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Mar 19, 2011 04:57 PM

How to eat sushi?

I did a quick search and didn't see anything.

Recently I started looking at some more traditional places to eat some good sushi, such as Kaji/Zen.

After reading some reviews and seeing some pictures, it looks amazing; however, I know nothing about appropriate behaviour and method to eat this quality of sushi.

I was hoping we could get something going to teach people like me who haven't touched these high-end places yet and educate us, so we won't embarass ourselves!

heck, i don't even know how to pronounce omakase!

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  1. oh-mah-kah-zee (equal emphasis on each syllable)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Herb

      The last syllable is "se"- sounds like "say" in English. Not "zee". And like many Japanese words, emphasis is on second syllable of the word. In this case, the original word is actually "makase". The "o" is the added honorific.

      We've covered this subject multiple times over the years- with threads dozens of replies deep. I would do a search and set parameters for up to 5 years.

    2. The way you eat it should not depend on if it is "high end" or not. Eat the same way at any place. Just don't stick the pointy end of the hand made rolls up your nose and you'll be fine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodyDudey

        Don't dip your sushi rice side down into the soy sauce in front of the sushi chef. This is the same as salting your food without tasting it in front of the cook. The rice absorbs a lot of soy sauce and can mask the delicate flavors of the sushi, etc.

        I meant to reply this to the OP.

      2. Fingers or chopsticks are fine. Also, it is okay to pop the whole thing into your mouth if it isn't too big.

        7 Replies
        1. re: MissusLisa

          Actually, you're supposed to pop the whole thing into your mouth. I know of a sushi chef or two that will basically fire you as a customer if you eat the sushi in bites.

          1. re: Uncle Yabai

            thats true IF they have made the sushi in traditional sizes. some places make them too big even for my mouth... and i can down a mcD's hamburger in 3 easy bites.

            1. re: KaimukiMan

              If the pieces are too big, chances are that it isn't worth eating. In which case, eating it in two or more bites is the least of your faux pas.

              1. re: KaimukiMan

                Obviously if the piece won't fit in your mouth you can't eat it in 1 bite. But it doesn't change the fact that sushi is *supposed* to be consumed in a single bite.

                1. re: joonjoon

                  I've had many great sushi meals at moderately priced sushi shops in seaside towns in Japan that serve nice jumbo 2-bite nigiri. Not all good sushi needs to be pinky-sized slivers served in austere rooms with a koto soundtrack.

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    Thank you, Silverjay, I was feeling so very incorrect by not being able to fit most nigiri in my mouth in one bite- not that you'd want to see me try. I don't live in Japan or NY or LA or SF or any of the better sushi places so I have to take what I can get, and the getting's generally good for landlocked Arizonans. But it's usually two-bite sized.

              2. re: Uncle Yabai

                Two bites are fine, as long as you don't put it down between bites.

            2. The original comment has been removed
                1. re: c oliver

                  Thanks for posting! Didn't know that.