SUSHI THE JAPANGO WAY
Whether you’re a sushi novice or expert, here are some fun facts and definitions to help make your meal with us even more enjoyable.
(Kanpai: “to dry up your cup”) Cheers! Some believe that sake should only be served with sashimi to avoid rice overload, while others believe it’s the versatile complement to any cuisine imaginable. Here’s what we think: if you like it, drink it! And don’t hesitate to ask your server forrecommendations – we’re here to help.
If not alone, it’s customary to serve each other, traditionally with the most “prestigious” or most senior person at the table pouring. If you need a refill, hold your empty glass slightly and politely towards your dining partner.
SUSHI & SASHIMI
Even though the word “sushi” is commonly used to refer to fish combined with rice, it actually refers just to the vinegared rice (sushi literally means, “it’s sour”).
MAKI rolled sushi, with the rice on the inside or out
TEMAKI a sushi handroll, think sushi ice cream cone
NIGIRI slices of raw fish or vegetables served on a ball of rice
SASHIMI slices of raw fish served without rice
GINGER (GARI), WASABI & SOY SAUCE (SHOYU)
Ginger is meant to be eaten between different types of sushi as a palette cleanser. If you want more wasabi than your chef has already put on your sushi, purists agree that its better smear a small amount directly on the fish instead of mixing it in your soy sauce.
Try starting from light and moving to heavy – this keeps the heavier fish flavors, such as fatty tuna or mackerel from overpowering the lighter ones, such as white fish. Finish with sweeter flavors, like tamago (egg) or eel.
When using chopsticks (hashi), some things that seem innocent can actually be offensive to your chef. For example, rubbing your chopsticks together communicates that you think you’re in a cheap restaurant. Also avoid passing food from one pair of chopsticks to another, leaving them crossed on the table or sticking up in a bowl of rice as all of these actions are reminiscent of Japanese funeral traditions. Having trouble using your chopsticks? Sushi started as finger food, so feel free to save your chopsticks for sashimi and eat your sushi with your hands. This makes it easier to keep pieces together and helps avoid over soy saucing (dip only the fish, not the rice!). Save your spoon too – It’s perfectly fine to drink your miso soup directly from the bowl.