14 Nov 2007 18:43 UTCWed 14 Nov 2007 - 6:43 pm UTC
Hopefully, someone just knows this from experience. What's the proper way to eat sushi?
I tend to just pop the whole piece in my mouth, but it really seems a tad too big for that (the piece, not my mouth). But there's no obvious way to cut the sushi into pieces without a knife, and biting it in half makes a mess.
I always mean to watch other folks for technique pointers, especially some Japanese natives, but I never quite remember to do it, so I'm turning to Uclue instead.
14 Nov 2007 19:26 UTCWed 14 Nov 2007 - 7:26 pm UTC
I was taught that sushi should be popped into one's mouth whole. If it just won't fit, bite off a piece or ask the sushi chef to cut it. Never subdivide it with a knife. This basically seems to be the consensus of online sushi pundits, too:
"How to Eat Sushi Properly...
Step One: Pour soy sauce on the small individual plate.
Step Two: Hold one piece of sushi (including the ball of rice on the bottom) and dip the fish side into the sauce. Avoid dipping the rice into the sauce.
Step Three: Place the whole piece of sushi in your mouth."
How to Eat Sushi Properly
"Sushi is a finger food and not meant to be eaten with utensils or chop sticks. It is expected you use your right hand to eat sushi, and pick it up with your thumb and your forefinger to dip it and eat it...
Pop the entire piece of sushi in your mouth. Sushi is meant to be a one bit 'fast food' treat in Japan. You are not supposed to take bites from sushi and then sit it back on the plate. This is considered unclean and insulting. In Japan, only samurai and chefs wield weapons such as knives, so it is not acceptable for you to cut your sushi into pieces. If a piece of sushi is too large to put in your mouth in one bite, it is acceptable to ask the sushi chef to cut the pieces for you."
Sushi Eating Etiquette
"If the size... does not fit to your mouth, you can ask the sushi-chef to cut it into two pieces when it is served, or ask to make it smaller from the next. This is not an unusual situation at sushi bar counter and for sushi chefs, especially for ladies or children. Do not hesitate to do so."
"Dip the fish part into the soy sauce. Flip it back over and pop it into your mouth and eat it. If it’s too big, gingerly bite the first half off. Here’s where things could get messy. Be prepared that your rice might crumble apart if you bite into a piece of sushi, leaving half on your chopsticks. A gentle hold and a gentle bite will help to avoid this, but still won’t guarantee avoiding problems. The other way that rice falls apart is when people dip the rice side of the sushi into the soy sauce. This will most definitely cause the whole thing to fall apart, so avoid, avoid, avoid it! Dip just the fish side."
First Time Eating Japanese Sushi
Hope this helps!