How to eat sushi like a native: top tips for the best sushi experience

Now that you know how to use chopsticks like a pro, it’s time to go out and eat some sushi!

TRIVIA TIME!

There actually aren’t many “sushi rolls” in Japan, where the rice is outside the seaweed — in fact, the restaurants that do serve them regard them as foreign dishes. This was believed to be a change made by Japanese sushi chefs working in America, as many of their customers did not find the idea of eating seaweed appetizing.

The Dragon Roll. While tasty, it's a very uncommon sight in Japan, as the flavor of the fish is usually prioritized
The Dragon Roll. While tasty, it’s a very uncommon sight in Japan, as the flavor of the fish is usually prioritized

The usual suspects of sushi are as follows:

Nigirizushi (hand-pressed sushi): the most common type, where raw fish rests on a smaller slab of shari (vinegar rice), with a little wasabi in between. When eating, flip the sushi so that the neta (the ingredient, or fish) directly touches the soy sauce, not the shari. This way the sushi won’t crumble in your hands (or all over the table, if using chopsticks).

Gunkanmaki (warship roll): a varient of nigirizushi, this consists of shari being wrapped in a circle, with neta like uni (sea urchin) or ikura (salmon roe) inside. The taller walls of the seaweed keeps the neta inside. It looks like a little battleship now that I mentioned it, doesn’t it?

Regular nigirizushi, with gunkanmaki in the top left
Regular nigirizushi, with gunkanmaki in the top left

Makizushi (rolled sushi): this looks very similar to western rolls, except that instead of shari on the outside, there’s seaweed on the inside. This has the function of keeping your hands cleaner, and the shari from falling apart when dipped in soy sauce.

A varient of the makizushi, the futomaki; literally thick roll, which is just an uncut version to chomp on like a burrito.
A varient of the makizushi, the futomaki; literally thick roll, which is just an uncut version to chomp on like a burrito

Hungry yet?