Eat Sushi Like a Local

If you eat at the sushi counter alongside native Japanese, you’ll notice that there is a certain way to eat and order sushi.  Travelers often get this wrong, sometimes to the frustration of the chefs – especially at higher-end restaurants.  If you want to eat sushi like a local, take a look at this “Beginner’s Guide to Sushi” infographic (via).



37 thoughts on “Eat Sushi Like a Local

  1. Thank you for the guide! I love a reminder once in a while, sometimes I get too hungry and forget my manners….

  2. I loved the part that clarified that tuna and fatty tuna are from the same fish. I actually had an argument with someone over this (I was right, of course, lol).

  3. This is great, thanks for sharing! I never realize there’s an order to eat through the various sushi, not different than when eating cheese. Wow, I’m so gonna show off to my husband next time we eat one! Lol. Thanks again!

    • Hahaha Me too! I knew that you end with the roll types to fill you up and miso soup as a finisher, but I didn’t know about the rest :) I’m going to ask the sushi chef next time I’m at the restaurant!

      • I have always grabbed the fatty fishes first, the tuna, the salmon.. Those and chawanmushi. Cause in my “head” I was saving my cleanest, freshest palate and emptiest stomach for the good ones. Afterwards, the concept of diminishing returns kick in hahaha..

    • I’m sure it varies in different countries, but that’s how they feel in Japan! I have heard that you can evaluate the quality of the restaurant based on the type of chopsticks they give. Nicer places might still have disposable chopsticks, but not ones that you have to split apart!

  4. oh noooooo i’ve been eating it the “wrong” way for my whole life!! but i do enjoy it! and oh noooo i’ve been rubbing chopsticks all the time! but i must tell you that place in roppongi, zanmai, gave my brother a splinter from their chopstick once!!

    • Haha it’s ok! As long as the food goes in your mouth :) Ooo nooo! I’ve been learning a lot about disposable chopsticks for my store. There’s a huge price difference in nice ones from Japan vs cheap ones from China!

    • Before moving to Japan, I didn’t know there was an order to eating either! :) It’s one of those ‘insider’ tips that you can impress everyone with next time you’re at a sushi restaurant! :)

  5. Oh my omiyage!!! This is exactly what I need! I’ll be looking at this blogpost as I eat. Ahihihi :D
    I can pick up food but I do not know how to properly use chopsticks.
    I dont really like putting extra spices on my food, because yeah, you are overpowering the real taste of the food or how the cook cooked the meal.
    Thanks for all the heads up.

    • YAY! I’m so glad! :) No worries – I’m Chinese and I don’t use chopsticks the correct way! Japanese people are really experts at using chopsticks though. They’re surgical in the way they can pick up and even cut food!

  6. This is brilliant. I too did not know there was an ideal order to the fish or how to deal with wasabi (I try to avoid that stuff anyway, never liked it), or about the chopsticks (but I never did that anyway, thankfully). When I was in Japan the last time, I had someone with me every time who knew more than I did but they still did not know about the order thing, as far as I remember.

    • I didn’t know the particulars about the ordering as well! I knew that you ended with more filling rolls, but other than that, I had no idea! In Japan though, a lot of times they’ll serve sushi with wasabi already inside it. Actually, I was surprised at how little Japanese use. I always used a lot more when I was in the States! But it’s true that it can overpower the flavor of the fish :)

  7. It really can. It seems a shame to eat such healthy food you can`t actually taste because it`s been overpowered by something else. Well, I`m glad I can go to Japan next time armed with this essential knowledge …. cheers!! : )

    • oh!! Somehow I assumed that you were a local in Japan too! I don’t know where I picked that up from.. maybe from your knowledge of the language or culture!

      • Nope, unfortunately not yet but I hope to make it back some time soon. I do follow what`s happening over in Japan, via the blog and other ways, but thank you I`m flattered : )

  8. Saw this on the ilovecoffee site just the other day, oh my! Yes, totally agree about the order of the fish consumption. I usually save the best for last – chu-toro, o-toro, yessss.

  9. Pingback: Kanji, Kokeshi, Kijimuna « The Sophomore Slump

  10. well, all this time i thought rubbing your chopsticks was the proper way! ha! thanks for straightening out the confusing tradition…. :)

    • Haha I did the same thing before! I think that’s the correct thing to do in some cultures and not in others (like Japan). They just can’t make it easy on us, huh! :)

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