How to Eat Sushi the Traditional Way

You’re looking for a place for happy hour in Meridian and settle on somewhere with sushi. Learning how to eat sushi properly is half the fun, and it can be exciting to try new rolls. Generally, unless you’re at a traditional Japanese restaurant, you needn’t follow this etiquette. Still, it’s fun to think about the traditions, and being aware of them might improve your experience with sushi.

Firecracker Chicken (19)Chopsticks or Fingers?

Some traditional sushi restaurants provide customers with a wet towel for cleaning their fingers before the meal starts. That’s because maki and nigiri sushi are both traditionally eaten with your fingers. In most Western restaurants that serve sushi, this is not at all common, but it’s an interesting factoid to share with friends when you’re debating which roll to order next.

Maki is what you likely picture when you think of sushi: fish rolled in rice, often with the rice wrapped in seaweed. Maki is a great to order, particularly if you are new to enjoying sushi. Examples of maki, or makizushi, are the California roll and Philadelphia roll. Nigiri is a slice of fish on a piece of pressed sushi rice. If you are more interested in tasting the fish, choose this. The only type of sushi that is not traditionally eaten with fingers is sashimi, which is a slice of raw fish and nothing else. Choose this if you want to taste the fish and don’t want rice.

When eating sushi in Meridian Idaho, as with most restaurants in the West, these aren’t hard rules. Practice your chopstick skills, but if you find yourself using your fingers, don’t be embarrassed—it’s actually the more traditional way to do it!

Eating tip: Try to eat the sushi in a single bite, so it doesn’t fall apart. For nigiri, turn it upside-down and put the fish against your tongue.

What to Do with Wasabi and Ginger

Traditionally, wasabi and soy sauce are not mixed together. Instead, use your chopsticks to put a bit of wasabi on the roll. Just be careful to not use too much, as wasabi is a strong flavor and may make it so you won’t be able to fully appreciate all of the flavors in your roll.

While many people may ignore the provided ginger, it is given as a palette cleanser, for eating between rolls. Don’t eat it with sushi, as it will overpower the delicate fish flavors.

Dipping in Soy Sauce

Traditionally, pouring too much soy sauce is a faux pas. Practice pouring only as much as you need—you can always pour more. Carefully dip each piece of sushi in the soy sauce—just don’t overdo it as using too much on a roll can also overpower its flavor combinations. Remember, keep your wasabi and soy sauce separate for the best results!

Ignore the Rules

These are some of the more traditional guidelines. Unless you are sitting at the bar with a sushi chef, in a traditional sushi restaurant, you can certainly bend the rules. A restaurant that serves sushi isn’t going to kick you out for mixing soy sauce and wasabi or using your chopsticks or even a fork for eating maki. If you are enjoying the sushi, that is what matters. If you want an added layer of fun, you can try eating sushi the traditional way. Just enjoy the flavors and don’t worry about making mistakes!

About Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill

One of the best places for happy hour in Eagle Id is Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill. Their menu offers an exciting fusion of Asian classics and twists on American comfort food that will delight anyone in the family. From hand-rolled sushi to meatloaf with wasabi mashed potatoes, and stir-fry straight from the wok, Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill has a menu with something for everyone to enjoy. It’s the ideal spot to have cocktail specials during happy hour, or to enjoy a business lunch, a date night out, or a fun dinner with the kids in a family-friendly atmosphere. Drop by Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill to experience tantalizing, exotic flavors close to home.

For more information about their next-level Asian fusion creations and to make a reservation, go to

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