How to Eat Sushi (You’ve Been Doing it Wrong!)

Eat the roll with your fingers. Turn the sushi pieces on their side with your chopsticks before dipping fish into soy sauce. Definitely don’t eat the ginger slices together with the roll or fish! And don’t shake soy sauce off the sushi.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. People should know this is Tokyo style. If your in Kansai, for example, eating with your hands like this would look pretty odd.

  2. Gary, you are DC based correct? Have you been to they omakase counterat sushi taro? Definitely one of my favorite experiences.


  3. Dipping the rice in soy sauce is an insult to the chef in most parts of Japan. It is saying the rice is under-seasoned.

    When you dip the fish only in the US, a knowledgable chef will appreciate it. If your sushi chef doesn’t appreciate the difference, you’ve probably not got the best chef.

  4. Have to disagree with Johnson, food is an essential part of travel and learning to eat like a local is part of the experience.

    Yasuda had an renowned restaurant in NYC before he headed back to Tokyo. I love his passion for sushi. This restaurant is very intimate and would make guests feel like they are at a private dinner. We as featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show.

  5. Thanks for sharing this Gary. I was planning on visiting Yasuda’s restaurant next year – glad to know the right way now!

  6. Interesting and I learned how to eat Sushi. Did he say “Shaking is only for a man’s penis in the men’s room”? LOL

  7. Great post Gary, thanks! Yasuda is definitely one of the great masters. His sense of humor and great command of English are also to be commended. I hope I have the pleasure of dining at his restaurant some day.

  8. having been to jiro more than a dozen times, the very first time was full of nervous posturing and i asked him, whats the right way to eat sushi? he laughed and asked if it was my first time and i said no. so he said, its like anything else, open your mouth, pick it up with chopsticks or grab it and chew slowly so i dont choke. broke the ice.if it was good enough to come from a 3 star michellin chef, good nuff for me.

  9. I had a long project in Tokyo and a Japanese coworker took me to some of the best locals-only sushi places. It’s a great experience, and the video is correct in that the Japanese ate sushi as depicted. However, despite it being the “authentic” way, I just happen to think the American method makes for better tasting sushi. I’ve never understood though why American sushi restaurants love to make rolls that are too large to eat in a single bite though – there’s no way to be graceful eating a huge maki roll in more than one bite.

  10. awesome video. i love yasuda-san’s dry sense of humor. and it’s great to see the involuntary smile on that guy’s face as he tries each piece. that’s when you know you’re eating something out of this world. can’t wait to get back to japan.

  11. I spent 20 years regularly traveling to Japan. The sushi master chef who taught me how to eat sushi had one difference from Yasuda-sama’s lesson:

    I learned to hold the sushi with the fingers of one hand, my thumb on the slice of fish, turn it over, dip the fish into the shoyu, and then put it in my mouth. As Yasuda-sama noted, don’t shake it! 🙂

    Otherwise, Yasuda-san and my sushi guru agree.

    Note that there is no wasabi mixed with the shoyu. A top chef knows how much to put on each different item.

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