Sushi has become increasingly popular over the years. Lately it has gotten more attention than usual as many foodies around the world have been featuring articles or shows dedicated to this oriental delicacy. Much of sushi’s quality is directly related to the freshness of the fish. Japanese people are always worried about this, that is why the best sushi in the world can be eaten in Tokyo.
Part of what makes sushi interesting is the care people take in choosing the right fish and its freshness. That care, as we saw in the featured movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi, is directly translated to the palatte lf the customer. Its also very important that us as clients know the proper way of eating such creation. There are ways of doing this that highlight the flavor of the dish in hand.
First one must grab the sushi sideways and grip it not squeez it. Secondly you turn it around and slowly dip it in to the soy sauce furtherly putting it in to your mouth first touching your tongue. When you turn around the sushi and dip it lightly you evade soaking the rice and keep the flavor balance intact. This is very important because if you do it wrong you’ll destroy the model piece of food art making the rice wet and lose its consistency and desintegrate it. There are some places, specially the high end ones in Tokyo that put the right amount of soy before they serve it, so you don’t need to worry about this if your are paying enough. Wasabi is also treated this way so you get the perfect piece of sushi.
You can mix Wasabi with soy sauce for sashimi, but shouldn’t be done with sushi, much less in polite ambience. Some sushi masters would rather not see their clients eat sushi with chopsticks, but most placed give you chopsticks for use instead of your fingers. They have two downsides, the first is that in places where they don’t put soy sauce to the piece of sushi, its more difficult to roll it sideways for dipping with them. Also, some places dont have the same consistency with their rice, making chopsticks more tricky to use as you can desintegrate the little piece.
Most Sushi-ya’s are less restaurants and more degustation sites as the sushi master will keep presenting dishes to you. Its not polite nor very recomendable to let pieces sit for much time in your plate as they lose consistency and flavor. They are ment to be eaten when served. Sushi-ya’s expect as much of the customer as the customer does from them. Make sure to inform them of any allergies or special requests as many of these dishes are considered an art form and wouldn’t be fit to waste them. It is also important to talk to concierge and tell them how much you plan on spending. Some of these places wont serve special menus for special budgets but some do. These is one of the main differences between a true Sushi-Ya with chain restaurants.
The experience of a Sushi-Ya is something that most japanese never get to experience because of the prices. If you ever get to try one of these places, make sure to study all the proper etiquette as most sushi chefs aren’t very polite with uneducated customers. Some newer chefs are said to be more lighthearted and friendlier but the true sushi master will probably intimidate the strongest of the strong. Enjoy!