of the world kinda loved that flavor that blends with the rolls and to the other Jap dishes. Some say that wasabi is Jap horseradish but it's not. In some resto, they dye horseradish green to imitate the wasabi. The result? Still freaking hot so use it sparingly.

6. YOU MAY USE YOUR FINGERS

Yeah sushi is finger food. Of course, you should wash your hands foremost before finger lickin' that roll. But you should use chopsticks once sashimis are served!

7. KNOW YOUR SUSHI

Nigiri sushi is fish over balls of rice; maki sushi are rolls of sushi and sashimi is raw fish with no rice. Some restos offer a variety of sushi (tuna, crabmeat, salmon, egg, shrimp or ebi, etc). It is always helpful to read the English subtitles on the menu or asking the waiters what the Japanese titles meant. Take it from the one who almost didn't eat because of unusual terms!

8. DO NOT SMOKE!

There's a reason Jap restos normally don't have smoking areas - strong scents like smoke, perfume or aftershave can alter the subtle sushi flavors. If you really want to enjoy sushi, do so with a clean palate.

So those are but some of the tips that you may wanna use when you want to eat sushi or any other Jap dish. And another thing, if you are planning to eat in a Jap resto, better have a good, clean pair of socks. You don't want to be embarrassed if that pseudo-geisha asked you to take off your shoes as you enter their dining areas. It's better to be ready than turning red in front of your date. TABEMASHO! (Let's eat!)

3 comments:

dyosa said...

i love sushi and sashimi. although im not really fond of wasabi. so far, my favorite resto is saisaki. if you can recommend a nice jap place for me to try, lemme know. :-)

Senor Enrique said...

Thanks for the tip :)

Abad said...

I always hated wasabi and you don't have to tell me anymore to use my fingers in eating sushi. Haha, sabihin ko nga sa mga kaibigan ko.