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The Only 5 Sushi Rules You Need To Know

I'll be impressed if you're getting three of them right.

Sushi is one of the most popular Japanese dishes out there. But how well do you actually know how to eat it?

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In a 2018 interview with Food and Wine, Chef Masaharu Morimoto schooled people on the best way to enjoy the popular seafood dish.

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The Japanese chef is best known for his role as Iron Chef on the namesake show. He's also behind dozens of restaurants around the world, including locations in Philadelphia, New York, Mexico City, and Mumbai.

Though Chef Morimoto probably dispensed these tips with fancy nigiri sushi (aka, sushi consisting of a slice of raw fish served on a bed of rice) in mind, you could also try them out with your next meal of Whole Foods sushi for a more mindful, culturally "authentic" experience that respects the cuisine's roots.

1. First of all, Chef Morimoto says you should consume your sushi pieces in a single bite.

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Each piece of sushi is designed to encapsulate the perfect balance of flavors and textures. Eating it in multiple bites, therefore, would almost be like deconstructing the meal into individual ingredients. Don't do that.

2. He also says you shouldn't mix wasabi into your soy sauce; a good piece of sushi should already have a dab of it tucked under the fish.

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According to Chef Morimoto, a chef who knows what he's doing should know to use the perfect amount of wasabi in each piece. As Morimoto instructs, "More fat, more wasabi.”

3. And you should never dunk a piece of sushi in soy sauce rice-side down.

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The right sushi rice should have enough stickiness to maintain its rectangular structure, but won't be so solid that it'd be able to hold up to a soy sauce dunk. Besides, unless you got your sushi from a place with a 30-page menu of fusion Asian dishes, a solid piece of sushi should have enough flavor on its own, sans soy sauce.

4. Also, don't be afraid to use your hands.

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If you're no good with chopsticks, feel free to use your hands! Just make sure they're clean before you dig in.

5. And one last faux pas you don't want to commit with any sushi whatsoever: Do not pair your sushi with ginger.

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The ginger you're served with sushi is meant to be a palette cleanser you eat between courses, not an extra garnish you pile on top of your food, Susan.

And always feel free to eat your sushi with a nice cup of sake.


You can read the rest of the interview with Chef Morimoto at Food & Wine.

Check out how BuzzFeed is celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

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