How to Eat Sushi?

Every nation in the world implements a set of rules on proper decorum while eating. The Japanese are very particular with table manners so that they practice a certain set of guidelines on the proper way of dining. If you’re going to dine at a sushi place, for instance, you need to observe certain rules on the right manner of eating this famous Japanese dish.

In many ways, sushi etiquette is also designed to allow diners to enjoy their sushi plates. There is a certain way of eating sushi so that you get experience the different kinds of sushi and sashimi the way they are supposed to taste.

What you will need:

  • Hot towel or oshibori
  • Chopsticks
  • Japanese soy sauce
  • Wasabi paste
  • Sushi



  1. Clean your hands using an oshibori. When you dine at a sushi restaurant, you will be provided with a hot towel that you can use to clean your hands. Since you will mostly use your fingers to eat sushi, it’s always best to make sure that your hands are thoroughly clean.
  2. Pour soy sauce in a small plate. If the soy sauce is not served in an individual plate, you may need to pour it yourself and add on as much wasabi paste as you would like.
  3. If you’re going to use chopsticks to pick up the sushi, turn it to the side, and invert it with a twist of your wrist. Make sure to dip the sushi from the fish side. Ideally, only the fish’s surface should be soaked but some people opt to get soy sauce on the rice as well.
  4. When using your fingers to eat sushi, pick it up using your middle finger and your thumb. The index finger goes to the far top side to turn it the sushi upside down so that the fish part faces downward.
  5. Place the sushi in your mouth with the fish side touching the tongue. To enjoy the flavors of the fish meat, it’s important to have the sushi eaten with the fish side down. Others, however, also opt for the vertical or sideways method so they both taste the rice and the fish part at the same time. It’s better to have the fish touch the tongue first because this is where most of the flavor comes from. If you taste rice first, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy your sushi because you will only taste the sour seasoning and the fish side will just stick to your palate.
  6. Eat a slice of ginger to refresh your mouth. Sushi is composed of raw fish meat so if you want to remove the after-taste, chew on a small slice of ginger.


  • If the size of the sushi is too big to fit into your mouth in one bite, ask the sushi chef to cut it into two when served.


  • Never dip the sushi into the soy sauce on its rice side. The rice for sushi is seasoned with vinegar and soy sauce will just make it bitter.
  • It is impolite and even a taboo in many sushi bars to peel the sushi dane or fish topping from the rice to dip it into the soy sauce. This is because you’re at risk of insulting the chef’s painstaking effort to present an appetizing dish.

Filed Under: Food & Cooking


About the Author: Leona Kesler is a head-chef at a very popular food restaurant in New York. Also she is a blogger who shares her experiences, tips, and other informative details about food and cooking. Her recipes are featured on many magazines.

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