How to not embarrass yourself on your next sushi date
?Dining out is one of the best ways to test the waters with someone new. I always recommend a dinner date before you invite anyone to your place for a home-cooked meal.
Sushi is a popular date night choice, but if fumbling with chopsticks and not knowing what to do with the giant omakase (chef's selection) platter your date just ordered seems intimidating, here are five helpful hints to make you look like a pro as you nimbly make your way through the dinner with ease and finesse.
1. Know your fish
Having a working knowledge about the different types of fish will make your dining experience more pleasurable and make you look like an expert. Knowing that tuna and Toro (fatty tuna) are different parts of the same fish will definitely win you praise from your dining partner as well as the sushi chef. Remember to eat the subtler pieces of fish first before moving onto the fatty and richer pieces. This will allow you to really appreciate the delicate flavors without them being overpowered by the latter.
2. Use your digits
Traditionally sushi is eaten with fingers in Japan. That is why in some higher end Japanese restaurants, they offer you the hot hand towel (never wipe your whole face with this, not only is it bad form, you will look like an idiot in front of your date) and a cold finger towel to use in between eating. Also, eating with your fingers gives you more control when handling the pieces of fish and it will allow you to feel the fish making it a more sensual experience.
3. Use soy sauce and wasabi sparingly
It is considered rude and wasteful to pour your dipping dish to the brim with soy sauce. You will only need a small dab of soy sauce to eat the fish, so that it doesn't overpower its delicate flavor. Also, adding wasabi to the soy sauce is considered low-brow and bad form and is only acceptable when eating sashimi.I would recommend when eating sashimi, to add wasabi to the fish, roll it between your fingers and gently dip it into the soy sauce. Also most sushi pieces have a dab of wasabi already in between the rice and the fish, so dipping it into a muddled bowl of wasabi and soy sauce will be overkill and ruin the taste of the fish (kind of like putting a giant wad of horseradish on your oysters).
4. Roll and flip
When eating sushi, roll the piece of sushi on its side and then dip the fish side lightly into the soy sauce (never dip the rice because it will soak up too much soy sauce and overpower the fish, also a total rookie move) and then flip it upside down so you place the fish on your tongue and not the rice. This will allow you to fully taste the delicate and complex flavors of the fish.
5. Eat ginger separately
Ginger is a palate cleanser and not a garnish or part of the sushi. Do not eat it together with the fish. It is to be eaten between the fish bites.