> Ok, I've been eating sushi for quite a while now (the "bland" form
> like California rolls for years, but I've started eating more of the
> raw-served rolls and Nigiri in the last year or so). It's getting to
> the point where the chefs at various places notice me as a regular and
> I'd like to not look too green when possible :).
> #1: Soy/Wasabi/Gari - Naturally, I've tried all of these. I'm
> particularly not fond of the soy at all - very strong and seems to
> overwhelm the flavor of the actual sushi. As such I typically leave
> the soy dish empty and unused. Any problems with this?
Not at all.
>The Gari I also typically do not use. Just another very strong flavor.
You can eat the Gari in between pieces. Or you can just ignore it.
> Wasabi I do occasionally eat, as I love spicy foods. Typically I'll
> just a bit of it atop the sushi with my chopsticks if I'm eating
> nigiri, or if eating rolls I'll sometimes just take a tiny piece of
> the wasabi every now and then and eat it on it's own.
Again. no problem. Although your last sentence is surprising.
Ages ago I took out a client for lunch and when I was looking the other way,
he poped the wasabi whole into his mouth. His comment was "I thought I was
a brain hemmorage!". Apart from this, in all my years I've never seen anyone
eat just the wasabi, but
I'm quite certain there's no specific rule or etiquette regarding it.
> Typically though, I'll only eat about 1/4 to 1/2 at most of the wasabi
> so I end up leaving quite a bit. No offense there right?
Use none of it. Use all it. It's up to you.
And I would suggest you not worry too much about offending the itamae,
unless he's serving you for free. Unless you are saying "offense" as to mean
"rude" in not folowing proper etiquette.
> Particularly since several times I've been offered "fresh
> wasabi" (seems to be spicier and have a courser texture), so I don't
> want to leave half of it behind if that would be offensive.
My experience has been that fresh grated wasabi is less spicy than those
pre-made or from powder.
You can use all of it or none of it.
> #2: When I've ordered sashimi I've always used the chopsticks, but
> with maki and nigiri I've traditionally just used my hands (the
> chopsticks usually result in my tearing the piece up and making a
> mess) which I've heard is acceptable, but just wanted to make sure.
Nigiri-zushi was originally a fast-food eaten at the counter of outside food
Eating it with your hands was the norm then, and it is still completely