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Sep 26, 2006 06:09 PM

wasabi in soy

I swear I read this in the post about "enough is enough" best sushi, etc. but I can't find it now.
In any case, what I remember is that someone said something to the equivalent of "if you put your wasabi in soy sauce, you're an idiot and that's not what you're supposed to do."

It's likely i've been surrounded by idiots all my life and everyone I know does this. I actually don't put wasabi or soy sauce on my fish because i just like tasting the fish, but could someone tell me what the deal is with wasabi in soy sauce?
not right to put it in there?
the wasabi goes on by itself?

thank you

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  1. There are many past posts about sushi etiquette here on the site. To summariez: mixing wasabi into your soya is def. incorrect. You put a bit on the sushi and then if you want soya you pick up the piece (yes, with your hands) and briefly/lightly dip it fish side down into the liquid. Never rice. Then pop the whole piece into your mouth.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chow_gal

      Thanks chow_gal. Seems we were posting at the same time and you beat me to it. Could you expand on WHY it's incorrect?

      1. re: cbauer

        I think its because you can't control the amount of wasabi for each type of fish. Some fish are so mildly flavored they shouldn't have any wasabi on it or you won't taste the fish. Personally, I don't put anything on my pieces of nigiri and rely on the sushi chef to season it. But then again, on the rare occasions when I actually eat sushi (maybe 4-5 times a year), I sit at the sushi bar and leave my ordering up to the chef.

    2. gotta agree with you mr mouther. I don't understand what's wrong with wasabi in soy sauce and would appreciate an explanation with why it is wrong. I will add extra wasabi between the fish layer and rice layer because there usually isn't enough for me.

      On the other hand, I kind of feel like, it's my food, I paid for it and I should enjoy it anyway that I see fit and get the most joy from. Would certainly like the explanation though.

      1. i've heard that for sushi (i guess mainly nigiri) you shouldn't put wasabi in the soy sauce because the chef would have put the 'appropriate' amount of wasabi already into the sushi.

        it may be different with sashimi though, because this is just slices of fish, and therefore not such a no-no.

        i haven't read much more on this topic, so am interested to see what others say.

        1. I've always put the wasabi in the soy sauce and was shown that way by the japanese sushi staff who could speak little english, maybe that is just the american way and they were accomodating me. I use the chopsticks and give the sushi a quick dunk in the mix, fish side down, and enjoy. No one has mentioned the pickled ginger slices, I slap a piece of that on top of the sushi before i dunk, but someone said it is a palate cleanser.


          1 Reply
          1. re: dijon

            Do you actually EAT the ginger with the piece of nigiri? Doesn't that completely overwhelm the fish taste ?

            Don't get me wrong, I'm in the laissez faire camp...but I'm amazed. I find the ginger to be almost to strong for a palate cleanser, let alone to eat with the sushi.

            BTW, i thought the deal on wasasbi was that a little in the soy was fine. Making a slurry out of it was not fine.

          2. here's an article about sushi etiquette featuring responses from "james hamamori, chef-owner of wasa in irvine and newport beach; takashi abe, chef-owner of abe in newport beach and bluefin in newport coast; lorin watada, corporate sushi chef for 11 roy's (including one in newport beach); and d.k. kodama, chef-owner of six restaurants in hawaii, including three sansei seafood restaurants & sushi bars, and co-author of "d.k.'s sushi chronicles from hawai'i:"


            2 Replies
            1. re: wowimadog

              very nice article. thank you.
              the only thing that surprises me is the no rubbing of chopsticks thing. what are you supposed to do with the splinters? pick them off with your fingers?
              why does it piss the chefs off so much? does it represent something i'm not picking up on?
              how do chefs feel when they see customers rub two ceramic chopsticks together, just out of habit?

              1. re: mr mouther

                Unless you're making fire, you don't need to rub your chopsticks together, even with cheap disposable ones. All you need to do is to dip the 'business ends' of the hashi into your water to moisten them.