Dining

Hand Rolls

There's a right way to eat sushi, and it doesn't involve chopsticks
Photo: Ernesto Andrade via Flickr
Sushi

If you're not a whiz at using chopsticks and find eating sushi embarrassingly cumbersome, here's some news that should brighten your day: You're not supposed to eat sushi with chopsticks anyway.

You're supposed to eat sushi with your hands.

That's right, folks. Put those chopsticks down and get your hands dirty—or fishy, or something. Only sashimi is meant to be eaten with chopsticks. Nigiri sushi, where the fish comes on top of the rice, or rolls, can—and should, according to masters like Naomichi Yasuda—be eaten by hand.

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"Just be sure to wash your hands first," David Geld, director of the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, advises.

To take things a step further and ensure you're eating this Japanese staple as properly as possible, there are a couple other guidelines as well. One: Dip the fish into the soy sauce, not the rice. Rice will absorb too much of the soy sauce, leaving you with an overly salty bite, and one that might disintegrate before reaching your mouth. Two: "The fish should touch the tongue first," sushi master Koji Sawada says. And three: Eat sushi in one bite; don't try to bite it in half.

If eating this simple food sounds like it got a lot more complicated with all these rules, just remember: You now have permission to eat with your hands. And it doesn't get any easier than that.

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