Sushi Faux Pas, as Per Anthony Bourdain

Rupveen Arora

Rupveen Arora

By Rupveen Arora (Mademoiselle Wanderlust), Head of Lifestyle

If one were to receive a lesson on sushi etiquette, where better than Sushi Yasuda with none other than, Chef Naomichi Yasuda himself. Below, Mr. B explains the 6 ABSOLUTE sushi don’ts. He explains, “One day I was sitting at Yasuda and two meatheads came in. They put all of their wasabi into a cup of soy sauce, essentially made a wasabi slurry and started dunking in their fish. I saw the look on my friend’s face. I knew he could kill them with his bare hands. And I thought, in a perfect world, he would kill them. And in a perfect world, everyone would understand.”

Bourdain headshot credit: greenglobaltravel.com

Bourdain headshot credit: greenglobaltravel.com

If you follow Bourdain’s rules, I’m certain you will impress sushi aficionados everywhere.

  1. Do Not: Make a slurry with all the wasabi and soy sauce you can get your hands on and then douse your fish with it. Make sure to taste your fish first.
  2. Do Not: Dip your sushi rice down into the soy sauce—“unless you want to watch your rice crumble and disintegrate into an unholy mess in the wasabi slurry that you probably already made.” If you feel your sushi needs soy, lightly dip it fish side down.
  3. Do Not: Say loudly, “This sushi is so fresh, dude.” Unless you’re in a place where that concept would even be in question.
  4. Do Not: Consider a sushi selection that includes mayonnaise. “Don’t get me wrong, I love mayo. Tuna salad on white bread is our version of Edo-style sushi. But it belongs nowhere near raw fish.”
  5. Do Not: Mistake a lame pan-Asian place for a sushi spot. “You know the ones; unst, unst, unst music is playing in the background, edamame comes with a cloud of dry ice. A great sushi bar is like the perfect Irish pub. You make decisions with your sushi chef, with your bartender, over the course of the night, and you leave feeling extremely well cared for.”
  6. Do Not: Order a California Roll. No explanation necessary.

Being that I could live on sushi and nothing else, I will be keeping these no-no’s in mind the next time I trek out on my sushi expedition.


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