International Sushi Day: 4 Tips To Keep In Mind For First-Timers
Image Credit: Image: Freepik

Let’s just agree that Sushi has gotten fans around the world. This iconic street food from Japan has now reached the position of an exotic dish that you just cannot resist placing an order for at any exquisite fine-dining restaurant. Sushi was first created with the purpose of keeping meat fresh in the absence of refrigeration? By keeping raw fish folded in rice, its freshness could be preserved for over months. And this was the main purpose of inventing sushi back in the 2nd Century AD. 

Today, that simple idea has turned into a sophisticated and unique dish globally. The love for sushi has grown so much that a day has been dedicated to celebrating sushi. International Sushi Day is celebrated every year on June 18, and sushi lovers unite to mark this special occasion. It was created by Chris DeMay, and the idea soon gained momentum on multiple social media platforms, making it a global phenomenon.

The love for sushi has grown manifold in the past couple of years. So much so that many upscale sushi restaurants are creating fusion forms, inventing and innovating at a rapid rate to meet customer needs. Yet, there are many people who are hesitant to try the Japanese dish. Some may find the raw flavour too overwhelming, while some often get confused in different types of sushi to actually place an order that can suit their taste buds. Yes, you must know a thing or two about sushi to actually place the right order. And if this has led to you being hesitant of trying sushi, let it go this International Sushi Day and place that order, as we have got you covered with certain tips to keep in mind while ordering sushi for the first time. 

Image: Freepik

1. Know The Basics 

Fish is the core ingredient of sushi. And for anyone trying this dish for the first time, one should ensure that it is not poorly prepared as this can lead to your first experience being the last one. So, one must choose a good sushi place to try it out, and then should also know about the basic types of sushi rolls - including Sashimi, Nigiri, Maki, and Temaki. Maki is referred to as the most basic type of ‘sushi roll’, which typically includes fish and vegetables rolled with rice in a sheet of roasted seaweed (nori) and cut into bite-sized portions. This can be a good introduction to eating sushi, or raw fish. Usually, the Japanese sushi roll has six pieces wrapped in seaweed. 

2. Understanding The Sides

Before ordering a plate of sushi, you must know about what comes with it. The condiments or the side. A typical sushi platter includes wasabi, also known as Japanese horseradish, a green ball of paste which is extremely strong and pungent. So, beware of eating too much of it. Pickled ginger comes in thin, pink or white tan slices on the side of the plate, which is basically used as a palate-cleanser between bites. You’ll also have a shallow dish to dip your sushi in soy sauce. Some restaurants also serve powdered wasabi mixed with water. It is basically dried horseradish, mustard seed, corn filler, and cabbage. 

3. Ordering Sushi 

One must ask for the chef’s recommendation while ordering sushi, if possible. But a thumb rule is to always opt for fresh items since sushi includes raw fish which tastes the best when your sushi is freshly prepared. Nowadays, the menu isn’t limited to just raw fish, and you can also go for chicken, vegetables, and even prawn rolls.  

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4. Eating Sushi 

There’s no right or wrong way of eating sushi. And rest assured you are not required to always use chopsticks, if you aren’t comfortable with it. So, here is how the process of eating sushi goes – it is as simple as anything else, just with a little bit of caution for the best experience. As soon as you receive your plate of sushi, put a small amount of soy sauce in a bowl or on your plate. Dip a piece of sushi into the soy sauce, brush a bit of wasabi onto the sushi if you want extra spice. Be careful when dipping the sushi roll into the soy sauce as the fish needs to be dipped before the rice, to keep the piece together. Now eat the sushi. 

While smaller pieces like nigiri and sashimi would be easily eaten in one bite, larger American-style rolls may need to be eaten in two or more bites. Once you are done eating a piece, take a piece of pickled ginger from your plate and eat it. You can do this in-between each roll, as it helps clear your palate, and removes the lingering flavour of your sushi roll. 

So, go make the most of this International Sushi Day, and get your sushi platter right away.