While it used to be a delicacy, sushi has pretty much become commonplace in everyday American life. While I'm sure most of you are very competent at eating, it never hurts to learn something new - namely the art of how to eat sushi properly rather than stuffing your mouth full of vinegared rice and fish and masticating furiously.
I'm not here to tell you how to eat all your food. If you like ketchup on your steak (like a certain president or two), ranch dressing on your spaghetti, or mustard on your pancakes, we're not going to judge.
If you are interested in learning the proper way to eat raw fish, in a manner that complements the natural taste of ingredients have a look at renowned Japanese Sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
Chef Matsuhisa - who owns 47 highly regarded Nobu restaurants worldwide - is quite clear on the rules he's provided. For one, you don't need extra wasabi. Matsuhisa says: "there should always be inside, between the rice and fish."
Sushi master Naomichi Yasuda also agree with this. He says, "Wasabi root is only native to Japan and hard to source. Its natural taste is also quite sweet with a late kickback of fire, so if you chomp down on some green stuff and your head is blown off, you are probably eating horseradish and mustard coloured green instead of wasabi."
Interestingly chopsticks are not essential but it does depend on what kind you're eating. Matsuhisa says: "You can use chopsticks or your fingers - it doesn't matter." Sushi wrapped in seaweed, nori, maki etc. can be consumed with your hands. The seaweed stops your hands contaminating the delicate flavours.
When it comes to using chopsticks though - using it for nigiri and other sushi without seaweed- turn the nigiri on its side with your chopsticks so when you pick it up, there's minimal spillage. It's a great disgrace to drop sushi at the table, as you can imagine. You should also dip your sushi "sushi down" into your soy sauce.
Treat this action similar to when you dip your toe in water you're not sure about; cautious, but confident enough you won't plunge in. "For nigiri - make a half-turn, grab with chopsticks and dip into the soy sauce on the fish side. The rice shouldn’t touch the soy."
"A more traditional way of eating sushi is to take the fish, dip it into soy and then put the wasabi on the middle of the fish," Matsuhisa says. There are also three staples sashimi, nigiri, and roll. All sushi should be eaten in one bite too.
When it comes to garnishes, ginger can be used to cleanse your pallet to clean the fish taste. Not the usual 'eat together with your sushi.' Have you been doing sushi disastrously wrong? Hopefully, with these tips, your sushi etiquette improves massively. If all else fails, just remember: you can use your hands.