Mistakes When Eating Japanese Food

If you’ve only just grasped how to use chopsticks (seriously, what?)


I’m afraid there are a few more hurdles to overcome before you can enjoy Japanese food like a pro. Having used delicate ingredients – from the highest quality fish to short-grain rice – and painstaking techniques, Japanese chefs expect diners to take the same care over devouring their dishes. So I asked some top Japanese chefs to outline the worst faux pas when it comes to eating the nation’s food. “Often people can overpower the fresh, delicate flavors of raw fish by soaking the sushi in soy sauce, rather than using it sparingly to complement the taste.”  To refrain from letting the rice soak up the sauce, and instead dip the piece of fish. “Pickled ginger is traditionally meant to be used as a palate cleanser which is eaten between the different cuts of fish rather than eaten as a garnish on top of a piece of sushi, which is what we commonly see.”


“After you have eaten a piece of sushi with tuna, for example, and you want to eat sushi with salmon, you eat the ginger because it cleans the mouth. Then you can try the next piece without confusing the flavors. Ginger is not meant to be eaten with sushi in the same mouthful.” Eating ramen noodles politely. Don’t bother trying to be polite and sip the soup or do anything as insulting as try to chop the noodles when faced with this noodle broth. “When eating ramen, it’s polite to slurp your noodles. This is to show respect to the chef, and it also helps to cool the noodles so you don’t burn your mouth.” “Traditionalists believe that you shouldn’t serve sake with rice dishes, as sake is made from rice and it would conflict the flavor.” “Soy sauce should be treated with respect – you should only pour as much as you would use.” Again, the delicacy of fresh, sushi-grade fish is the reason why dumping a wadge of spicy wasabi into soy sauce will lessen your enjoyment of the dish. “Soy sauce has a lot of sodium and also wasabi has too much spice and it blocks a lot of the flavor because sushi is very delicate.”


“Sushi actually means ‘vinigered’ rice but people often think it’s the roll.” “One of the most common mistakes is to place chopsticks vertically into a rice bowl when eating.”  “This is a faux-pas in Japan as it reminds people of funerals, where a bowl of rice is left with two chopsticks standing vertically as a part of traditional custom.” “Sushi rice is meant to be warm and soft when it is freshly prepared, not cold and hard.” Shredded daikon, or white horseradish, and shiso leaves aren’t just there to look pretty, “They taste great and they aid digestion of oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel.” And Miso soup isn’t as thick as a lot of others, so you’re just creating extra washing up if you’re using a spoon. “ Japanese soups tend to be thinner and the bowls they are served in are smaller, so that you can sip straight from the cup.”


Article credit:  The Independent

Photo credit: Independent Print Limited

Posted in All Stories, Annoucer Blogs

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