> Dan wrote on Mon, 18 Aug 2008 09:38:55 -0400:
>> Mike Gaskins wrote:
>>> 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?
>>> The Gari I also typically do not use. Just
>>> another very strong flavor. Wasabi I do occasionally eat, as
>>> I love spicy foods. Typically I'll spread 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. Typically though,
>>> I'll only eat about 1/4 to 1/2 at most of the wasabi provided, so I end
>>> up leaving quite a bit. No offense there right? 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
>> Soy is not required to use.. I usually add wasabi to my soy,
>> but pasting it on the sushi is ok or so I've read. You could also try
>> picking up a bit of wasabi in your chopsticks, then
>> picking up the sushi.
>> Most sushi chefs put some wasabi between the fish and rice,
>> but since they don't know your preference they leave some for you to use.
>> Real traditional chefs may take some offense if
>> you whale on the wasabi..
>> Gari is use to cleanse the palate between different bites of
>> sushi. I usually don't eat two of the same type of sushi in a row, since
>> I want to spread outthe flavors throughout the
>> meal.. so I eat some gari between bites. I see alot of people
>> drape the gari over the top.. I chuckle, cuz I used to do it
>> before I knew what it was for..
>>> #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.
>> Finger for sushi is fine, but chopsticks should be used for
>> sashimi. You can just pickup a piece of sashimi and take a
>> bit. You don't have to try and cut it.
> I'm in general agreement Dan, I use chopsticks for all forms of sushi
> apart from those cones of nori but I see no reason why someone should not
> use fingers except for sashimi. Sometimes nigiri are so large that I would
> nearly choke if I were to eat them in one bite and I'm not always
> successful in biting off half while holding with chopsticks.
> Soy sauce and wasabi are condiments, to be used if you feel they are
> needed, IMHO. I don't usually make mixtures of soy and wasabi and I often
> forget the pickled ginger (nori) without feeling a need for palate
> cleansing. I actually like nori but I wouldn't eat it *with* a piece of
> sushi as I have seen done.
> Another question! You are not always served real shiso leaves but those
> horrible plastic imitations. I like to to eat real shiso *with* tuna and
> salmon and I wonder if this is "correct"?
Those plastic leaves are called Baren and you shouldn't see
them at all except in a take out pack. They aren't supposed to
resemble Shiso, but rather Sasa which is not edible and used just
as a decorative separator. Shiso isn't used as a separator because
it doesn't hold it's freshness and distinctive aroma very long and
tends to go soft and then turn black with time.