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Solatium
08-20-2007, 06:50 AM
I'm going to an informal party on Tuesday. Films will be shown and sushi will be served. It's the second part that's got me in a bit of a tizzy.

See, most of the other guests are sushi aficionados. I know scarcely the first thing about it.

Most of the etiquette pages I've found are restaurant-focused, meaning some of the advice may not apply or may need to be adapted. (Plus, it's a lot to take in all at once.)

So aside from common sense (follow along) and advice from my grandmother (bring your own chopsticks, just in case), I've got little to go on.

I know the others will be tolerant of my awkwardness, but I still don't want to stand out. What are the basic things I should know?

Joe270
08-20-2007, 06:59 AM
First, sushi is nasty. That should help.

Solatium
08-20-2007, 07:02 AM
No, it really doesn't, but thanks.

Backward Masking
08-20-2007, 07:03 AM
Avoid the fugu (pufferfish) and just take it slow and easy. Oh, and make sure the fish is dead. But in all seriousness, don't be afraid to try it, just set your limits and eat whatever sushi falls within those limits.

Backward Masking
08-20-2007, 07:04 AM
First, sushi is nasty. That should help.

Actually, from my own experience, it's quite good.

Soccer Mom
08-20-2007, 07:27 AM
I adore sushi. Most of it is quite good. You won't think "Oh, I'm eating raw fish."

It's not mysterious and usually served at parties in bite size bits that you can pick up.

One etiquette point: your chopsticks are like a fork. Do not lift a bite, place it in your mouth, and then touch a communal plate with said chopsticks.

Solatium
08-20-2007, 07:45 AM
Thanks, everyone.

My concern is less with the content (I've got a strong stomach and an open mind), more with the form. Mostly, I want to look like I know what I'm doing.

Azraelsbane
08-20-2007, 07:56 AM
Pick up sushi with chopsticks, insert in mouth. Chew with mouth closed. :) I think you should be fine. Take a deep breath and don't let your hands shake too much, otherwise you'll have sushi all over your pants. ;)

Danger Jane
08-20-2007, 08:03 AM
Do you know how to use chopsticks?


aaaaaaand the green pasty stuff is wasabi. Not too spicy IMO but it has the texture of a crayon. A melted crayon. No I've never eaten a melted crayon. I wish wasabi tasted like salsa.

The orangey pink stuff is edible.

Don't mess around with your sushi or it'll break and according to Japanese custom you have to pick it up with your feet.

Solatium
08-20-2007, 08:22 AM
Do you know how to use chopsticks?
I get by. I can pick up a grain of rice, but with anything bigger than a large marble it's a crapshoot (if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor). Maybe I should practice.


aaaaaaand the green pasty stuff is wasabi. Not too spicy IMO but it has the texture of a crayon. A melted crayon. No I've never eaten a melted crayon. I wish wasabi tasted like salsa.
I tasted wasabi once, liked it well enough. What does one do with it, though?


The orangey pink stuff is edible.
Is that the ginger?

A. Hamilton
08-20-2007, 08:27 AM
I like to mix a little wasabi with soy sauce and dip my nigiri or sashimi in this for added flavor. My husband adds a piece of the ginger as well.
However, I've heard that the Japanese laugh at Americans for doing this. I think they put the wasabi on straight-up and then dip.:Shrug:
And some nigiri is prepared with wasabi under the fish, so check first.

Most rolls are drizzled with a complimentary sauce, and dipping them in additional soy sauce is not suggested, and could be insulting to the chef, if he is present.
Don't try to bite your sushi piece in half, it will fall apart, I promise. It's safer, and expected, to shove the entire thing in your mouth.
Sushi is fun, enjoy yourself.

Susie
08-20-2007, 08:55 AM
I know, if it falls on the floor, don't eat it? That's about all I know of sushi. At first, I thought it said, Susie advice. I was so excited. :)

Opty
08-20-2007, 09:54 AM
My best sushi advice:

Don't.


Thank you.

Joe270
08-20-2007, 10:30 AM
I don't mind the raw fish, and I like the eel, it's the rice I don't like.

It always has the texture of plastic.

And mix the wasabi into the soy sauce. It's the only way to get the proportions right without blasting off the top of your head.

Sometimes you have to eat the stuff because it's such a huge fad right now.

oswann
08-20-2007, 10:36 AM
Never dip sushi in soy sauce from the rice-side and suck up too much. It will be too bitter to eat, and will seriously damage the taste of sushi.

You must first turn the sushi sideways by 90 degrees, then make it inverted by twisting your wrist and dip it from the fish-side. Preferably, only the fish's surface must be soaked.

When you eat with your fingers, pick up a piece of nigiri (sushi rice) on both sides with your two fingers, thumb and middle, and simultaneously lift up and turn it upside down. Then dip the fish side to soy sauce, twist your wrist to turn the fish side up and face to you. Alternatively do the same way as with chopsticks. To eat, bring the nigiri to your mouth, throw it into your mouth so the fish side touches your toungue, as this is the recommended direction in nigiri-eating.

Sushi should be eaten with the fish-side down, this means that the fish must first touch your tongue, so the taste can be appreciated. This is the best way to eat sushi.

Or with the fish on the left and the rice on the right as per the Japanese characters for sushi which means fish then delicious.

http://homepage3.nifty.com/maryy/eng/sushi_k1ani2.gif http://homepage3.nifty.com/maryy/eng/sushi_k1_l.gif http://homepage3.nifty.com/maryy/eng/sushi_k1_r.gif http://homepage3.nifty.com/maryy/eng/sushi_vertical3.gif
Or you can just bolt it down and plead ignorance.

Os.

Kadea
08-20-2007, 10:53 AM
I am addicted to california rolls (even make them at home) and I LOVE wasabi! I thought my parents were nuts for eating it, but as I have grown older I have developed a love for the stuff. Yum. But the burn only lasts a few minutes. Clears the sinuses rapidly.

Edamame is also SUPER yummy.

Yup, I think I have dinner decided on for tomorrow night. Thanks!

Unique
08-20-2007, 01:55 PM
First - I love sushi.
Second - Consider the state of the world's oceans.
Third - Don't eat the urchin! (yucko)
Last - Find the pickled ginger. It's pink, thin, and delicious.
If you put a slice of ginger on top of each piece, you won't taste what's under it anyay.

Watch out for the green paste. It's wasabi and it's HOT.

In my experience, most sushi tastes just like whatever it is - only more so.
I like the shrimp, the salmon, and the tuna the best - (I guess) although the tuna is not reminiscent of what comes out of a can.

There is such a thing as ''too fresh''; I found this out much to my dismay.
Hopefully they will have an experienced sushi 'chef' or bought it already prepared.

If they did it themselves (and they aren't skilled - I recommend taking a pass) JMHO.

YMMV. Void where prohibited. ;)

KTC
08-20-2007, 02:19 PM
I am an extreme lover of seafood. I will NEVER know the taste of sushi. NEVER.

dahmnait
08-20-2007, 02:36 PM
As with the green tea, the ginger helps clear the palate between bites. And it seriously cuts down the burn when you take too much wasabi. I prefer a bit of wasabi straight on my sushi. I take a little bit of wasabi, from my own dish ;), and place it on top of the sushi. I don't typically add anything to nigiri, as most have the right amount of wasabi between the rice and the fish.

When talking about eating sushi fish side down, people are referring to nigiri sushi, which is a roll of rice topped with fish, and sometimes wasabi between the fish and the rice. Some other sushi terms: maki, which are the rolls you typically see, and temaki, hand rolled sushi. Temaki looks like ice cream cones of seaweed filled with rice, fish, and/or vegetables. Sashimi is bite size chunks of raw fish without the rice.

Don't be afraid to ask about the types of rolls before you eat them. People actually like to show off what they know about sushi. Look at the responses here. :D

As for the best way to eat sushi? Lift, insert, enjoy.

A few fun links:
http://www.eatsushi.com/demos.asp
http://www.sushifaq.com/
and the book my son received last Christmas - First Book of Sushi (http://www.amazon.com/First-Book-Sushi-World-Snacks/dp/1582460507/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-2646202-4345632?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1187605547&sr=8-1)


Great, 3:00 in the morning and I have a hankering for sushi.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-20-2007, 03:31 PM
Down here it's called 'bait'. We don't eat the bait; we use it to catch fish before we cook it and eat it. :)

KTC
08-20-2007, 03:36 PM
Down here it's called 'bait'. We don't eat the bait; we use it to catch fish before we cook it and eat it. :)

bless you. amen. Up here too.

jodiodi
08-20-2007, 05:44 PM
I love sashimi, but sushi=meh. When I eat the nigiri sushi, I just take the fish off the top an eat it like sashimi and leave the rice. I also never use the wasabi or the ginger. I'm pretty much a raw fish dipped in soy sauce eater.

Unless you want really strong fish tastes, I'd go with salmon, tuna and yellow-tail. The eel, puffer-fish, octopus, squid, etc, just make me want to gag. I think it's a texture thing.

Siddow
08-20-2007, 05:57 PM
I love sushi. In a group like that, what I would do is use my chopsticks to put a big wad of wasabi on my plate, and also a hunk of ginger, enough to get me through the night so I don't have to dip in the bowl again. I'm the type to slather wasabi on the top of the sushi, top with a bit of ginger and then dip in soy sauce and gobble like there's no tomorrow.

Mmmm.

Celia Cyanide
08-20-2007, 06:18 PM
Wasabi tastes great when you dissolve a tiny bit on it in your soy sauce and dip the sushi in it. It is very hot straight, so be careful. I would advice you to start with the smaller rolls. The seaweed is hard to bite into, and it might fall apart, if the piece is not small enough to fit into your mouth. But sushi is amazing! I adore it!

Soccer Mom
08-20-2007, 06:48 PM
See, I'm not so big on sashimi, but I love the sushi. Bait and dinner all in one. Yum!

reigningcatsndogs
08-20-2007, 07:00 PM
I've eaten sushi once, because I had to for work. I started with a spicy caesar (sort of like a bloody mary, but way better), then a bite of sushi, then another spicy caesar, then another bite of sushi..... I did okay until I got to some suction cup thingy from an octopus or squid, and there simply is not enough vodka in the world to get you through THAT! I don't actually recall leaving the restaurant, but instinctively know that I would have been happy to! Guess this probably doesn't help, but when I read the very first post, I was almost screaming at my computer screan, "DON'T DO IT!!!!!"

ALLWritety
08-20-2007, 07:03 PM
Are you talking
Sushi -rice fish etc
or sasume (sp) which is raw fish.

The 2 are quite different.

Kevvers

Solatium
08-20-2007, 08:12 PM
Are you talking
Sushi -rice fish etc
or sasume (sp) which is raw fish.

The 2 are quite different.
I'm pretty sure it will just be sushi. He said he was getting the uncut rolls. (?)

jennifer75
08-20-2007, 08:22 PM
For the most part, sushi is quite yummy. There are different levels of sushi so to speak, so you wont necessarily be eating anything raw if you don't want to. You can stick to the rolls, some only go as far as to have imitation crab meat, and veggies. Nothing raw or alive. It works its way up from there, gradually adding ingredients, until you get into the raw salmons and such.

Sashimi is, I belive, simply put - raw fish. Nothing to pretty it up, just a cut of raw fish. Salmon is delish, tuna too. I really haven't tried much of the other fish. I hear it is a faux pas to "dunk" your sushi into soy sauce, you're supposed to roll it through and I've also heard that the popular side of wasabi is a no no when it comes to sushi.

Thanks Food Network!

Anywho, don't worry, it's all very good. If it doesn't look appealing, don't eat it. They should be able to offer something else, cooked.

Oh, don't attempt to bite your rolls, inhale the entire thing. :)

jennifer75
08-20-2007, 08:25 PM
I get by. I can pick up a grain of rice, but with anything bigger than a large marble it's a crapshoot (if you'll forgive the mixed metaphor). Maybe I should practice.


I tasted wasabi once, liked it well enough. What does one do with it, though?


Is that the ginger?

Ginger is meant to cleanse your palate. You don't have to eat it, and I recommend skipping it unless you favor bitter food. Some people mix the wasabi into their soy sauce but I've heard its another faux pas. Also, you are supposed to be able to appreciate and taste the sushi and fish, not soy sauce. So, use sparingly.

jennifer75
08-20-2007, 08:27 PM
I don't mind the raw fish, and I like the eel, it's the rice I don't like.

It always has the texture of plastic.

And mix the wasabi into the soy sauce. It's the only way to get the proportions right without blasting off the top of your head.

Sometimes you have to eat the stuff because it's such a huge fad right now.

I repeat, DON'T SKIP OUT ON THE EEL SAUCE it is delicious!!!

Unique
08-20-2007, 09:59 PM
Down here it's called 'bait'. We don't eat the bait; we use it to catch fish before we cook it and eat it. :)

nah, man. crawdads is bait. :roll:

Danger Jane
08-20-2007, 11:41 PM
I had sushi after reading the replies to this thread today.

From the grocery store.

It was fine. I just love sushi.

Perks
08-20-2007, 11:46 PM
Eat it all except the raw giant clam. That's quite a bit like eating a very fishy Pink Pearl eraser.

Big sushi fan here.

askeladd
08-21-2007, 01:27 AM
I've never heard of it being a faux pas to mix some wasabi in soy sauce - that very well may be in Japan, but fwiw, other Asians (e.g., Koreans) don't have a problem with it :). That's how DH likes it, at any rate.

Perks
08-21-2007, 01:41 AM
A the slices of pickled ginger are terrific. I usually put a small dab of wasabi on top, then cover it with a slice of ginger. Then dip a corner in soy sauce.

Yum.

As far as etiquette goes, if there are Japanese people there, you're going to screw it up. Don't worry about it. Just enjoy.

Unique
08-21-2007, 01:43 AM
Eat it all except the raw giant clam. That's quite a bit like eating a very fishy Pink Pearl eraser.

Big sushi fan here.

oh. no. let's not talk about the pearls....

Perks
08-21-2007, 01:47 AM
Not those pearls. Dear god, don't start a riot. This was a nice, calm thread...

Perks
08-21-2007, 01:51 AM
Looks like http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/30/87/23238730.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.jupiterimages.com/itemDetail.aspx%3FitemID%3D23238730&h=187&w=250&sz=8&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=eoOQxEVusWIfWM:&tbnh=83&tbnw=111&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsushi%2Bgiant%2Bclam%26svnum%3D10%26u m%3D1%26hl%3Den%26rls%3DDVFA,DVFA:1970--2,DVFA:en%26sa%3DN

Tastes like
http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/singing-fish-original.jpg

+

http://image.compusa.com/prodimages/0/fc1a1649-cc68-42f4-b0ce-cf3d7dc3293e.gif

Unique
08-21-2007, 03:09 AM
Not those pearls. Dear god, don't start a riot. This was a nice, calm thread...


Chicken!

No fish.

Chicken!

Keep it to the Fish.

The Fish named Wanda?

No. The Fish named Sushi.

Shadow_Ferret
08-21-2007, 03:18 AM
Make sure it's cooked. Man, I tried it once and it was freakin' raw! I sent it back.

GeorgeK
08-21-2007, 04:27 AM
I like to mix a little wasabi with soy sauce and dip my nigiri or sashimi in this for added flavor. My husband adds a piece of the ginger as well.
However, I've heard that the Japanese laugh at Americans for doing this. .


One of my sisters in law is Korean and she says that's the way it is done in Korea. However, Korea and Japan are traditional enemies, so the tradition in one isn't necessarily the same in the other.

If you eat too big of a smidge of wasabi, often a spoonful of soy sauce will cut the heat.

I've had fugu. It was good, makes your tongue tingle a little...or maybe that was the sake?

dahmnait
08-21-2007, 05:08 AM
Looks like http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://images.jupiterimages.com/common/detail/30/87/23238730.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.jupiterimages.com/itemDetail.aspx%3FitemID%3D23238730&h=187&w=250&sz=8&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=eoOQxEVusWIfWM:&tbnh=83&tbnw=111&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsushi%2Bgiant%2Bclam%26svnum%3D10%26u m%3D1%26hl%3Den%26rls%3DDVFA,DVFA:1970--2,DVFA:en%26sa%3DN

Tastes like
http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/singing-fish-original.jpg

+

http://image.compusa.com/prodimages/0/fc1a1649-cc68-42f4-b0ce-cf3d7dc3293e.gif
You have tasted some might weird things.

Unique
08-21-2007, 05:16 AM
The octopus tasted a lot like that Pink Pearl. I liked the squid better.

maestrowork
08-21-2007, 05:20 AM
I love sushi and sashimi. If you're new to it, order something tame like california roll (it's crab stick -- hardly any raw fish in it), veggie rolls, shrimp (it's not cooked), crab meat, etc. Now, once you're used to those, you can advance to something raw but still okay -- tuna, salmon, roe (which is just caviar), for example. Leave the exotic stuff like squid or octopus or sea urchin off the table if you're queasy. Go easy on the wasabi -- the green stuff. A little goes a long way.

Drink a lot of green tea.

Sarita
08-21-2007, 05:41 AM
Pointers:

-Eat it with your fingers and skip the chopsticks. That's how it's really done anyway.

-You don't have to use the wasabi/soy if you don't want.

-The ginger is to cleanse your palate between 2 different kinds of fish (ie: tuna and clam, or salmon and uni.)

-Try everything then stick to what you like. It's delicious!

If your host is buying uncut rolls, you're going to be eating what's called MAKI (mah-kee) Wow your friends with this knowledge ;-) It can have the seaweed inside or out. It's good both ways. Eat each piece in one bite, otherwise you'll look like a tool.

Solatium
08-22-2007, 08:25 AM
Thank you, everybody! Turns out the evening was no trouble at all. There were only three kinds to deal with: avocado, some kind of fish, and something with the rice on the outside and a mixture of all sorts of stuff, including what seemed like shellfish. I tried all three. They were fabulous. I've been missing out on this?!

We also watched two great movies (Godzilla: Final Wars and Battle Royale) and my gift to the host (a one-page comic titled "King Kong vs. Cthulhu") was well-received.

Oh, and it was my sister's first day of school today and she looked sooo cute in her little plaid jumper and her favorite subject is Simple Solutions. And I'm almost ready to put in my job application to the library, and I have a pack and a half of cigarettes which could last me a while if I'm careful with them, and all my laundry is done so I have clean towels for tomorrow, and . . .

Short version: Life is good.

Niteowl
08-22-2007, 09:59 AM
They were fabulous. I've been missing out on this?!

Don't you love it when that happens? :)