You’re eating sushi all wrong! Tokyo sushi chef teaches proper way to eat sushi

Q sushi plate
A sushi plate from Q in downtown Los Angeles. Top let to right, fluke, gizzard shad and soy-marinated bluefin tuna; and bottom let to right, toro, sea eel egg cake and ginger.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Apparently eating sushi three times a week doesn’t make you an expert. According to Tokyo sushi chef Naomichi Yasuda, we’ve been doing it all horribly wrong.

In a new video by Vice’s Munchies, the chef explains the right and wrong way to eat sushi. Rule one, eat cut rolls with your hands. We know, we were shocked too when we learned that using chopsticks to shove pieces of blue crab roll into your mouth was not proper sushi etiquette.

And when you dunk your piece of sushi roll into soy sauce, well, don’t dunk it. Just dip what Yasuda says is “enough” to taste the soy sauce, then eat it. And don’t ever, ever eat the pickled ginger with your sushi. It’s meant to be eaten by itself, after you’ve eaten a piece of sushi.

Everyone who shoves the unlimited supply of ginger on the table at Sushi Stop onto every single bite of sushi is silently crying. You know who you are.


And one of the biggest no-no’s was how people normally dip nigiri into soy sauce. Yasuda explains how to properly dip sushi so that the fish, and not the rice, makes contact with the soy sauce. This makes sense when you think of all the times you’ve asked for a new soy sauce dish because yours is full of runaway pieces of rice.

And just when you thought he couldn’t say anything more to shock you, he drops this bit of wisdom like a sake bomb:

“What’s important about sushi is the rice. The rice is the main ingredient. So people talk about the fish. But the fish, this is the second ingredient.”

Tell that to the people who ferociously bid on tuna at Tsukiji.