Updated: Jul 24
1. Avoid Overindulging in Gari (pickled ginger)
While pickled ginger is usually complimentary at sushi bars, it's important to remember that it's not an endless breadstick like at Olive Garden. The same applies to Wasabi and soy sauce. Practice moderation when using these condiments.
2. Don't Drown Your Sushi in Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is meant to be used sparingly, like a dipping sauce, to enhance the flavors of sushi and sashimi. Using too much soy sauce can overpower the delicate taste of sushi rice, fish, and vegetables. Use it sparingly. If you're looking for an alternative to soy sauce, try using salt and lemon juice or consult the sushi chef for recommendations.
3. Avoid Mixing Wasabi with Soy Sauce
This is especially important if the sushi bar serves real, fresh Wasabi. Mixing wasabi with soy sauce can diminish the unique aroma of fresh Wasabi. If your sushi chef sees you creating a green soy sauce mixture, they may not appreciate it. If the Wasabi provided is not new, it's acceptable to dissolve a small amount in soy sauce, but be mindful of using only a little.
4. Refrain from Asking, "What's Fresh Today?"
The fish must be fresh enough for raw consumption at a sushi bar. Asking about the freshness of the fish can sometimes come across as insulting to the chef. Additionally, not all fish tastes best when incredibly fresh. Some fish, like Salmon, Tuna, and Tai/Sea Bream, require time to develop flavor, typically five to fourteen days after being caught. Instead of asking about freshness, consider asking the chef for their recommendations.
5. Understand that Wasabi is a Condiment, Not a Sinus Cleanser
It's worth clarifying that Wasabi is not for sinus cleansing purposes; it is a condiment used to enhance the flavor of sushi.
6. Avoid Trying to Impress Your Date with Your Sushi Knowledge
This advice is specifically for men attempting to impress their date. As male sushi chefs, we are well aware of your intentions. We can hear more conversations at the sushi bar than you might think. We spend extensive time working with fish and making sushi, so we possess more knowledge about sushi and fish than you may pretend to have. While it's great to be interested in sushi, it's better to ask your sushi chef questions and let them do the talking. This way, you have a better chance of impressing your date.
Instead of trying to showcase your expertise, engage with your sushi chef and show genuine interest in the culinary experience.