4 Things I Hate About (Eating Sushi With) You

I just had sushi for lunch and while I was sitting there alone at the bar I found myself thinking of the things that piss me off in sushi restaurants:

This is not a Wasabi-eating Contest. It’s a condiment, dolt, not a challenge to your manhood. No one is keeping track of how much you can smear on your yellowtail before choking it down in red-faced agony. Making a big deal of how much Wasabi you can eat is like going to a steak house and bragging about how much salt you dump on your porterhouse. It doesn’t make you look like a bad ass. It makes you look like an imbecile.

That Little Bowl of Soy Sauce is Not a Swimming Pool. Some people like a little soy on their sushi – they flip it over and dip the fish side in. Some people like a lot – they dip the rice side in. But you! You park your sushi in the soy sauce, letting it soak it up like a little sponge! It’s like the freaking Palmolive commercial here – relax, you’re soaking in it! I’m trying to pay attention to what you’re talking about, but I find it hard to concentrate while your sushi is crying for rescue as it slowly disintegrates over there in the bowl. And then you complain about how the rice always falls apart when you try to pick it up with chopsticks! Hmmmm … could that minute-long dip have anything to do with it?

Please Don’t Tell Me What I’m Eating Is Disgusting Yes, I like mackeral. Yes, it’s very fishy. I also like squid and clam which can be very chewy. I’m not trying to be a sushi snob and make you feel inferior here – I love California rolls and salmon too. Would it be too much for you not to make eww, gross sounds when I’m putting a piece of saba in my mouth?

You Can Talk About Things Not Connected to Japan! Yes, I like Hayao Myazaki and Shonen Jump. Yes, Akira Kurosawa is a great director. Oh, so you’re thinking about teaching English in Japan? That’s great! The DVD for Lost in Translation is out? How nice. AAAAAARGH! Stop talking about Japanese crap! There’s something about going out for sushi that makes some people switch over into full-bore otaku delirium. It’s just a restaurant, goddamn it, not a full-immersion cultural retreat! Do you spend all your time in Mexican restaurants talking about novellas and luchadores? Is there some rule in Italian restaurants that conversation must be limited to Gladiator and Under the Tuscan Sun? No? Then why the hell do you think that it applies to Japanese restaurants? Can we please talk about Ireland or something for a change? Or would you have to be eating a freaking potato to do that?

Ahhh … that feels better … .

I just watched a Satoshi Kon anime film that I thought was great. “Perfect Blue,” have you seen it?

And could you pass me a little more soy sauce? I think I missed a spot.

Nope. Watching.

That bitch, Lucia. I want to tear her eyes out.

Soy sauce? Shouldn’t you be using tamari?

Angelenos. Sheesh.

Sometimes I swear I’m the only sushi lover on the planet who loathes the whole wasabi/soy bath that people whip up. Even the lady who packs my sushi at the place I go is always startled when she asks if I want regular or low sodium soy, and I say none. Bleah.

Sushi is often a very delicate blend of flavors…and being that it’s at least moderately expensive, I like to actually taste the sushi I’m eating. If I want a mouthful of salt, I’ll just do that. Last I checked, a big container of salt is about $0.39.

I’m totally with you on the mackeral thing. Mmmmm…oily fish.

Soy sauce is pretty much the standard in Japan as well.

How strange. I had sushi for lunch today… and funny enough we talked about Italy. :slight_smile:

There’s really no rule. I’m Japanese and my mom usually used regular soy sauce. My dad’s a sushi chef (licensed even!) and he normally uses normal soy sauce.

The wasabi thing is gross to me. I mean, it’s like eating a steak covered with “steak sauce”. Why pay for an expensive steak if all you want to taste is the sauce??

I like a little soy/wasabi on some things, like salmon. But, for example, the sushi place I go regularly makes this really nice seared albacore with scallions and ponzu sauce. Putting soy on that totally wrecks the more delicate lemony flavor of the ponzu. But I still see people doing it. The sushi chefs warn them, and they do it anyway. They also do it to the pepper tuna with sea salt and sesame oil. Hello! It’s already salty and spicy! You don’t need to make it saltier and spicier!

They do not deserve such sushi! It should be put on my tray instead!

Well, except for that part, you’ve described the major irritating qualities of my party of four friends who do sushi lunch once a month… one per customer.

However, our conversation tends to more mundane things, like conjecture as why the service is always so terrible in Japanese restaurants, and what kind of cleaning kit would be necessary for a Real Doll to be timeshared between four hypothetical geek types.

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t mind the tiny little smear of wasabi that the chef puts until the fish in nigiri (except with octopus…why do sushi chefs always seem to hide a pea-sized lump of wasabi under my octopus??)…it’s the drenching of sushi in the wasabi/soy bath that annoys me.

I’ve seen people absolutely disintegrate their sushi roll in soy, to the point that you can’t even tell what fish/vegetables were in it to begin with. Seriously…if you don’t like the taste of sushi to the point where you have to eat the dismembered pieces out of your soy dish with a spoon, why are you eating sushi in the first place??

I honestly think there’s a whole subset of people who actually hate sushi but eat it because they think it grants them access to some cool club, hence the drowning of sushi in soy/wasabi to the point that it no longer actually tastes like sushi.

The wife and I had sushi today and I was telling her about the amusing argument the 400 lb guy and our receptionist was having yesterday. Fat Bastard was defending his eating of Pork Rinds because they were low in carbs or something. The Krazy One said that they were unhealthy anyway because of the salt.

I just shook my head and walked away. Good sushi today, by the way. But then, it always is.

I’d always thought that the purpose of wasabi was to ‘cleanse the palate’ between bites of dissimilar sushi. I never put wasabi ON anything. I just have a little on my chopsticks after a drink or when changing flavors.

As for soy sauce, I’ll put a little on my sushi. Sometimes. :smiley:

Do I know you?

The peeve I enjoy petting is when people smear wasabi on the sushi. Dammit, mix it with the soy sauce in the little tray, then dip, dipshit. Smearing it is the wrong way to do it. Do it right, damn you!

Yes, I can be anal about inconsequential things.

Oh, and what’s with sushi bars serving slivers of pickled ginger the size of toilet seats? I always have to cut it into smaller pieces, and chopsticks make lousy dinner knives.

Funny, I learned to smear the wasabi on my nigiri while living in Japan. Never actually saw anyone put it in their soy. And I ate a lot of sushi in 6 years.

I also learned that it is perfectly acceptable to use one’s fingers when eating sushi.

I love sushi (with or without soy and wasabi) but I dont’ like sashimi (according to my Hawaian local friends, sushis is the term for the rice rolls and maku cones and stuff and sashimi is the raw fish dishes, but that’s just those from hawaii, maybe for actual Japanese they’re the same?).

Heh heh, you’re going to have a fit then, when I tell you about my aunt and dad, they thought it was guacamole (??? I have no idea why they’d think that, but then midwesterners have some annoying and weird “things” about food.

But anyway, they were scooping big ole quacamole sized scoops onto their wontons, and I happened to see it right before they bit into them.

“Ooooh no, you don’t want to do THAT” I said. And then I showed them how to do the soy/wasabi thing, and told them what it was called and all. But the whole thing was new to them, they weren’t trying to be “cool sushi snobs” or anything.


Actually, AIUI, sushi is any cuisine based on seasoned rice. Which will include maki rolls, inarizushi, and raw fish on squares of rice. Sashimi is plain raw fish. In my mind, it’s all yummmy.

That’s a tasty opener. When do you plan on serving up the spicy escabeche? :slight_smile:
Say, anybody, what’s the latest word on liver flukes? Is there anything funky in my raw tuna these days?