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Goodbye to chopsticks, why you should change the way you eat sushi

Do you like Japanese food, but you dread the moment of having to pick up chopsticks in front of a group of friends to reach for a piece of sushi? Perhaps this article has good news for you: sushi is not actually eaten with chopsticks, in fact at Tora, a haute Japanese cuisine restaurant in Madrid, diners are encouraged to follow the traditional Japanese custom and eat it with their hands. .

Coinciding with the soon arrival of Sushi Day, which is celebrated anecdotally on June 18, Tora’s Japanese food experts review this and other curiosities about this delicacy, a story that mixes tradition, creativity and meticulous attention to detail.

  1. With chopsticks or without them?

A real relief for those people who do not quite master the art of eating with chopsticks, since the traditional way of tasting this star dish of Japanese cuisine is with your hands. In fact, at Tora, the diner is warned before beginning to eat his sushi pieces that he can enjoy the sushi with his own hands.

In fact, when this dish became popular in the 19th century it was sold as street food that allowed you to eat it with your hands. Later, and especially after the Second World War, the dish became more complicated and refined, which made it a regular in restaurants.

Currently, in Japan it is common to eat it with your hands, especially in family environments, and with chopsticks, in restaurants or more formal environments, although there are many haute cuisine chefs who encourage returning to the origins and using your hands to taste it.

  1. Eating sushi has its own rules

As on other occasions, there are also specific rules to enjoy this dish correctly. For example, nigiri should be eaten in one bite. It is also important that only the fish should touch the soy sauce, not the rice, to avoid spoiling the piece. These types of practices ensure that all the flavors of the bite are enjoyed in a balanced way.

“Eating sushi is a ritual. Tasting a nigiri is not the same as tasting a maki. Each piece has its essence and must be respected,” explain the Tora experts.

  1. Being a sushiman is not easy

Also called Itamae, it requires a lot of work and years of training and practice. The sushiman must respect various protocols, from correctly washing the rice to perfecting the cutting of the fish. As a general rule, a long time passes from when a chef trains in this culinary art until he begins to prepare sushi professionally for clients.

  1. The origin of sushi is not Japanese

We all know sushi as an icon of Japanese cuisine, although the reality is that its roots go back to the fish-in-rice fermentation techniques of Southeast Asia. It is true that these practices were perfectly adopted by the Japanese, improving them, professionalizing them and transforming them until turning this dish into the modern sushi we know today.

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