How to Eat Every Type of Sushi Without Embarrassing Yourself

3 December, 2018

Just because you eat sushi on the regular doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. There’s indeed an art to eating sushi, just as there’s an art to making it. Here’s how to consume sashimi, nigiri, maki and temaki as was intended, and which pays respects to the chef, too. 

Here’s how to handle each type of sushi

Sashimi | Use chopsticks. Dip it in soy. Dab a little wasabi, if desired. Eat each piece in one go.

Nigiri | Pick it up with your hands or using chopsticks. Always dip the fish into the soy sauce, not the rice. Why? The rice will soak up too much soy and overpower the flavour of the fish, not to mention fall apart. If preferred, dip a piece of ginger into the soy, then brush this over the fish. If the fish already has sauce added, do not attempt to dip it in soy. The chef has seasoned it and you should trust that they have done their job. Attempt to eat nigiri in one bite. Notice both the flavour and textures at play.

Maki and uramaki | These are sushi rolls with nori on the outside (maki) and rice on the outside (uramaki). Pick it up with your hands. If it’s the sushi with the rice on the outside, AKA uramaki, dip it lightly in the soy before eating in one bite.

Temaki | These are cone-shaped hand rolls shaped like an ice-cream cone. Once again, it’s custom to use your hands. Since it’s quite big, don’t attempt to eat it in one bite.

Oh, and a word about condiments

Pickled ginger is not to be eaten in the same mouthful as sushi – it’s for cleansing the palate in between different types of sushi. Nigiri often comes seasoned with wasabi (beneath the fish, atop the rice), so there’s no need to add it.


Try out your newly honed sushi etiquette at Akira Sushi.